Helpful Buyer Info

1031 Exchanges Can Save You Taxes

1031 Exchanges Can Save You Taxes

What is a 1031 exchange?

Under section 1031 of the Internal Revenue Code, a real property owner can sell his property and then reinvest the proceeds in ownership of like-kind property and defer the capital gains taxes. To qualify as a like-kind exchange, property exchanges must be done in accordance with the rules set forth in the tax code and in the treasury regulations. The 1031 exchange can offer significant tax advantages to real estate buyers. Often overlooked, a 1031 exchange is considered one of the best-kept secrets in the Internal Revenue Code.

Who should consider a 1031 exchange?

If you have real property that will net you a gain upon sale (generally property that has been substantially depreciated for tax purposes and/or has appreciated in fair market value), then you are exactly the person who should consider a 1031 exchange.

There are 5 tax classes of property:

1) Property used in taxpayers trade or business.

2) Property held primarily for sale to customers.

3) Property which is used as your principal residence.

4) Property held for investment.

5) Property used as a vacation home.

Section 1031 applies to the first and fourth categories, and potentially the fifth category. Business use is defined as, “To hold property for productive use in trade or business.” Property retired from previous productive use in business can be qualifying property. Investment purpose defined as real estate, even if unproductive, held by a non-dealer for future use or increment in value is held for investment and not primarily for sale. Investment is the passive holding of property, for more than a temporary period, with the expectation that it will appreciate. Property held for sale in the immediate future is not held for investment.

What are the 1031 exchange rules?

The real property you sell and the real property you buy must both be held for productive use in a trade or business or for investment purposes and must be like-kind.

The proceeds from the sale must go through the hands of a qualified intermediary and not through your hands or the hands of one of your agents or else all the proceeds will become taxable.

All the cash proceeds from the original sale must be reinvested in the replacement property – any cash proceeds that you retain will be taxable.

The replacement property must be subject to an equal level or greater level of debt than the relinquished property or the buyer will either have to pay taxes on the amount of the decrease or have to put in additional cash funds to offset the lower level of debt in the replacement property.

Is There a 1031 Timeline I Have to Follow?

Yes, there are two “Periods” you have to follow exactly.

The Identification Period … Within 45 days of selling the relinquished property you must identify suitable replacement properties. This 45 day rule is very strict and is not extended should the 45th day fall on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday.

The Exchange Period … The replacement property must be received by the taxpayer within the “exchange period,” which ends within the earlier of . . . 180 days after the date on which the taxpayer transfers the property relinquished, or . . . the due date for the taxpayer tax return for the taxable year in which the transfer of the relinquished property occurs. This 180-day rule is very strict and is not extended if the 180th day should happen to fall on a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday.

Days on Market … Why do I Care?

Days on Market … Why do I Care?

Properties with great locations, perfect condition and priced at market value do not last on the market and thus their days on market are very short. You can use days on market (DOM)  statistics as a way of determining what the market (read that – buyers) think of any one of these three variables.  Typically, properties with a large DOM will command lower prices than a property with small DOM’s because buyers perceive the property as over priced or less desirable. DOM is often used when developing a pricing strategy. DOM can also be used as a “thermometer” to gauge the temperature of a housing market.That’s why you care about DOM.

Okay, so how is DOM figured?  In simple terms, DOM  is the number of days on the market that a property is “active” from the list date of the current listing. A home can be withdrawn from the market, a listing may expire or it may be taken “temporarily” off the market for completely valid reasons. The MLS stops counting days for any of the these reasons in addition to a property changing status to “under-agreement.” If a property then comes back on the market – BOM in MLS terms (a contract is voided for home inspection, financing, or some other reason) counting days resumes.

If a listing is taken off the market then comes back on the market more than 90 days later with a new MLS number  the DOM is reset to zero but the MLS continues counting days from the first (original) list date – called Property History. Agents used to cancel stale listings and put them on the next day with a different MLS number and buyers would think it was a “new” listing. But those days are over with the transparency of the internet … you can find out the true DOM easily.

In a buyer’s market, the DOM are generally higher because inventory takes longer to sell. In a seller’s market, the DOM are fewer.  In the current market conditions terrific homes in active price points are getting offers within 15 days.  Mediocre homes in those same price points are taking 30-180 days. And fixer-uppers/as-is/dated/bad location/overpriced homes in those same price points are taking much longer. There are currently 20 homes on the market in Metrowest that have DOM over a year, and one even has 1696 DOM (I hope that agent doesn’t need a paycheck).

Bottom line if you’re a seller, bringing a house to market it is vital that you bring it to market in the best condition possible, with good marketing and priced right. Anything less than that may put less money in your pocket.

Bottom line if you’re a buyer, pay attention to DOM and use it as a negotiating tool. Knowing it may put money in your pocket.

Seller Credits Explained … Can You Pay for Buyer’s  Closing Costs?

Seller Credits Explained … Can You Pay for Buyer’s Closing Costs?

In general, most underwriting guidelines allow for the seller to pay a buyer’s closing costs. However, no matter what you negotiate, the amount of the credit at the closing table cannot exceed the buyer’s actual costs.

The following guidelines currently apply:

Conventional financing:

  • 90.01% + 3% credit
  • 90% or less 6% credit

FHA financing

  • 6% credit

VA financing

  • 4% credit

 

A seller should not give money back to the buyer at closing for repairs, decorating allowance, new carpet, etc. A closing cost credit is the only way for the seller to give money to the buyer without affecting the purchase price.

If a concession falls outside of these parameters, then the underwriter will subtract the dollar figure from the purchase price and run the loan to value ratio. If the ratio now exceeds the threshold for the loan program, the buyer may need PMI or not qualify for the loan program.

If you have a relocation customer whose company is paying their closing costs, then the amount of the seller concession will be limited. The buyer can not be reimbursed twice.

Closing costs are all of the buyer’s one-time fees associated with obtaining their mortgage. It does include escrows and pre-paids.

Allowable Costs:

Points Tax Service Fee

Appraisal Underwriting & Processing Fees

Credit Report Municipal Lien

Attorney’s Fee Plot Plan

Title search Recording & Courier Fees

Flood Certification First year’s insurance binder

Title Insurance Tax, Insurance & PMI escrows

For More Detailed Information feel free to call or email Tom Coburn, William Raveis Mortgage Broker, mobile: 508-380-7975  email: tom.coburn@raveis.com

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