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October 4, 2023

The Paths to Success in Real Estate Investing: Q&A Included


There’s more than one way to succeed in real estate investing, and the path you choose should be the one that aligns best with your personal and financial circumstances. While real estate professional status and short-term rental strategies are powerful tools, they aren’t the end-all-be-all. As you venture into the world of real estate investing, remember, the long game is where you’ll find the most sustainable success.

What Does “Pactive” Mean?

The term “Pactive” isn’t something you’ll find in Webster’s Dictionary, but within the circles of real estate investing, it is becoming increasingly popular. It refers to investors who are part-time active, juggling real estate investment with a full-time job or another business. It suggests that you don’t have to go all in to achieve success in real estate investing.

The Myth of “The One Right Way”

Many investors believe that the only way to be successful is by qualifying for the real estate professional status or utilizing short-term rentals. But that’s a dangerous misconception. These strategies can be potent but are not the only options. The fact is, your investment strategy must align with your lifestyle, risk tolerance, and long-term financial goals.

The Power of Tax-Advantaged Income

Tax-advantaged income, especially for high-income earners, is highly significant. Imagine you are in the 37% tax bracket and you make an extra $55,000 through your job. You’d pay approximately $20,350 in federal taxes alone on that income. Now, consider owning a rental property that generates $55,000 in cash flow but allows for depreciation and other deductions that result in zero tax liability. Better yet, you could even show a tax loss while having that cash flow in your pocket.

A Word of Caution

Many people get swept up in the FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) that seems rampant in real estate investment circles. They hear stories about massive tax refunds and feel they’re missing out. Some even bend their lifestyles backward to achieve this, like the gentleman I met who took on night shifts to qualify for real estate professional status but ultimately didn’t get the tax benefits because his accountant was not comfortable with it. The point is, you should never compromise your sanity or lifestyle for strategies that might not even be suitable for you.

The Long Game is Still the Game

Real estate investment is not a get-rich-quick scheme; it’s a long-term commitment. So, don’t be swayed by the allure of quick gains or tax loopholes. Instead, focus on building a robust portfolio over time. The slow, ‘unsexy’ strategies, like tax-free cash-out refinances, 1031 exchanges, and step-up in basis, often yield the most reliable and long-lasting benefits.

So, the next time you find yourself drowning in FOMO or contemplating lifestyle changes just to fit into the “perfect investor” mold, step back and reconsider. The best strategy is the one tailored for you.

Q&A Session

  • The Real Estate Professional Status Dilemma

Question:

“I’ll have 750 hours in another month, but I have a syndication investment that I like to make now. Should I wait to make the investment until after I have the 750 hours?”

Answer:

Investing in the same year that you qualify as a real estate professional allows you to benefit from bonus depreciation and tax loss. However, it’s essential to note that merely qualifying as a real estate professional isn’t enough. You must also materially participate in your assets. If you’re a limited partner in a syndication, you can’t materially participate, even if you qualify as a real estate professional. Hence, you’ll need to explore the grouping election for all your rental activities and ensure that you materially participate in them.

  • The Short-Term Rental Loophole

Question:

“I bought a short-term rental in October 2020, and the first rental wasn’t until 2021. Can I qualify in 2023 because I did not stay in the rental property in 2023?”

Answer:

The personal use rule is determined yearly. If you adhere to the rules in 2023, you can indeed qualify and benefit from the short-term rental loophole in that year.

  • K1 and Limited Partners

Question:

“Can K1’s qualified non-recourse debt be used for a limited partner’s basis, which can in turn possibly avoid paying gains on distributions?”

Answer:

Yes, qualified non-recourse debt can generally be allocated to limited partners. However, read the operating agreement to understand precisely how this allocation works.

  • Filing Taxes for an LLC Partnership

Question:

“I own commercial property with my husband as an LLC partnership. My CPA says I don’t file corporate taxes that were due September 15th, it falls under my personal taxes due October 15th. Is this right?”

Answer:

Typically, an LLC between a husband and wife is taxed as a partnership, and a partnership tax return (Form 1065) is due on March 15th or September 15th if extended. However, in some community property states, you may treat it as a disregarded entity and file it with your personal taxes.

  • Can GP K1 Losses Reduce W-2 Income?

Question:

“Can GP K1 losses from a syndication reduce taxes on your W-2 income?”

Answer:

Losses from a syndication where you are a general partner will be considered passive unless you qualify as a real estate professional. If you meet the criteria, then yes, you can offset your W-2 income with the losses.

Conclusion

Understanding the intricacies of real estate tax strategy is vital for making informed investment decisions. Whether it’s getting clarity on real estate professional status, exploiting short-term rental loopholes, or understanding the tax implications for LLC partnerships, knowing the specifics can save you a lot of headaches—and potentially a lot of money.

Feel free to reach out to us today to help guide you through these complexities.

Listen to this podcast episode here.