By: Jason Salmon, Senior Vice President; Managing Director of Real Estate Analytics, Kay Properties and Investments, LLC
1031 Exchange Alternative #1 — Utilizing a 1031 exchange into DST 1031 properties:
Delaware Statutory Trust (DST) real estate has been a great way for investors to participate in passive, professionally managed real estate for their 1031 exchanges since the IRS enacted Revenue Ruling 2004-86 which effectively blessed the use of a properly structured DST 1031 investment as “like kind” for the purposes of a 1031 exchange. The DST investment structure of real estate ownership has given investors the potential to diversify across several property sectors, geographic locations and with various managers. For those that wish to focus on areas of life like family, hobbies and travel instead of dealing with tenants or just having to be constantly concerned with the value of hands-on real estate and the best time to sell, DSTs can potentially be the right thing at the right time.
1031 Exchange Alternative #2 — Utilizing a Qualified Opportunity Zone Fund in lieu of a 1031 Exchange:
Qualified Opportunity Zone Funds are relatively recent investment vehicles whereby investors can place capital gains (within a certain timeline of selling) into real estate investments. Through the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, certain areas that have been mandated as Opportunity Zones according to the IRS as “an economically distressed community where new investments, under certain conditions, may be eligible for preferential tax treatment.” It should be noted though, that Opportunity Zones are not necessarily used as a 1031 exchange, but rather another option in the case of a failed 1031 exchange or a potential tax-deferral tool for other investments with gains such as stock or the sale of a business.
1031 Exchange Alternative #3 — The 721 Exchange or UPREIT:
Many investors that want to do a 1031 exchange, but don’t want the hassle of day-to-day management, and/or want diversification–and with a working knowledge of Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) ask “why can’t I invest in these vehicles for my 1031 exchange?” Because of very specific guidelines for what is considered “like-kind” real estate, REITs are not eligible for 1031 exchange. However, through an UPREIT transaction which stands for Umbrella Partnership Real Estate Investment Trust, it can potentially be possible through a series of steps. With a 721 exchange, instead of a 1031 exchange, investors may exchange property for OP or Operating Partnership units in the REIT. This might be easier said than done since the REIT would have to want to bring the relinquished property in and all parties would have to agree on terms, but it’s possible. Investors should also consider whether the REIT is public or private and the likelihood that they would have interest in conducting another tax-deferred exchange going forward since that would not be possible once this type of transaction has been made.