Using a checkbook LLC for your self-directed IRA is a strategy adopted by the savviest of real estate investors, but there’s one tiny problem with it. It may not be legal.
The ability to self-direct your retirement funds into alternative assets like real estate has been legal since 1974. Yet even today, the majority of IRA and 401K owners don’t know about self-direction. They believe they have to borrow from their IRA to buy real estate, or that they would be penalized for using those funds to invest in real estate.
Traditional financial planners consider self-direction as giving the investor the choice of stocks, bonds or mutual funds in which they wish to invest. That’s because traditional brokerages and banks only sell what’s authorized within their investment firms - which are stocks, bonds or mutual funds.
However, a truly self-directed IRA gives the investor complete control over their investment choices, including the ability to invest outside of the stock market and into alternative investments like real estate, gold, trust deeds and private placements.
But true self-direction is not for the hands-off investor. There are specific rules you must follow or you could end up committing a prohibited transaction. If you do that, your IRA could be seriously penalized and even potentially wiped out.
And there are plenty of prohibited transactions on Uncle Sam's list, so you should be well aware of what you can and can't do.
For example, if you direct your IRA to buy real estate, it must be for investment purposes only and not ever for personal use. If your IRA invested in a vacation home, neither you nor your family could use it personally.
You also can't pay yourself for managing it. In fact, you can’t manage it at all. The investment should be totally passive and managed by a professional.
And here's what could be the trickiest rule... you cannot even provide "unpaid" services to a property inside a self-directed IRA account. If you do, you could end up owing taxes and distribution fees, involving that real estate transaction.
Let's say you bought a single-family home with your self-directed IRA and the tenant calls about a problem with the heater. You don't live far away and it's an easy problem to fix, so you go over and do it yourself.
THAT violates the rule because you are providing direct services to your IRA investment. The result could be a big tax bill on what is now considered a distribution.
Instead, you have to ask the trustee of your self-directed IRA to hire a handyman to go fix that problem. And then you have to pay the handyman AND the trustee for those services.
The easiest way to avoid breaking the rules is to work with a very good custodian, trustee or administrator who can guide you and handle all the paperwork for you.
But… some investors want to avoid the fees they would have to pay a custodian or administrator. Plus, they want to be able to move quickly and not wait for a third party to approve their purchases or investments.
So they opt for a check book LLC that manages their self-directed IRA and acts as the trustee.
The problem with this scenario is that often the IRA owner is also the manager of the LLC.
As the manager of the LLC, you can write checks yourself and pay that handyman.
But hold on!
You are still the owner of the self-directed IRA and within that IRA, you are breaking at least two rules. You are managing the investment yourself, which is prohibited, and you are writing checks to pay for services to that account asset. Another no-no.
Prohibited transactions also include...
READ THE REST at:
The post #006 – “Checkbook LLC’s” for Self-Directed IRAs MAY NOT be Legal appeared first on
It’s not too early to start your tax planning, or better yet, tax savings strategies, as Uncle Sam will come collecting soon.
Hi, I'm Kathy Fettke and this is REAL ESTATE NEWS for investors, the source for investor news that will help you make the right decisions, at the right times.
Uncle Sam will be imposing higher penalties on individuals who do not have health insurance. That penalty could take a two percent bite out of your income over the 10-thousand dollar threshold or about $700 per adult in one household.
There are also new paperwork rules for employers, related to the Affordable Care Act. Previous optional 1085 forms will now be mandatory.
On the plus side of tax reporting, individuals will have three extra days to file their taxes. This year's deadline is April 18th due to the Emancipation Day holiday observed in Washington, D.C. on Friday, April 15th. Tax filers in Maine and Massachusetts get one additional day due to the Patriot's Day holiday on April 18th.
There are also new filing and tax extensions deadlines for businesses. Partnerships and S Corporations must now file by the 15th day of the third month after the end of their tax year. That's March 15th for businesses using a calendar year. That's a month earlier than last year. For C Corporations, the due date is April 15th. A new six-month extension is also available in both those cases.
The BEST way to get tax deductions still exist. Here are 4 ways to dramatically reduce what you owe Uncle Sam through rental property:
Read the full article here:
The post #005 – New and Old Tax Laws That Can Save You Money appeared first on Real Wealth Network.
