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Is It Possible to Own Real Estate Anonymously?

Landlords are frequent targets of lawsuits. Who wouldn’t want to own their investment properties anonymously? But governments don’t like anonymity, especially when it comes to large assets that are frequently at the center of legal actions. Most states' laws are designed to prevent anonymous ownership of tangible assets.

So is it ever possibly to truly own real estate anonymously?

The short answer is (drum roll please)… not perfectly, but you can make it difficult for anyone to figure out who really owns your property.

That said, it’s pretty easy to buy real estate anonymously. Anyone can use an associate’s name (a “nominee” in legalese) on the contract of sale. The nominee can then assign you the contract of sale before settlement with just a signature, or if they buy it in a company name, they can simply assign ownership of the company to you after purchasing. Easy as pie. In the latter scenario, your name appears exactly nowhere on the settlement papers, sales contract or articles of incorporation.

Does Selling Your House FSBO Really Save Money?

Selling FSBO does not guarantee more profit in your pocket just because you are saving on realtor costs. Furthermore, while some FSBO do work out well, they are not all equal, as they depend on the house and the market. This summer, between our personal homes and those of our family, we sold or facilitated the sale of six homes in four different states. Two of these homes ended up being sold For Sale By Owner (FSBO). In the end, one of these deals was the perfect situation for FSBO, and the other was a disaster. We not only had to deal with a lot of headaches, but we also lost $15,000 of potential income, even after taking potential realtor expenses into account.

Is it worth turning your house into a Furnished Rental?

One of the fastest growing trends in real estate is returning a higher profit by turning a property into a furnished short-term rental, typically either as a corporate rental (30 days or more) or vacation rental (less than 30 days). We personally have turned two of our houses into furnished rentals aimed at the corporate rental client for off-season and vacation rentals for peak season. While for us, furnished rentals have been a blessing, there have been a lot of consequences to this decision. The key is deciding if this makes sense for you and your situation.