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The Power of 1031 Exchange: Keep Your Equity Working for You!

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Boston 1031 Exchange

Real estate transactions have been moving at quite a pace and a large percentage of those sales have been structured as 1031 Exchanges, allowing sellers to defer substantial amounts of taxes otherwise due in the year of sale.

New investment opportunities become available, tax and financial objectives shift. Depending on your circumstances and goals, it may be a good time to re-assess, then reposition your portfolio utilizing a 1031 Tax Deferred Exchange. The 1031 permits an investor to defer the federal and state capital gains tax, depreciation recapture taxes, net investment tax and even some state-imposed non-resident withholding taxes. Upwards of 25-30% of your gain, that equates to thousands of dollars instantly saved and used to reinvest in new investment property through the Tax Deferred Exchange.

Here are 5 reasons to exchange:


There is a very good chance your property has appreciated in value, making it a great time to sell. A 1031 Exchange affords you the opportunity to preserve your equity, keep the proceeds you would have set aside to pay taxes and instead deploy the funds to the purchase of new real estate with greater potential. Keep your equity working for you!

Cash Flow

Your apartment, commercial or industrial building, condo, single family rental or other investment property may not be yielding the largest return. Rather than taking the time and personal funds to physically improve the property, hoping for a small increase in rents, consider selling it now and exchanging into new property which may be in a better location, allow more depreciation, generate higher rents, etc. This could immediately increase your cash flow.


Each year you are eligible to take depreciation deductions on your commercial/investment property until it is fully depreciated. It is a benefit to you at the time, but 25% of that depreciation is recaptured by the federal government when the property is sold. This tax can be deferred by completing a 1031 Exchange.

Diversifing Investments with Row houses


Many think that the IRS “like-kind” requirement forces taxpayers to exchange into the same type of property as they sold. Not true. A taxpayer can mix and match property types, as long as the property is held for productive use in a trade, business or for investment. Therefore, a taxpayer can sell a multi-family and purchase a vacation rental, or sell an apartment building and purchase commercial. Land and buildings, perpetual easements, leasehold, tenant-in-common (TIC) and Delaware Statutory Trust (DST) interests are all qualified properties for an Exchange.

In fact, you can sell one property and deploy the cash proceeds towards down payments on two or three replacements through a single exchange to grow your real estate portfolio, thereby hedging the investment risk inherent in a single property. Alternatively, you can consolidate funds from the sale of multiple properties and exchange for one larger investment purchase. A 1031 Exchange gives you opportunity to maximize your investments.

Estate Planning

Rather than sell a property outright, pay the 25-30% in taxes and have only the remaining funds for deposit into your low rate savings account to pass on to your heirs, you could exchange. If you are holding investment property that had been part of a 1031 Exchange, upon your death your heirs get the Stepped-up Basis. All the built-in gain disappears upon your death. What that means is that the value of the property at the date of death would pass through the estate to your heirs. If they decide to sell for that same appraised value, there would be no capital gain for them to owe tax on and the profits are theirs to do with what they wish… what a great benefit to pass on!

Why a Qualified Intermediary?

The IRS regulations state the taxpayer cannot have actual or constructive receipt of funds in between the sale and the purchase, and still get tax deferred treatment. The Qualified Intermediary (QI) is the neutral third party to structure the 1031 Exchange on behalf of the taxpayer. As the largest Qualified Intermedi¬ary in the country, investment owners and advisors depend on IPX1031 to help them realize the benefits of participating in an IRC Section 1031 Tax Deferred Exchange. Although the QI’s main focus is to actually facilitate the exchange and control funds between the sale and purchase, at IPX much of our role takes place prior to the exchange itself. We work in conjunction with clients, brokers, tax and legal advisors to guide them through the specifics of the Code, then apply a strategy to the taxpayer’s specific scenario.

With the current market moving as it is, an understanding of Section 1031 is essential to creating opportunities for investors looking for options to reposition assets, generate more cash flow and protect estates. Don’t “just pay the tax” because you think it’s the lowest it will ever be…keep your equity and let it work for you!

Patricia Flowers

Patricia Flowers

Published April 20, 2021

Patricia Flowers is Vice President with Investment Property Exchange Services, Inc. (IPX1031), the largest Qualified Intermediary in the nation. Patricia’s involvement spans the legal, financial, brokerage, tax and real estate communities, allowing her the distinct advantage of understanding multiple facets of the transaction. With more than 20 years of industry experience, her knowledge and expertise are invaluable. She provides strategy and guidance on 1031 to brokers and advisors for the benefit of investment property owners. This has resulted in thousands of successful Exchanges, preserving millions of dollars in equity for investors. Patricia was one of the first in the industry to receive the Certified Exchange Specialist (CES®) designation, demonstrating a high level of experience and knowledge that exceeds professional industry standards.