What to look for when finding a Real Estate Attorney and CPA.

2 Replies

My Husband and I are looking to purchase our first multi-family property or SFR in the next few months. Prior to jumping in we want to have our ducks in a row.

Next Week, we have appointments to meet with a CPA and a Real Estate Attorney who were both recommended by people who invest in real estate.  We want to meet with them just to establish a relationship prior to buying our first building. 

Do you have any suggestions of questions we should ask and/or items we should discuss to be sure that they may be a good fit for us? It seems a bit strange to meet with them prior to actually having any work to give them,  and I don't want to waste their and our own time. However, we would really like to have them lined up and ready to go once we are. 

Any ideas and suggestions would be helpful. Thank you so much!

Hi Christine!

It's never to early to get expert advice! 

At your stage the lawyer will be more involved initially in determining business structure. The CPA is helpful as well in this, but we usually have the attorneys draw up the operating agreements and we usually advise them on if it makes pratical sense or not. 

In a nutshell you will want to make sure both the CPA and attorney both regularly deal in real estate. The CPA will guide you on operating the investments in a tax effective manner, while the lawyer will guide you in ensuring that you have a legal shield around your assets. Both equally important. Ask them how long have they been in real estate, and have them break down strategies that align with your objectives. 401k & IRA distributions, Depreciation, 1031 exchanges, passive income deductions, and just tax preparation is what you will ask your CPA. They will help you more throughout your investments life, and in exiting. The lawyer will be pivotal more in setting up the structures.

#DeeCole 

Those are great points! Thanks so much for responding to me.  I will definitely add those questions to our list to ask our CPA.  We are meeting with him tomorrow and I am looking forward learning more about this whole process. 

Would you recommend setting up your own LLC online, or is it better to go through our attorney, which he said would cost us $1500? That seems quite pricey to me.

Thanks again!

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