Your Home Is Worth More Than You Think!
When it comes to real estate, things actually aren't so bad here in Denver. Our guide to the myths and realities of the local market will show you why. Plus: How to refinance your mortgage, remodel on a budget, and rehab your IRA with real estate investments.
Go Invest, Young Man!
Is your IRA a laughable shadow of its former self? Lately, ours is barely big enough to scrape together a down payment on a used Hyundai. There may be an alternative, however, to simply sitting tight, fingers crossed that stocks will soon rebound. For disciplined, self-directed investors (please reread that last clause carefully), moving IRA funds into real estate holdings is becoming an increasingly attractive option.
"The traditional investment counselor wants to sell you stocks and bonds, and hasn't had much incentive to look at real estate," says Terry McCullough, a broker with the Kentwood Company at Cherry Creek. "But over time, real estate usually offers the highest returns you can get, and they can be even higher now because prices are so low."
This option usually appeals to a certain class of investors. "There's a common misconception out there that real estate isn't an option for IRA or 401(k) investments, but we've seen an influx of people who are looking for alternatives to the stock market," says Patrick Hagen of Entrust New Direction IRA, which has about one-third of its holdings in real estate. "Real estate is at a seemingly low point, so there are good deals for people who have money to buy, and a lot of people are turning to retirement accounts because they can't get a loan from the bank and don't have money sitting in their bank accounts."
Hagen says the sweet-spot Entrust investor is 42 to 55 years old, owns his own home, and has anywhere from $80,000 to $250,000 in his IRA accounts. Hagen stresses that Entrust's role is more facilitator than counselor because the company's investors are particularly self-directed and diligent about their accounts. "Our clients are people who know what they want to do and how to do it," he says. "They're trying to create their own rebound rather than waiting for the market to do it, but [to invest in real estate IRAs] you really need to make sure you have enough money to do what you plan to do."