NEW YORK ( MainStreet) -- Have you identified a real estate hot spot, and do you want to buy property there? If so, you can probably use an individual retirement account to get the job done. RealtyTrac, an Irvine, Calif., real estate analytics firm, is out with a report listing the "Top 15" real estate hot spots in the U.S., along with some advice on how to use retirement plan vehicles to buy property in there. The company ranks six Florida cities in its list of 15 retirement havens, including Dunnellon, Naples, North Fort Myers, Punta Gorda, Sun City, Venice and Orange County. Arizona and California accounted for two cities each, while Arkansas, Pennsylvania, Oregon, and New York had one city on the list. IRA or other retirement plan to buy that property (or even "properties"), experts advise only certain investors act now - mainly younger real estate buyers.
"It depends on the person's age and the type of property," says Sheldon Detrick, chief executive at Prudential Alliance Realty in Oklahoma City, Okla., in comments to RealtyTrac. "Rental property, especially on the lower end, can be a good investment at any age. It's usually profitable and easy to sell. On the other hand, buying land in outlying areas in anticipation of population growth is something only those under 50 should consider." RealtyTrac also says to spend some preparation time before pulling any triggers. The firm cites Lorraine and Richard Walls, of Midlothian, Va., who leveraged their retirement accounts to buy several Florida investment properties. But the couple spent a full year studying the southwest Florida market, and how self-directed real estate IRAs actually work. RealtyTrac cites the following "ground rules" the Walls used to make their property investment purchases. here. If making financial hay on a retirement hot spot is on your financial bucket list, it's worth a look -- and may be worth an investment.