Refinancing Before and After a 1031 Exchange. What’s the Difference?

Refinancing before and after a 1031 exchange are viewed differently by the IRS. Refinancing immediately before a 1031 starts is a good way to get heartburn from the IRS. The IRS has an extreme dislike for refinancing before an exchange. Refinancing after a 1031 is a different story. In a refi after a 1031 you are not accessing gain, you are borrowing against equity in a property you are holding for productive use. Which is the whole point of a 1031.

A short disclaimer though. If the IRS thought you were a bad actor and wanted to get at you anyway, could they challenge a refi done immediately after a 1031? Sure, but those instances are hard to prove and rare. Have your ducks and rationales in a row and wait until after the 1031 is complete. And always talk to your tax professional.

What is a Reverse Exchange?

The statutory order of a 1031 is this: a sale followed by a purchase of investment real estate. You can’t exchange into something you already own, and you can’t exchange into construction on real estate you already own without a different approach.

In a reverse exchange, the qualified intermediary forms a holding entity called the EAT (exchange accommodating title holder). This EAT takes title to the lot you want to build on. The property is under your control, but you’re not on the title yet. Then you construct the building on that property. Now you complete your sale if you haven’t already, and you “purchase” the lot and building owned by the EAT for exactly what was paid/spent on it. By doing this, you are able to maintain the integrity of your exchange and also purchase the exact right replacement property.

Timing, complexity, financing, and cost are all the issues you’ve got to wade through. But reverses can be a pretty powerful tool to get you right where you want to be. Nonetheless, it might be worth talking to your tax expert about structuring a more straightforward 1031 exchange.

Multi-Member LLCs and 1031s?

When it comes to 1031s, it is all about whose name is on the original tax return. This goes for LLCs as well as individuals. Multi-member LLCs follow the same rules as everyone else. The name on the original tax return must be the name on the title of the replacement property. If an LLC is multi-member, they probably file taxes as a partnership. Each LLC can sell the property it owns and do a 1031 to buy a replacement property. If you find a replacement property that is big enough, then each LLC could sell and buy a % of the larger replacement as a tenant in common.

Example – each LLC owns a property that is worth $500,000. They could both sell and 1031 each into a 50% tenant in common interest of a property worth $1 million.

Once the LLCs have completed their exchanges, they could simply remain as tenants in common. Or could work with their accountants to dissolve one or both and leave the property in one LLC with the same membership interest allocation.

2 Things You Should Know About a Reverse Exchange

In simple terms, a reverse exchange is a 1031 exchange where the replacement property is purchased before the original investment property is sold. But they aren’t quite as simple as a 1031 exchange. It should be said before anything else, find a qualified intermediary (QI) before beginning the process.

1.   Financing can be a hassle if you are in need of funds for the purchase until you sell. In a reverse, the QI takes title to the new property in the EAT (Exchange Accommodating Title holder). So the loan has to be made to the EAT but guaranteed by you.

2.   The Reverse is relatively expensive because a holding company must be created to hold the replacement property until the exchange is complete.

Because of its complexity, taking some time with your QI to get fully educated on the nuances of the reverse will be well worth your while. It is always wise to check with your tax expert before making any moves towards a 1031.

What’s in it For Me?

If you are thinking of carrying out a 1031 exchange, you might be wondering, “What’s in it for me?” A 1031 has the power to transform your real estate investing strategy. More specifically, a 1031 offers you a chance to defer capital gains taxes and get your proceeds working for you. In order to qualify for a 1031, your intent must to hold the property for investment purposes only. What you will find is that as you hold your property for investing, it will also hopefully be accruing appreciation. With more equity to toy around with you are on your way to leveraging your first investment property into something better.

Once you are ready to exchange your first property, it is time to get imaginative. A 1031 gives you immense freedom when finding a replacement property. While primary residences, personal property, and inventory (fix and flips) are not allowed with a 1031, all other types of investment real estate are on the table. You can even leverage your first property into multiple replacement properties. A 1031 offers you a real chance to snowball wealth and build your fortune.

Which Florida Cities Are Hot Right Now?