Fears of bubbling real estate markets are rising, with 3 of the top at-risk markets in California. Is it time to buy? Or cash out?
I’m Kathy Fettke and welcome to Real Estate News for Investors.
In an end-of-the-year survey by Zillow, San Francisco tops the list for at-risk bubble conditions. A hundred experts participated in the survey, and a third of them said San Francisco is already in a bubble. Another 20 percent are predicting that market will peak sometime this year.
Los Angeles and San Diego are in 2nd and 3rd place as having the highest risk of officially being in a real estate bubble. Other frothy cities on the list include New York, Houston, Seattle, Miami and Dallas.
Zillow's Chief Economist says there's still a debate on whether these represent true bubbles. She says that one big difference between market conditions in 2007 and current conditions, are tighter lending requirements. That means buyers are less likely to default on their loans.
The survey covered a total of 20 markets and the overall consensus is that "most" of the markets are not bubbling yet, but if you own California real estate in one of the three hottest markets, it's something to consider.
Your property could be pricing at the top of the market right now. And if that's the case, you may want to consider selling while at the peak of the market, and exchanging that investment for property in non-bubble markets.
You’ve heard the term, buy low sell high. Times like this allow investors to sell high and buy low.
Do the bubble markets appear to be poised to pop, and if so, when?
READ THE REST OF THE STORY HERE:
The post #004 – Three California Cities in a Real Estate Bubble – Zillow Survey appeared first on Real Wealth Network.
Is the 1031 exchange an unfair loophole or a stimulus that encourages more tax revenue?
That’s the question policy makers are debating as part of the Presidents 2016 Budget.
The 1031 Exchange has been part of the tax code for almost a hundred years. It allows an investor to exchange one property for another property of similar value without paying capital gains - as long as the replacement property is identified within 45 days of the sale, and then closed within 180 days.
The administration is proposing ...
GET THE FULL STORY and information on how to do a 1031 exchange at
The post #003 – Obama Tries to Limit Use of the 1031 Exchange appeared first on Real Wealth Network.
U.S. Home prices rose 5.8% in November, according to the S&P Case Shiller Index. That was the headline for CNBC this week. And I’m about to tell you why this probably doesn’t matter at all to you as a real estate investor.
Hi, I'm Kathy Fettke and welcome to the 2nd episode of Real Estate News for Investors.
Housing made headline news again this week, as it does at the end of every month when the widely reported S&P/Case-Shiller 20-City Composite Index is released.
This week, the Wall Street Journal’s headline said, “U.S. Home Price Growth Picks Up in November” and Marketwatch’s headline said, “Home prices accelerate at fastest pace in 16 months.”
The Marketwatch article went on to say:
"U.S. home-price gains picked up again in November, with several metro areas notching double-digit annual percentage increases. The S&P/Case-Shiller 20-City Composite Index rose 0.1% in the three months ending in November, for a 5.8% yearly increase. That was up from a 5.5% yearly gain in the period ending in October, and marked the strongest reading since July 2014.”
Now let me tell you why this simply doesn’t matter and why you shouldn’t care or be affected by Case Shiller’s report, even though this Index has become a widely reported and analyzed measurement of the housing market for nearly thirty years. In fact, few other statistics are more closely watched than the Case-Shiller by those in the housing industry and Wall Street.
First, why do you care that the AVERAGE price gain of 20 U.S. markets over one year was 5.8%? That’s as helpful as planning a ski trip in Colorado and looking up the average weather of 20 U.S. cities to figure out what to pack.
Every market is different. A sale in Denver has no bearing on a sale in Chicago. There is no such thing as a national real estate market, so giving national averages is of no value at all to real estate investors.
Real estate is local.
So you might argue that the Case Shiller index does go local. It includes data from the 20 cities it follows.
This week it reported that 3 U.S cities experienced double digit gains in November. Portland was the winner with 11.1% growth, San Francisco saw 11% growth and Denver 10.9% year over year.
Metros with the slowest price appreciation according to Case Shiller were Chicago, Cleveland, and Washington at just around 2%.
Here are more problems with the data.
