DST Buyer Checklist

Introduction

Investing in real estate can be a lucrative endeavor, but it often involves significant capital and responsibilities. Delaware Statutory Trusts (DSTs) offer an alternative investment option for those seeking exposure to real estate without the hassles of traditional property ownership. The following is a step-by-step guide on how to purchase one.

What is a Delaware Statutory Trust (DST)?

A Delaware Statutory Trust (DST) is a legal entity commonly used for real estate investments. It allows multiple investors to pool their money and purchase a fractional interest in a property. DSTs are particularly popular for their tax advantages and pass-through income, making them an attractive choice for those seeking to diversify their investment portfolio while benefiting from real estate’s potential returns.

Step-by-Step Guide to Purchasing a Delaware Statutory Trust:

1. Educate Yourself:

Before diving into any investment, it’s crucial to educate yourself about the basics of DSTs. Understand how they work, their potential benefits, and risks associated with this type of investment. Reading books, articles, and consulting financial advisors can be valuable in this stage.

2. Define Your Investment Goals:

Clarify your investment objectives and risk tolerance. DSTs can vary in terms of property types, locations, and investment horizons. Knowing what you aim to achieve will help you choose the right DST that aligns with your goals.

3. Find a Qualified Intermediary (QI):

A Qualified Intermediary is a critical component of the DST purchase process. They are responsible for facilitating the transaction and ensuring it complies with IRS regulations. Choose a reputable QI with experience in handling DSTs.

4. Identify Suitable DST Offerings:

Look for DST offerings that match your investment criteria. This might involve researching various sponsors, analyzing the underlying properties, and evaluating the potential returns and risks associated with each offering.

5. Due Diligence:

Once you’ve identified a DST that piques your interest, conduct thorough due diligence. Review the offering memorandum, financial statements, and legal documents provided by the sponsor. You may also want to consider hiring legal and financial professionals to assist in this process.

6. Investment Capital:

Determine the amount of capital you want to invest in the DST. Keep in mind that DSTs typically require a minimum investment amount, and you should be prepared to commit the necessary funds.

7. Complete Subscription Documents:

Work with your broker to complete the subscription documents required for the investment. This typically includes signing the Subscription Agreement and Accredited Investor Questionnaire.

8. Fund Your Investment:

Transfer the funds for your DST investment to the Qualified Intermediary’s escrow account. The QI will manage the funds until the acquisition of the DST property is complete.

9. Closing Process:

Once the DST offering reaches its funding goal, the QI will facilitate the closing process. The property will be acquired by the DST, and you will receive your ownership interest.

10. Ongoing Management:

While DSTs offer passive ownership, you should still stay informed about the performance of the property and the DST itself. Regular updates from the sponsor and your QI can help you track your investment’s progress.

Conclusion

Investing in a Delaware Statutory Trust can be an excellent way to gain exposure to real estate without the responsibilities of property management. However, it’s essential to approach this investment with due diligence, thorough research, and the guidance of qualified professionals. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can navigate the process of purchasing a DST and potentially benefit from the advantages it offers as a real estate investment vehicle. Always remember that all investments carry some level of risk, and it’s crucial to make informed decisions that align with your financial goals and risk tolerance.

Voss Real Estate Advisors

October 18, 2023

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