Back then we decided to visit Central American countries that could perhaps provide an inexpensive early retirement existence. Belize and Costa Rica were top on the list.
While we didn’t go fully intending to buy property, we were certainly on a fact-finding mission. Ultimately, the amazing views got the better of us, and we jumped in. You can read the full story about the trip and the purchase here if you want.
The long short of it is that we bought an awesome piece of land for 102K and sold it 3 years later for 170K. So easy a caveman could do it!
Interestingly, we bought it utilizing a self-directed IRA. Overall this was pretty easy to accomplish, but the paperwork to get this done was a bit of a hassle. As I always say though, “Paperwork has kept many a great person down!”
After I got the SD-IRA account open, I then had to rollover the funds from our existing IRAs into it. Then I worked with the SD-IRA company, Equity Trust in our case, and they sent in the funds directly for the closing.
The big issue with using the SD-IRA is that you can’t actually use the property yourself until you retire. You can develop the property and earn a return with it as a rental, but you can’t make personal use of it. You can read more about the rules around SDIRAs here.
As I mentioned, we sold the property for 170K and netted a respectable 45K (41.62%) profit after all fees and closing costs. But since it was all done in a tax-deferred account, we didn’t have to pay any taxes! Boom!
(This property has been sold)