First-time home buyers can tap IRA

Future-Proof: Navigate Threats, Seize Opportunities at ICNY 2018 | Jan 22-26 at the Marriott Marquis, Times Square, New York

A friend of mine is a single mom who became a real estate salesperson several years ago following her divorce. She had a consistent flow of buyers and sellers until the beginning of the year when the market slowdown became even more apparent in many Pacific Northwest neighborhoods. She postponed a long-awaited kayak trip because an out-of-state buyer was coming into town with a reportedly all-cash offer for a waterfront cottage. I laughed and teased her about postponing the trip when I found out the man was single. "That's got very little to do with it," she said. "Gone are the days when you relied on an associate to handle any legitimate customer. This one looks like the first great chance in weeks. He's buying the place with his IRA to use as a second home." I stopped laughing and took a deep breath. "If he's going to use his IRA, I hope he plans to rent it out." The rules for purchasing real estate with an individual retirement account...