Invest In Real Estate Using an IRA

Buying real estate is one of the most popular assets in a self-directed IRA.  Midland makes the process easy to get started and affordable for our clients. Almost any type of investment real estate can purchase in a self-directed IRA, single-family homes, duplexes/triplexes, land, and fractional ownership. There are so many different types of real estate to buy in an IRA.

What is a Real Estate IRA?

A real estate IRA is defined by real estate investments or assets owned within the individual retirement plan. It is not a unique or separate account type. All IRAs can be self-directed to invest in real estate. Real Estate can provide a great degree of diversification and control for IRA owners. 

Over time real estate is a great long-term investment in a self-directed IRA.  Its values are typically not tied to the stock market. IRA owners love the control that they have over these types of assets.


Real estate syndications
Conformity at the beach Long row of identical white beach cottages in Cape Cod, Massachusetts-1
Vacation Rental
Farm Land
Rental House
Door of a new contemporary office building
Commercial Property

What Real Estate Property Can I Buy in my IRA?

  • Single-family homes
  • Multi-family homes
  • Apartments
  • Condos
  • Rehab and flip properties
  • Co-ops
  • Townhomes
  • Commercial property
  • Improved or unimproved land
  • Foreign property
  • Tax liens
  • Deeds
  • Trust deeds
  • Tenant-in-common interests
  • And more!

4 Real Estate IRA Rules You Must Know

  • RULE 1

  • RULE 2

  • RULE 3

  • RULE 4

Your IRA owns the real estate

When you buy real estate in your IRA, the IRA will be the purchaser. The way we accomplish this is to to use the following verbiage on the contract and closing documents:

"Midland Trust Company As Custodian FBO Client Name, Client Account #" 

Personal use of the property is prohibited

Under no circumstances may an investor have any personal use of a property held within their IRA. Personal use includes maintenance and improvements done by the account holder. Disqualified parties to the IRA may not use the property either. These persons include the IRA owner’s spouse, lineal ascendants, and lineal descendants. Disqualified persons also include lineal ascendants’ and descendants’ spouses.

Understand prohibited transactions

The IRS is clear on guidelines for buying real estate in your IRA. Sometimes the easiest way to understand what you can do is to understand what you can't do.


Income and Expenses go through the IRA.

The IRA account must pay all related expenses. At Midland, we provide you access to a portal where you enter the expenses to pay the corresponding invoice from your IRA.  The same goes for income: rent will be paid to your IRA, not to you individually. And yes, we have an app for that, too!


Real Estate IRA Guide

For a complete list of real estate IRA rules, complete the form below to download a copy of our Real Estate IRA Guide.

Real Estate IRA Investing Benefits

There are four main reasons why people invest in real estate using SDIRAs:

Alternate Source of Funding Investment Property Purchases

You may not realize that IRA funds can invest in real estate. There are several ways in which you can buy real estate with an IRA.

Invest in Assets That Have Opportunity for Higher Returns

Using a self directed IRA allows investors to choose assets that may lead to higher returns than traditional investment options. If you are well versed in real estate, you have an extra advantage by investing in what you know.

True Diversification

Brokerage account firms and banks offer limited investment choices. Those looking to diversify their investment portfolios use alternative assets in an IRA. SDIRAs allow investors to hedge against market inflation. This provides more stable, long-term investments like real estate.

Tax-Free or Tax-Deferred Growth (Time Value of Money)

When you invest in real estate using an SDIRA, you defer capital gains taxes when you sell the asset. Reinvest these tax savings in investments that produce higher returns. Create higher account values in shorter time frames. Create more wealth in your retirement account. Self-direct your IRA in real estate today.


Other investors have found creative ways to invest in real estate within their IRA. Access their stories of investing in real estate with retirement funds.

Businessman holding book with letter concept.

Download Real Estate Case Studies

Other investors have found creative ways to invest in real estate within their IRA. Access their stories of investing in real estate with retirement funds.

Have a question about buying real estate in your IRA?


Or call our team of real estate IRA experts at 239-333-4855


Real Estate IRA Articles

More Real Estate Investment Options


Single-Member LLC (Checkbook IRA)
Real estate investors who need immediate access to their IRA funds should consider a single-member LLC. LLCs would also work well for investors who have many assets within their IRA. A single-member LLC provides checkbook control of the investor’s IRA funds. 
Private Lending With Notes & Mortgages
With private lending in notes and mortgages, the investor has complete control over the lending process. They set the note’s interest rate and terms. The investor can also specify the closing agent and collateral required. 
1031 Exchange
A 1031 exchange allows a real estate investor to defer payment of capital gains. The investor must be selling investment property to buy investment property.