Purchasing Notes with a Self-Directed IRA

You can hold mortgage notes or trust deeds in your self-directed IRA, which is a way of investing in real estate without worrying about maintenance costs and vacancies. In these instances, the trust deed investor is lending money to the borrower using real estate property as collateral. If the borrower can not keep up with the loan, the property will then be transferred to the IRA.

Your IRA can also purchase or sell portions of mortgages. Your retirement account holds an undivided interest in a portion of the note, and receives the proportionate amount of income due under its terms.

There are two types of notes:
  • Secured notes are backed by collateral, providing the lender with additional assurance that the loan will be returned, and guaranteeing them some type of property in the case of a default.
  • Unsecured notes are not backed by collateral. You might consider an unsecured note for a trusted opportunity, but it is a higher risk than a secured note.
Promissory notes can be either in first or subordinate positions, and can be purchased from brokers or private parties. Usually, the documentation is recorded at a county recorder’s office, and title to the collateral property is insured as instructed. You can arrange the terms of the note, and the payments will go back into your retirement account.