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Investing in Real Estate with a Self-Directed IRA: Pros and Cons

Investing in Real Estate with a Self-Directed IRA

Self-directed IRAs have become an increasingly popular tool for investors looking to diversify their retirement portfolios beyond traditional stocks and bonds. One of the most attractive investment options within a self-directed IRA is real estate. In this article, we’ll explore the pros and cons of investing in real estate with a self-directed IRA, helping you make an informed decision about this strategy.

Pros of Investing in Real Estate with a Self-Directed IRA

  1. TaxDeferred or Tax-Free Growth: Investments made within a self-directed IRA, including real estate, can grow tax-deferred (traditional IRA) or tax-free (Roth IRA), allowing your money to compound more quickly.
  2. Diversification: Adding real estate to your retirement portfolio can provide diversification, potentially reducing overall risk and volatility.
  3. Potential for Higher Returns: Real estate has historically provided higher returns compared to some other asset classes, such as stocks and bonds.
  4. Passive Income: Rental income generated from real estate investments can provide a steady stream of passive income for your retirement.

Cons of Investing in Real Estate with a Self-Directed IRA

  1. Complexity: Investing in real estate with a self-directed IRA can be more complex than investing in traditional assets. You’ll need to understand the rules and regulations surrounding these types of investments.
  2. Liquidity: Real estate is generally less liquid than other assets, such as stocks. It may take longer to sell a property compared to selling shares of a stock.
  3. Prohibited Transactions: There are certain transactions that are prohibited within a self-directed IRA, such as using the property for personal use or engaging in transactions with disqualified persons.
  4. Unrelated Business Income Tax (UBIT): If your self-directed IRA generates income from a business or investment that is unrelated to the purpose of the IRA, you may be subject to UBIT.

Considerations When Investing in Real Estate with a Self-Directed IRA

  1. Understand the Rules and Regulations: Familiarize yourself with the rules and regulations surrounding self-directed IRAs and real estate investments to ensure compliance.
  2. Work with Experienced Professionals: Consider working with a self-directed IRA custodian, real estate professional, and tax advisor to help navigate the complexities of these investments.
  3. Conduct Due Diligence: Thoroughly research any potential real estate investment, including the property, location, and market conditions, before making a decision.
  4. Diversify: As with any investment strategy, it’s important to diversify your portfolio to manage risk.


Investing in real estate with a self-directed IRA can provide tax advantages and the potential for higher returns, but it also comes with additional complexity and risks. Before making a decision, carefully consider the pros and cons of this strategy and consult with experienced professionals to ensure that it aligns with your investment goals and risk tolerance.


  1. What types of real estate can I invest in with a self-directed IRA?
    • You can invest in a wide range of real estate assets with a self-directed IRA, including residential properties, commercial properties, raw land, and even real estate investment trusts (REITs).
  2. Can I use a self-directed IRA to invest in a property I plan to live in or use for personal purposes?
    • No, using a self-directed IRA to invest in a property for personal use is considered a prohibited transaction and can result in the entire IRA being disqualified.
  3. How do I fund a real estate investment with a self-directed IRA?
    • You can fund a real estate investment with a self-directed IRA by transferring or rolling over funds from an existing IRA or 401(k) plan. The custodian of your self-directed IRA will typically handle the purchase process. 
  4. What are the tax implications of investing in real estate with a self-directed IRA?
    • The tax implications depend on the type of IRA you have. With a traditional IRA, any rental income or gains from the sale of the property will be taxed as ordinary income upon withdrawal. With a Roth IRA, qualified withdrawals are tax-free.
  5. Can I use leverage to purchase real estate with a self-directed IRA?
    • Yes, you can use leverage to purchase real estate with a self-directed IRA, but there are specific rules and limitations around the use of debt financing. It’s important to consult with a tax advisor or financial professional to understand the implications of using leverage in a self-directed IRA.

As the world evolves, so does the real estate landscape, particularly in the multifamily sector. In 2024, various trends reshape how developers, investors, and residents perceive and engage with multifamily properties. From technological advancements to shifting demographics, here are five emerging trends in multifamily real estate for 2024.

Sustainable Living Spaces:

Emerging Trends in Multifamily Real Estate | Sustainable living spaces

With a growing focus on environmental sustainability, multifamily properties are adapting to incorporate eco-friendly features and practices. Developers are increasingly integrating renewable energy sources such as solar panels, implementing energy-efficient appliances, and incorporating green spaces within communities. Additionally, initiatives like water conservation measures and waste reduction strategies are becoming standard in multifamily developments. Sustainable living spaces appeal to environmentally conscious tenants and contribute to cost savings and long-term value for property owners.

Smart Building Technologies:

Emerging Trends in Multifamily Real Estate | Smart Building Technologies

Advancements in technology are revolutionizing multifamily real estate with the integration of smart building technologies. From smart thermostats and automated lighting systems to keyless entry and remote property management platforms, these technologies enhance convenience, security, and efficiency for residents and property managers. IoT (Internet of Things) devices enable real-time monitoring and control of various building systems, optimizing resource usage and improving overall tenant experience. As the demand for connected living spaces grows, expect widespread adoption of smart building solutions across multifamily properties in 2024 and beyond.

Flexibility in Design and Amenities:

Flexibility in Design and Amenities

The preferences and lifestyles of renters are evolving, driving the need for greater flexibility in multifamily property design and amenities. Developers focus on creating versatile living spaces that accommodate diverse tenant demographics and changing needs. This includes flexible floor plans that easily adapt to different living arrangements, such as co-living or multigenerational housing setups. Additionally, communal amenities like coworking spaces, fitness centers, and pet-friendly facilities are gaining popularity as tenants prioritize convenience and social connectivity. By offering a mix of amenities and flexible living options, multifamily properties can attract a wider range of tenants and foster a sense of community.

Rise of Urban Suburbs:

Emerging Trends in Multifamily Real Estate 4

Urban suburbs are gaining traction as more people seek the benefits of suburban living without sacrificing urban conveniences. These mixed-use developments combine elements of both urban and suburban environments, offering walkable neighborhoods with access to retail, dining, and entertainment options. With the rise of remote work and flexible schedules, urban suburbs provide an attractive alternative for renters looking to balance city living and suburban tranquility. Multifamily developers are capitalizing on this trend by investing in suburban markets with strong job growth and transportation infrastructure, creating vibrant communities that cater to modern urban dwellers.

Emphasis on Health and Wellness:

Emerging Trends in Multifamily Real Estate 5

The COVID-19 pandemic has heightened awareness of health and wellness concerns, prompting multifamily properties to prioritize resident safety and well-being. In 2024, expect to see an increased focus on health-centric design features and amenities, such as air purification systems, outdoor recreation areas, and wellness programming. Properties that promote physical and mental well-being will appeal to health-conscious tenants seeking a holistic living experience. Additionally, integrating telehealth services and fitness technology platforms allows residents to prioritize their health from the comfort of their homes. By prioritizing health and wellness initiatives, multifamily properties can differentiate themselves in a competitive market and attract discerning renters.


The multifamily real estate landscape is evolving rapidly, driven by technological innovations, demographic shifts, and changing consumer preferences. In 2024, sustainability, technology, flexibility, urban suburbs, and health and wellness will emerge as key trends shaping the future of multifamily properties. By embracing these trends, developers and investors can capitalize on opportunities to create innovative, resilient communities that meet the evolving needs of tenants in the years to come.