What are the self-directed real estate investment rules and prohibited transactions?

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The Self-Directed IRA owner and disqualified family members must not benefit, live, or vacation at the property. All expenses and revenue must flow to and from the IRA.


  • Your retirement account is not allowed to purchase real estate you already own. The IRA and IRA funds must be listed as the buyer, not personal dollars.
  • You and other disqualified people may not use the property (see disqualified person list here).
  • You and other disqualified people may not perform any property repairs or improvements. Personally, a third party must be hired to do any repairs to the property. You can still oversee and monitor workers hired by your IRA, do paperwork, managerial and office-like duties, but you can't do physical work or get paid any salary or commissions. 
  • When in doubt, if you can easily remove yourself from the day-to-day business, it’s best to do so and use a trusted, non-disqualified person. Here is a list of acceptable substitutes.


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