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1031 exchange benefits

1031 Exchange Benefits

As of Q4 2023, the national vacancy rate for all commercial property types in the United States sat at 9.2%, according to CBRE’s latest insights and research. This represents a slight decrease compared to the previous quarter and suggests a gradual improvement in the market after vacancy rates peaked closer to 10% in mid-2023.

With vacancy rates and other market factors moving favorably in the direction of owners, now may well be the time to start considering some investment options, like the 1031 exchange.

The 1031 exchange offers a route to defer capital gains taxes, giving you the financial flexibility you need. Discover how harnessing this investment strategy can diversify your portfolio as we reveal the top 1031 exchange benefits.

Key Takeaways

  • A 1031 exchange allows investors to defer capital gains taxes on real estate investments by reinvesting proceeds into ‘like-kind’ properties, subject to strict qualifying criteria and IRS timelines.
  • Reinvesting through a 1031 exchange increases an investor’s purchasing power and can improve cash flow by allowing the shift to properties with higher income potential or less management intensity.
  • Using a 1031 exchange eases estate planning, wealth accumulation, and portfolio diversification and can match real estate investments with personal financial goals and changing market conditions.

Understanding the 1031 Exchange: A Gateway to Tax Deferral

The 1031 exchange, named after Section 1031 of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code, is a powerful investment tool. It allows individuals or businesses to defer capital gains taxes on the sale of an investment property by reinvesting the proceeds in a ‘like-kind’ property. This important tax benefit allows the investor’s capital to remain untaxed, offering the reinvestment of more capital into new investments.

However, to qualify for this 1031 exchange, the properties involved must be ‘like-kind’ and held for investment purposes or business use. Moreover, strict deadlines govern the process, including:

  • 45-day window for identifying potential replacement properties
  • 180-day timeline to complete the purchase

The Financial Leverage of Deferring Capital Gains Taxes

The beauty of a 1031 exchange lies in the financial leverage it offers. By deferring capital gains taxes, investors avoid immediate tax payouts. This allows full use of their property’s equity to invest in properties with potentially higher returns, thus enhancing their investment value.

Boosting Purchasing Power

The effective interest-free loan created by deferring capital gains taxes boosts the purchasing power of investors. This increased buying power contributes to the potential for investors to upscale their real estate portfolio significantly. In turn, this can lead to remarkable capital gain and portfolio diversification.

Investors can defer capital gains tax and maximize their profits by strategically planning their investments.

Moreover, retaining more capital due to deferred capital gains taxes enables investors to provide larger down payments on replacement properties, which may lead to obtaining more favorable financing terms.

It’s important to note that while a 1031 exchange offers the benefit of deferring capital gains taxes, it does not eliminate them. Eventually, when the investor decides to sell their investment property without reinvesting in another ‘like-kind’ property, they will have to pay capital gains taxes that were deferred.

This tax obligation is postponed as long as the investor continues to use the 1031 exchange mechanism for subsequent real estate transactions. The deferred taxes become due upon the final sale, where the proceeds are not reinvested according to the 1031 exchange rules.

Amplifying Cash Flow

A 1031 exchange can also significantly improve an investor’s cash flow. It enables the switch from underperforming properties to those with better income-generating capabilities.

Exchanging into a commercial property with higher rent potential can immediately increase the investor’s cash flow from monthly or quarterly rental payments. This ability to reinvest the capital gains deferred from a 1031 exchange into properties with higher income potential is another key advantage of the 1031 exchange.

Advantages of Portfolio Diversification with 1031 Exchanges

Portfolio diversification through 1031 exchanges serves as a strategy for risk mitigation. It provides better protection against the volatility of a single commercial property or market.

Geographic Expansion

One portfolio diversification method is geographic expansion. This simply means spreading investments across different locations to reduce risk.

Investors can use unique market dynamics, economic growth potential, stability, and specific regional incentives when exploring real estate through a 1031 exchange in diverse regions.

Personal motivations like retirement planning, job relocations, or seeking more favorable market conditions can also be a driving force behind using a 1031 exchange for moving investment capital into different geographic locations.

