1031 Exchanges: A Hidden Opportunity In Plain Sight

If you’re like most property owners, you either don’t know about 1031 exchanges or have the wrong ideas about them. Imagine you thought you had the right idea about them and you did not. This a real problem with many investors and their teams.

It gets worse. If you don’t know enough or have the wrong ideas about a 1031 exchange, you are probably missing the Hidden Opportunities in plain sight.

The simple fact is this: if you don’t do them often, you probably should consult a professional who does. Even better, hire an Intermediary that provides education to you and your investment team.

In this post, we’ll take a look at:

  1. The Concept
  2. How do you Qualify
  3. How do you find the Hidden Opportunities
  4. How do you take advantage of it
  5. Next steps

1. What is the concept?

Here’s a simple way of thinking about the 1031 exchange. It’s like playing Monopoly® for real. It’s not about getting out of your taxes!
Think about the goal of Monopoly®…to build wealth by adding more properties that produce more income.

For example, if you take your 4 “Green Houses” you own on “New York Avenue” and “exchange” them for the “Red Hotel” you will increase your income in the game from a low of $16 to a high of $1,000 every time someone lands on your property. Now imagine you do that with real property!!

In the real world, you would have to sell each of your 4 houses and pay taxes on the profit of each sale before you could combine the money to buy the larger property. This is known as Capital Gains taxes. There are also other taxes like Depreciation Recapture as well. The issue is that the taxes would reduce the amount of money you have to buy the larger property, thus reducing the amount of income you can make.

The 1031 Exchange is a section of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC). It allows you to indefinitely defer your taxes on the capital gains (or “profit”) of the real estate sale, by “exchanging” qualified properties for others of the same value and investment or business usage. In the Monopoly® analogy, the 4 houses combined are of equal value to the hotel and all are used for investment (collecting rent).

2. How do you Qualify?

You qualify to take advantage of this if you are a U.S. Taxpayer. Foreign Nationals may qualify if they take certain steps well in advance. They should contact their tax advisor for details. If needed, I can recommend several for you. This information is provided by The Private Exchange Group, Inc. as a general guide to understanding 1031 exchanges only. The Private Exchange Group, Inc. does not give legal or tax advice. You should contact your attorney, accountant or other financial advisor for legal and/or tax advice.

Any of your real estate properties qualify if you use them for business or investment. If you are “flipping” properties or using them personally beyond the requirements for investment you have to pay your taxes from the sale as they are not qualified for a 1031 Exchange.

3. How do you find the Hidden Opportunities?

It’s simple. Take a look at your portfolio. Ask yourself some of the following questions:

  1. Are your real estate holdings performing to your standards?
  2. Do you want to get more return out of them?
  3. Would you like to move them to different areas, types, sizes?
  4. Would you like to diversify or consolidate?
  5. Do you want to use leverage to increase the income of your assets?
  6. Do you own land and would like to exchange it for something that produces a monthly income?These are just some suggestions to get the conversation going. The 1031 Exchange can allow you to make changes to your real estate investment portfolio while helping to preserve the equity you’ve built up.

4. How do you take advantage of it?
After you analyze your portfolio, you may find the need to make some changes. If so, here are some steps to consider:

  1. Contact your real estate broker
  2. Contact an Intermediary.
  3. Have a Strategy meeting. You need to have a clear understanding of the 1031 rules and process relative to your goals.
  4. Decide what properties you would like to exchange into.
  5. Hire the Intermediary.
  6. Put your properties to be exchanged on the market

5. Next Steps

  1. Analyze your portfolio and look for hidden opportunities to increase and/or strengthen it.
  2. Educate yourself and your professional team on the 1031 exchange. Please don’t let yourself or others think that you know the concept and that is enough. In MOST cases it is not. If you are not actively doing this, I HIGHLY recommend you start from the beginning and let an Intermediary walk you through the rules and process relative to YOUR situation. The 15 minute call/meeting will be well worth the time. Please remember that this is simple until it’s not. A simple misunderstanding can cost lost equity opportunities, large tax bills, time and potential income or more.
[shareaholic app=”share_buttons” id=”12511489″]

Impact Glass – More than Just Hurricane Protection

When living in south Florida, there are a few things of which you can be certain. One of them is that our winter weather is great and sure beats the cold and snow that’s part of so much of our country for 3-6 months every year.  The second is that over time, our summer weather will include some very heavy storms and on occasion, a hurricane.

Working in real estate, sellers and home owners often ask me, “What are the best ways to enhance the value of my home?”  Many times my answer is to do little in the way of updating the home as more often than not it doesn’t increase the property value and I hate to see my clients put good money into bad. The one suggestion for all upscale properties that I make is, if you don’t have impact windows throughout the home, this is one investment they should consider.

Impact windows that meet current building codes are critical underwriting components for luxury home buyers, as most domestic high net worth insurance companies are reluctant to provide hurricane coverage on luxury homes that do have a qualified windstorm protection system.

The payback on you​r impact window investment is both obvious and subtle. First, there are substantial savings for having impact windows on your home, especially since the hurricane insurance rates have skyrocketed over the past several years.

Another, but more subtle reason is that a growing number of buyers of luxury homes are coming to the Palm Beaches to buy a second home​, where they’ll spend the winter months enjoying golf, tennis and ​our beautiful beaches. These buyers of exclusive properties go north during our hurricane season, and they aren’t interested in being bothered to secure their homes by having to put up storm shutters. Impact windows are the trouble free way to solve that problem.

I mentioned savings, and to put that reference into context, Mark Montgomery with the Celedinas Insurance Group told me of a recent situation in the Palm Beach market where Citizens Insurance, the primary carrier in south Florida, did not renew a windstorm policy with an $8000 annual premium because the home in question exceeded their new $1-million policy limit.

The owners were able to get coverage from Lloyds of London at an annual cost of $30,000. If the home had approved shutters or impact glass protection, they would have qualified for a preferred luxury home insurance policy at an annual cost of about $10-$12,000. That potential $20,000 annual savings alone would have paid for the cost of the installation within just a few years.
The last reason has to do with increasing the sellability of the home.  Buyers especially after the hurricane season of 2005, are much more in tune to hurricane impact windows and protection. It’s usually one of the first questions a buyer asks when previewing a home for the first time.  Many buyers over the years have even instructed me in doing a property search for them to rule out any homes that don’t have hurricane impact protection.
[shareaholic app=”share_buttons” id=”12511489″]