If you’ve been following these blogs for any length of time, you know there are several different ways in which you can invest in real estate. There are direct investments, in which you place your funds directly into a piece of land, second house or industrial warehouse for example.
As an investor, you should be consistently on the lookout for issues that might cut into your wealth, as well as those that could increase your tax burden. One such issue that could have an affect on both of these things is known as phantom income.
Although we are inching towards the later stages of the cycle, the multifamily investment market has remained healthy. Providing evidence of this is the fact that national vacancy rates have only slowly inched up in the face of high levels of new supply.1 But doing well in this sector involves more than buying an apartment building and sitting back as a passive investor. Before you start your property hunt, however, you need to ask whether that Class A “luxury” investment, or Class B “workforce” property fits your risk profile and your investment goals.
As of December 2018, The Federal Reserve Open Market Committee (FOMC) had bumped up the federal funds rate for five consecutive quarters. Although Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell signaled a slow down of increasing rates in the committee’s meeting in January 2019, there is still optimism that the U.S. economy will grow in the near future amongst FOMC members, meaning the possibility of further increases in the future.1
When you sit down to figure out your investment strategy, the issues you might examine are financial goals, what type of return you might want, and what assets are available for acquisition, at a cost that makes some sort of sense. Also important is how much risk you’re willing to accept for a given return to meet your financial goals. It’s a good idea to understand your level of risk tolerance, to ensure that you make the investment decisions that are right for you.
In previous articles, we discussed risk and its impact on investment decisions. A return on a particular investment might look really great on paper. But, if you can’t deal with the possibility of losing part, or all, of your entire principal, that investment might be better off avoided.
On paper, relying on the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) section 1031 to defer capital gain taxes on a real estate sale seems straightforward. You target the replacement property within 45 days, then close on that property within 180 days. Your Qualified Intermediary handles the exchange, resulting in a new property and a sweet tax deferral.
There is a lot to consider before diving into real estate as an investment. You need to understand your own investment goals, and risk tolerance. You also should have an understanding of the market in which you want to invest, type of property you are eyeing, how much it is valued for – and the asset grade. Much like papers and school work are graded based on quality, real estate assets also come with grades, based on many factors.
In a previous blog, we focused on various types of real estate we dubbed “recession-resistant.” Property types such as student housing are considered to be insulated against recessions, as it succeeds or fails based on fundamentals such as college enrollment rather than economic cycles.
It should come to no surprise that Delaware Statutory Trusts (DSTs) carry many of the same risks as a direct property investment. After all, the underlying asset driving the investment’s performance is some type of real estate asset. From illiquidity to macroeconomic risks, such as rising interest rates, DSTs are exposed to a variety of similar factors that may spell trouble for any real estate investment.