How Long Do I Need to Hold My Real Estate to Successfully Complete a1031 Exchange?

How Long Do I Need to Hold My Real Estate to Successfully Complete a1031 Exchange?

This blog was originally published over eight years ago and is still one of the most popular questions.  The laws on 1031 have not changed, so please read carefully and feel free to contact Midland 1031 with additional questions at 239-333-1031.

Now that the sales of Real Estate have ticked up, the question becomes can I 1031 Exchange new properties held less than one year? The big question the IRS asks is intent. What was your intent with the property, and do you intend to make this a long-term hold? Unfortunately for us, the IRS does not tell us exactly how long to hold property to qualify for 1031 exchange treatment. The IRS tells us that they do not want the property to be exchanged if it is held for resale. So basically, they are saying if you buy a piece of property and you put a sign up in the front yard, this will not qualify, and then you buy another property and flip that one.

Again it goes back to intent. If properties are held for speculation, they can qualify for 1031 exchange treatment. So if I buy a property on foreclosure and fix it up (which takes 3 months), and then I list it and sell it, and I want to buy a long-term rental, can I do a 1031? I have doubled my money on the sale of the foreclosure, and my intent is to keep my money in real estate. Again the answer is grey, but I would consider discussing an exchange as long as the client holds the property long-term. I would say the long-term is at least 2 years.

The reason I say the long term is 2 years plus, is that there is a recent Revenue Procedure discussing holding property for 2 years. That makes me think that is what the IRS is thinking. Typically if your property fits perfectly into the 1031 box (say a pure rental), I would say 1 year is long enough to hold a property for an exchange, again as long as you intend to stay in real estate and not cash out. The intent of the tax code is to incentivize long-term real estate investing.

Feel free to contact Midland 1031 with any questions at (239) 333-1031.

For information regarding real estate investments within an IRA or other retirement account, contact Midland Trust at 239-333-1032 or visit

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