Invest in a Vacation Rental with a Self-Directed IRA
Written By: Daniel Gleich
Whether you are looking to invest in a secluded cabin in the mountains or a beachfront condo – you may be surprised to learn it’s easy to invest in a vacation rental with your self-directed retirement plan.
Real Estate Investing in a Self-Directed IRA
Real estate is one of the most popular investments among self-directed account holders. There is a wide variety of land that may be invested in such as commercial properties, raw land, residential properties, and rental properties.
Real estate has the potential to be lucrative. You can hold the property for appreciation and receive a steady stream of income, which can lead to higher returns in the long run. Plus, the income you earn can be tax-deferred (Self-Directed Traditional IRA) or tax-free (Self-Directed Roth IRA).
Another potential benefit of including real estate in your self-directed retirement portfolio is that you are diversifying your portfolio with a tangible asset.
Short-Term Self-Directed IRA Vacation Rental Property Rules to Know
Expenses are Paid Only with Self-Directed IRA Funds
To remain IRS-compliant, all expenses related to your vacation rental investment must be paid with funds from your Self-Directed IRA. Possible expenses include management and leasing fees, utilities, maintenance costs, property taxes, and HOA fees, among other property fees.
Rental Income Stays in the Self-Directed IRA
All income generated through the vacation rental investment, such as rental income, must be paid directly to the Self-Directed IRA.
Title the Property in the Name of the Self-Directed IRA
To invest in real estate with retirement funds, the property must be owned by the Self-Directed IRA, not you personally. So, the titling is in the name of the IRA. If you choose Madison Trust as your Self-Directed IRA custodian, your vacation rental would be titled as “Madison Trust Company Custodian FBO [Your Name] [Your MTC Account Number]”.
Prohibited Transactions (Disqualified Persons)
When you invest with a Self-Directed IRA, your Self-Directed IRA benefits from the investment, not you personally.
In addition to the account holder, certain family members are not allowed to receive benefits from your IRA’s investment. Disqualified persons include:
- You (the SDIRA account holder)
- Children's Spouses
- Grandchildren's Spouses
In terms of a Self-Directed IRA vacation rental, disqualified persons are not allowed to:
- Live on, rent, or use the property
- Lease the property for any business you own
- Personally conduct repairs on the property
- Hire the business you own to do repairs
- Personally guarantee the loan, if financing the property (the loan must be a non-recourse loan)
To learn more about prohibited transactions and disqualified persons, watch our latest webinar!
UBIT and UDFI
UBIT, or Unrelated Business Income Tax, is a tax that applies to the profits generated from an active business that is not related to the primary purpose of a tax-exempt account. If your vacation rental is a short-term rental, UBIT may apply in the following scenario:
- If the rental is shorter than 7 days, the investment may be considered active. Consult with a tax specialist for guidance.
UDFI, or Unrelated Debt Financed Income, may apply to investment income generated from a financed rental property held by a Self-Directed IRA. Please keep in mind that when an IRA uses leverage to purchase an investment, the loan must be a non-recourse loan. Visit our recent blog to learn how to invest in real estate with a non-recourse loan.
Although your investment may be subject to UBIT and UDFI, this should not deter you from investing in alternative assets. The potential growth of the investment typically outweighs the taxes.
Tips for Investing in a Vacation Rental with a Self-Directed IRA
Steps to Invest in a Vacation Rental with a Self-Directed IRA
1. Open your account with Madison Trust by completing our easy online application.
2. Fund your account by transferring or rolling over all - or a portion of - your IRA or 401(k), or by making an initial contribution.
3. Place an investment by instructing Madison Trust to send your IRA funds directly to your investment by writing a check or sending a wire.
Conclusion: Let's Tie It All Up
If you are wondering if you can use a Self-Directed IRA to buy an investment property, like an Airbnb or vacation rental, the answer is yes! A vacation rental may be a great opportunity for you to grow your retirement savings and diversify your portfolio into alternative assets. Schedule a free discovery call with a Self-Directed IRA Specialist to learn more about investing in a vacation rental.
Disclaimer: All of the information contained on our website is a general discussion for informational purposes only. Madison Trust Company does not provide legal, tax or investment advice. Nothing of the foregoing, or of any other written, electronic, or oral statement or communication by Madison Trust Company or its representatives, is intended to be, or may be relayed as, legal, tax, investment advice, statements, opinions, or predictions. Prior to making any investment decisions, please consult with the appropriate legal, tax, and investment professionals for advice.