Paper Street Soap Investment

Comparison of Roth IRAs and Your Current Residence

Assumption: you bought your current residence as an investment with the intent of selling it for a profit at some point.

Paper Street Soap Investment
Paper Street Soap Investment Property

Similarities

  • Both are purchased with after tax money
  • No capital gains taxes due when the gains are realized
  • Not taxable as income when the gains are realized
  • No guaranteed rate of appreciation
Differences
  • Roth IRA has a $5k/year limit on how much you can invest, but your home doesn’t
  • You can’t touch the gains of your Roth without penalty until you are 59.5, but you can get the gains from your residence whenever you choose without penalty
  • While you aren’t guaranteed appreciation in either vehicle, if your home has a mortgage you are guaranteed a percentage of interest savings by paying down (investing) the principal early. True, you lessen the tax deduction on the interest, but does it really make sense to pay the bank $100 so that you don’t have to pay the gov’ment $25 anyway?
  • Any improvement-type investments you make into your home (for instance, a foreclosure that needed a lot of work) can be enjoyed by you immediately while you wait for the market to appreciate and can also help you sell quickly and for a higher price later on.
What am I missing here? I’m not a financial professional…just something I was thinking.


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  • Ryan

    The tax break, ease of access etc comparison is all pretty fair. The main difference obviously is that the IRA cash can be used to buy assets other than real estate.