When you begin hunting down replacement properties for your 45 day list, it is important to keep in mind how much you need to reinvest while carrying out a tax deferred exchange. The IRS has a two-part requirement laid out for reinvestment with a 1031. The first one is that in order to defer all taxes you must purchase at least as much as your “net sale”, the contract price minus closing costs or the total left before any mortgage is paid off. The second one is that you must use all the “net proceeds” in your next purchase. This means that if there was a mortgage, subtract the mortgage that was paid off and the difference is your net proceed.
If you choose to take cash out or purchase less than what you sold, the unused proceeds will become taxable to the IRS. The proceeds that were reinvested in your exchange will remain sheltered from capital gains tax. You have an immense amount of freedom when it comes to allocation of your proceeds. Just because you sold a single-family home, doesn’t mean that you need to reinvest in another single-family home. A 1031 is also not necessarily a one to one process, it is the valuations that are the key. If you want to sell a single property and reinvest in multiple properties, you have the power to do so. Just remember that if you wish to defer all capital gains tax you will need to make sure that your reinvestment uses all of your proceeds.