It has been a good year for Florida. With northern buyers drawn to Florida by the 2018 tax plan, the state is booming at the moment. But which cities in the Sunshine State are especially growing right now?

1.   Sarasota

Home to the fastest growing luxury housing market in the United States. Prices in Sarasota’s luxury housing market grew by 21% in June when compared to one year ago. Half of all luxury houses in the city sold within 157 days.

2.   Naples

Home sales in the city of Naples rose 11 percent year over year in January. A month in which national sales dropped over four percent. Fun fact: the Naples zip code of 34102 is ranked as one of the fifteenth richest zip codes in the United States.

3.   Fort Lauderdale

According to Forbes, Fort Lauderdale has become a city of choice for savvy investors of commercial and residential real estate. The city is currently in the midst of a building boom. Some 7,000 residential units were under construction or approved in 2017.

What Are the 2 Timelines in a 1031 Exchange?

There is a very specific timeline that the IRS lays out for your exchange calendar that must be followed to the letter. From the day that you close the sale of your investment property, it is important to know that there are two periods for you to respect: the identification period and the exchange period.

1.   45-Day Identification Period

The 45-day identification period is the time in which an exchanger must either identify potential replacement properties or take title to their new property and finish the process. However, at the minimum, one must have a list that shows the properties that are being considered for purchase. On day 46, the list is finalized and cannot be changed. Whatever is on that list is there for the remainder of the exchange period. Make every effort not only to get into contract during the 45-day period but also to close and purchase a replacement property or properties.

2.   180-Day Exchange Period

Concurrently, with the 45-day period is the total exchange period of 180 days. From the day that you close the sale of your property, you have 180 days to complete the process. The purchase has to be one or more of the properties that are on your 45-day list. If you start your exchange in such a way that you’re going to run up against your tax return deadline prior to the 180 days, file an extension and you’ll still get the full 180 days for your exchange period.

While these strict timelines might seem intimidating, there is no need to worry. There is no penalty for starting and not finishing a 1031 exchange. If you start a 1031 exchange but do not complete it because of a 45-day issue, or any other reason, simply do not report the exchange on the next tax return. Let the time periods motivate, rather than intimidate you.

2 Ways to Defer Capital Gains Tax in Real Estate Investing

While no one enjoys taxes, we should never avoid payment of any taxes rightfully owed. I enjoy driving on paved roads, going to national parks, and being able to enjoy all the things that my taxes help fund. Nonetheless, there is absolutely no reason to pay taxes you don’t legally owe. It is your right to follow the rules to eliminate unnecessary taxes. Supreme Court Justice Learned Hand once said, “There is nothing sinister in arranging one’s affairs so as to keep taxes as low as possible. Everybody does that, rich and poor and they all do right. Nobody owes a public duty to pay more than the law demands. Taxes are enforced exactions and not voluntary contributions.”

So, what are some ways that you can defer payment of capital gains taxes?

1.   A 1031 Exchange

One way to defer capital gains tax while investing in real estate is to carry out a 1031 exchange. A 1031 gives you the ability to exchange one investment home for another without the burden of capital gains tax. While there are strict requirements all can be easily met.

2.   Qualified Opportunity Zone

Opportunity Zones are new and still very much in a growing process. That being said, if you have always wanted to invest in Guam or Puerto Rico, there has never been a better way. Investments are made through Qualified Opportunity Funds and subject to numerous tax benefits. The island of Puerto Rico is considered a Qualified Opportunity Zone and is essentially a tax-free place to invest. For a map of qualifying areas look here.

While it is easy to get excited over the prospect of deferring tax, always make sure to consult with your local tax expert before making any big decisions.

Why is the Housing Market Heating up?

The housing market is booming in many parts of the country. According to MarketWatch, buyer traffic across the country has been on the rise. But why are buyers scrambling to buy? The impending possibility of rising mortgage rates has many buyers looking to purchase while they can. Low inventory has led to frenzied buying in many areas where affordable housing is scarce. The 2018 tax reform also helped to set up states like Florida as favorable places to relocate. In fact, 6 of the nation’s fastest growing metro areas are in the Sunshine State. With its favorable tax environment and beautiful weather, it is no mystery as to why many are choosing to flee the cold and relocate in Florida.