How to invest in real estate through a 1031 exchange

Real estate investment can be a great way to build wealth and generate passive income. One strategy you may want to consider is a 1031 exchange, which allows you to defer paying taxes on your capital gains when selling a property and reinvesting the proceeds in another. In this article, we’ll explain what a 1031 exchange is, how it works, and the benefits of using one to invest in real estate. 


What Is a 1031 Exchange?


A 1031 exchange is an Internal Revenue Code (IRC) provision that enables investors to swap out their investment properties without having to pay taxes on their capital gains to invest in short term rentals. The exchange must meet certain criteria in order for the IRS to consider it valid and provide tax deferment. It’s important to understand all of the guidelines before getting started with a 1031 exchange as even minor errors can mean that your transaction won’t qualify for tax deferral. 


How Does a 1031 Exchange Work? 


In order for an exchange to qualify as “like-kind,” both properties must be held as investments or used in business or trade. This means that primary residences do not qualify but rental homes and commercial buildings do, provided they are both being held as investments. Additionally, the replacement property must be of equal or greater value than the property being sold – otherwise you will have a taxable gain on any amount that exceeds its value. 


Once you have identified your desired replacement property, there are several steps you’ll need to take: 


  • Notify your lender of an intent to conduct a 1031 exchange if necessary; 


  • Identify potential replacement properties within 45 days; 


  • Close on the sale of your relinquished property;


  • Receive funds from closing on your relinquished property through an approved intermediary (or Qualified Intermediary); 


  • Close on the purchase of your new replacement property within 180 days; and 


  • Report all transactions related to the exchange on IRS Form 8824 at tax time.  


Benefits of Investing Through a 1031 Exchange 


The primary benefit of using 1031 exchanges is that investors can defer paying taxes on their capital gains from the sale of an investment property if they reinvest those proceeds into another “like-kind” asset within 180 days after closing. This allows investors to use 100% of their gains towards purchasing another investment instead of losing some of it in taxes – resulting in more equity down the line. Additionally, by exchanging up – i.e., buying more expensive properties through exchanging – investors may also maximize their depreciation deductions over time and reduce their degree of risk versus investing solely with cash upfront purchases.  


Investing in real estate can be complicated but it doesn’t have to be. A 1031 exchange offers significant tax advantages while allowing you to continue building wealth by investing in larger and more expensive properties over time – making it well worth considering as part of your overall portfolio strategy!

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