Buying real estate within an IRA account is relatively simple and can be highly profitable, as long as you follow the IRS rules and choose the right custodian. You will need to open a self-directed account, if you don’t already have one.You should always compare the fees and services offered by the companies that manage self-directed accounts. This is the type of account that a standard bank can handle. Of course, you want to choose a company that is trustworthy and experienced, but it’s still necessary to compare their charges.Otherwise, buying real estate within an IRA account can become expensive. Some custodians charge fees for writing checks, transferring titles and even a percentage for managing an un-invested cash balance.If you buy several houses, for example, you may always have a cash balance in the account. In fact, you need one. All of the expenses related to purchasing and maintaining a property must come out of the account. If there’s no cash, you’d have to sell something ever time you needed to buy some paint.You need to get a little education before you jump into the market. Houses and real property have always been a pretty safe investment, but there are a number of considerations.First, there are some prohibited transactions that are related to buying real estate within an IRA account. For example, you can’t live in a house owned by the account and neither can your close family members. You can’t loan personal funds to the account. That’s why you need to maintain a cash balance.The account can borrow from a bank or other individuals, as long as they are not closely related to you. But, if financing is needed, your rental income or profits may be subject to UBIT or unrelated business income tax.To get a complete education about prohibited transactions, you should consult the IRS website. There are a number of applicable publications.To get a complete education about buying real estate within an IRA account, you may want to talk to some experts. Account custodians cannot suggest which properties to buy or how to find a potentially profitable deal.They provide the necessary paperwork and will work with your attorney to complete a transaction. They can provide some of your education, but you’ll need other advisors, as well.Experienced investors are sometimes willing to share their knowledge. We know that there are plenty of good deals out there, so the more, the merrier. Some investors seem to want to keep everything to themselves, but there’s really enough for everybody.You may want to get into rehabbing. You might want to think about buying houses and bringing in rental income. You may want to consider partnering with other investors, so that you have unlimited funds to work with. There are too many options to mention here.The success stories that are generated by buying real estate within an IRA account would fill several books. It’s definitely worth your time to look into it.