Even if we honed in on one city like Portland, we still couldn’t get an accurate picture of property values if we averaged out all the sales. What if there were more sales in a high end neighborhood than a high crime area, or vice versa? An average price of two neighborhoods does not help you understand real values in the specific area you wish to purchase.
Also, I don’t know if you heard me, but I said these were sales from November. It’s almost February. Why do I care what happened in November? The Case Shiller reports on closings that happened 60 days ago.
Would you invest in a particular stock by looking at the numbers from nearly 3 months ago? You might be able to analyze the change in home prices during that time, but you’ll have to wait 2 more months to get today’s data. This does not help you if you’re trying to buy or sell real estate today.
Here are 10 reasons why the Case Shiller Index is of no help to you, as a real estate investor...
READ MORE AT www.NewsForInvestors.com
Please note, I have a great amount of respect for Dr. Shiller and do not wish to criticize his life's work. I’m sure the data could be used for analysis of certain trends - just not for today's buyers and sellers.
I actually had the opportunity to debate him on Fox news. You can see that interview on Real Wealth Network’s website: www.NewsForInvestors.com under the "About Us" tab.
Subscribe today and be among the first to know.
Don’t get caught off guard by market crashes that can take all your money down with them. And don't miss out on emerging markets that can build tremendous wealth practically overnight.
I’m Kathy Fettke, and welcome to the first episode of Real Estate News for Investors - the premiere source for the most relevant real estate stories, issues, and events that give savvy real estate investors the edge.
Unfortunately, people seem to get the wrong news right when they need it most. For example, back in 2006, right at the peak of the last market cycle - a year before it all came crashing down, the prevailing message from the media was BUY. Real estate is hot and just won’t stop.
But boy did it stop. Just a couple of years later, the U.S. suffered the largest drop in home prices since the Great Recession and the reverberations of that were felt globally.
Here are just some examples of big media sending the wrong messages.
In June of 2005, the cover of Time Magazine said, "Home Sweet Home, why we’re going gaga over real estate." It should have said, “Watch out for a Major Housing Correction Ahead.”
In September of 2010, the same magazine’s cover said, "Rethinking Homeownership: Why owning a home may no longer make economic sense." It should have said, “Opportunity of a Lifetime. Greatest Transfer of Wealth. Cash Flow and Appreciation Ahead!"
Maybe the general media can’t expect to be experts in coming market cycles. But what about the top authorities in the real estate world. What were they saying?
Unfortunately, they also got caught up in the frenzy.
David Lereah, the chief economist of NAR, published a book called, Why the Housing Boom Will Not Bust and How you Can Profit. This was published in Feb 2006.
Unfortunately, many people made poor decisions based on false or inaccurate information.
But that is all about to change, here on Real Estate News for Investors where you can stay up-to-date on market trends, best housing markets, investment in single-family rentals or multi-unit rentals, investment capital, turn-key housing standards, new laws, regulations, and economic events that affect real estate, the revered 1031 exchange and self-directed IRAs.
Find out where rents and property values are rising or falling, markets with job losses vs. job growth, areas that are overbuilt or over-supplied versus property in high demand, and how to avoid real estate scams.
We'll bring you the latest reports from organizations like the National Association of Realtors, Realty Trac, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Zillow, Trulia and Redfin. And we'll help you interpret their often biased data.
You can substantially grow and protect your wealth by staying on the forefront of economic data analysis, expert opinions, innovative investing strategies and profitable investment opportunities.
On this podcast, I'll share all the top stories and trade secrets experienced and successful investors are using - so you can stay ahead of the curve and make fully informed real estate decisions.
And I promise to give you my very uncensored and totally biased opinion. And that bias is that I don’t trust regular media, I don’t trust government propaganda, I don’t trust my friend’s advice at cocktail parties or my church families' recommended investments. I trust common sense mixed with some investigative reporting, which is something I did for years in San Francisco when I was younger - at ABC News, CNN, KTVU and KSFO.
Let me tell you a little bit about me, your host of Real Estate News for Investors. I am founder and Co-CEO of Real Wealth Network, a real estate investment group with over 20,000 members and growing rapidly. I’m also the author of Retire Rich with Rentals and host of the Real Wealth Show - one of the very first podcasts on iTunes.
I am a regular guest expert on Fox News, CNBC, CNN, Marketwatch, ABC NEWS,