Susan decided it was time to increase her investment potential. She planned to sell the 2-bedroom condo she had been renting to tenants for ten years and purchase a triplex or fourplex through a 1031 exchange. In compliance with 1031 exchange regulations, she engaged a qualified intermediary (“QI”) to handle the funds of the condo and the eventual acquisition of the replacement property.
The condo sold for the anticipated price and the transaction went smoothly. Susan then had 45 days in her identification period to identify three potential replacement properties. She found two fourplexes and a triplex that she believed offered her the investment opportunity she desired. Before the 45-day deadline, she notified her QI of her intentions and began the process of acquiring the first property.
Due to competition for the first property and unforeseen circumstances with the second property, Susan was unable to close on either of her first two replacement property choices. By the time Susan knew the first two properties would not be options, there was not enough time remaining in the 180-day exchange period to acquire the third property. Susan had to cancel her exchange and pay the taxes on the capital gains she earned from the sale of her condo. After paying taxes, Susan did not have the cash she had expected and could no longer afford a triplex, much less a fourplex, without obtaining a greater loan amount, decreasing her income potential.
How could Susan have ensured a successful exchange?
Delaware Statutory Trusts (“DSTs”) offer 1031 exchange investors a potential backup plan; a way to ensure (as long as the DST is open) 100% of their exchange funds are invested in a replacement property rather than taxed for capital gains.
Put your backup plan in place by identifying a property within a DST as your third potential replacement property during your identification period. If you can’t acquire your first two properties or you have remaining funds to invest, you can purchase beneficial interests in the identified DST, which qualifies you as owning a direct interest in the DSTs real estate, satisfying the 1031 exchange requirements.
IF… You’ve acquired a replacement property, but you’re left with extra cash. Perhaps you could not find a replacement property for just the right price to use all of the income from the relinquished property. Maybe the closing costs amounted to less than expected. Whatever the case, if you found yourself with taxable boot, you can still purchase interests in a DST.
IF… You find yourself like Susan and cannot acquire your identified replacement properties within the 180-day exchange period deadline, you can still purchase interests in a DST as long as there is a position left large enough for your exchange funds.
Interest in real estate owned by a DST can be acquired in as little as three to five days. Your identification period deadline may inhibit your ability to identify a property you know for certain you will be able to acquire within the 180-day timeframe. If you identify a DST (assuming there is still enough available in the DST) as a potential replacement property, you have a backstop to ensure your exchange closes before it’s too late.
Investing in real estate owned by a DST can be acquired for as little as $25,000-$100,000. You may have extra funds from the sale of your relinquished property that does not amount to enough to purchase a second worthwhile replacement property. When you have a DST identified as a potential replacement property, you have a backstop to ensure you can use all of your exchange funds to acquire investment-grade real estate.
Now you can sell your investment properties that have appreciated and lock in the profits without worrying. Don’t put your 1031 exchange at risk; put a Delaware Statutory Trust backup plan in place.