Yes, the IRS actually places very few limits on what you may buy with your IRA retirement funds. It is your IRA custodian who has put those limits on your retirement account. Truly self-directed IRAs allow you, the investor, to choose your investments.
Yes, many banks have discovered the demand by IRA owners to finance real estate purchases in their IRAs. Banks continue to develop products specifically for IRAs and other plans. You’ll need a non-recourse loan, which tend to have higher down payment requirements than those for personal homes, but these loan types are available at many banks.
An LLC may be used to purchase real estate, but it is not required. Your IRA can purchase a property in the very same way as you would personally. This is the most common way real estate is purchased and in this situation the property is simply titled to your IRA.
No special broker or title company are required—you can use the same ones you used to buy your current home or any other broker. However, using a broker that is familiar with this process may be helpful buy it is not required.
You may not personally do any work on the property and neither can any other disqualified persons (IRA holder, his spouse, his parents and grandparents, children and grandchildren, their spouses, certain fiduciaries and any entity owned or operated by a disqualified person. Work can be done by anyone else and you still have control over what you want them to do. For instance, you can’t personally paint the walls but you can tell the painter how you want the house painted.
If you cannot afford the investment property you are interested in you have many options. One option is to partner with yourself. For example your IRA can own 50% and you can personally own 50% (note: even if you personally own 99% of the property you are still prohibited from living in it or using the property.) You may also partner with someone else’s personal or IRA funds; the disqualified persons rule does not apply here so you may partner with your spouse, parent, child, friend, or whomever. There is no limit to how many people you can partner with. The percent of ownership cannot be changed once the investment is made.
Because the property is owned within a tax-deferred (Traditional IRA) or tax-free (Roth IRA) plan no capital gains taxes need to be paid.
Yes, after you reach 59.5 years of age you may choose to take the property as a distribution from your IRA. Once the property is 100 percent in your possession, you are free to use the property as you wish.