By strategically selecting regions experiencing growth or offering particular tax advantages, investors can maximize the benefits of their 1031 exchanges. For instance, an area with a booming technology sector might offer long-term growth prospects, while another region with a new infrastructure project could be poised for a short-term boost in property values.

Furthermore, some investors might be influenced by lifestyle choices, opting to invest in areas where they envision living or retiring, matching their investment strategy with personal life goals.

The flexibility of the 1031 exchange thus caters to a wide range of investment objectives and personal preferences, allowing for a personalized approach to building a robust and resilient real estate portfolio.

Asset Allocation Strategies

1031 exchanges also support strategic portfolio diversification by allowing investors to add properties from different markets and asset classes. Investors can balance out their portfolios to guard against market fluctuations by tapping into various sectors, such as:

  • residential
  • commercial
  • retail
  • industrial real estate

This strategic allocation across diverse asset types can lead to a more resilient investment strategy. It can withstand economic downturns in specific sectors while capitalizing on growth in others.

Additionally, investors benefit from regional growth trends by spreading investments over a range of markets. They can also take advantage of demographic shifts, further optimizing their investment approach.

This allows the diversification of a commercial real estate (CRE) portfolio, providing a spread of risk and a potential for increased returns.

Estate Planning Perks and Wealth Accumulation

Another significant advantage of 1031 exchanges is their wealth accumulation and estate planning benefits. By deferring capital gains tax through successive 1031 exchanges, investors can accumulate wealth by reinvesting in larger, more diverse investment properties.

1031 exchanges can also be strategically used in estate planning to provide flexibility in managing and distributing investment properties to heirs. This strategy allows heirs to inherit the real estate at its current market value, which can erase the deferred taxes on the property’s increased value over the investor’s lifetime.

Simplifying Real Estate Management with Exchange Options

Investors can also simplify real estate management through 1031 exchanges. The exchanges can enable investors to trade less profitable or management-intensive properties for those with better returns or more passive management structures.

Transitioning to Managed Property

One way to simplify management is through transitioning to managed properties. Using a 1031 exchange, investors can consolidate multiple properties into one. This simplifies management and increases net rental income.

This transition can also increase their profits and alleviate management burdens. Passive investors may also benefit from a 1031 exchange by moving away from active property management to investments in assets managed by professional firms.

The Role of Delaware Statutory Trusts

Delaware Statutory Trusts (DSTs) are also key in simplifying real estate management. DSTs allow investors to own beneficial interests in professional-grade, large-scale real estate without direct management.

For instance, a dentist has accumulated wealth and owns several rental properties. Managing these properties requires time and effort that the dentist would prefer to invest in their practice. By participating in a DST, the dentist can exchange these properties for a share in a large commercial building managed by professionals, thus freeing up valuable time while reaping the benefits of real estate investment.

Investing in DSTs via a 1031 exchange offers several benefits, including:

  • Capital growth
  • Tax deferral
  • Enhanced financial outcomes
  • Passive income streams
  • Investment diversification

This opportunity is particularly beneficial for aging real estate investors looking to convert active investment real estate involvement into passive income streams, achieve investment diversification, and explore real estate investing.

The Impact of Depreciation Recapture on Your Exchange

Depreciation recapture can impact a 1031 exchange. It is a tax on the gain realized from the sale of depreciable property and can be deferred in a 1031 exchange.

In a 1031 exchange, the concept of depreciation allows property owners to account for the asset’s deterioration over time.

For instance, if an investor originally purchased a property for $1 million with a depreciation schedule of 27.5 years, they could write off approximately $36,364 per year as a non-cash expense.

When the property is sold, the IRS requires the investor to pay tax on the depreciation claimed, known as depreciation recapture. However, if the investor uses a 1031 exchange to reinvest the proceeds into a like-kind property, they can defer this tax liability.

The new property’s basis for depreciation starts anew, often at a higher value due to the reinvested equity, thereby resetting the depreciation schedule and continuing the deferral of taxes on the recaptured depreciation.

Aligning 1031 Exchanges with Investment Goals

Aligning 1031 exchanges with investment goals involves evaluating:

  • income stability
  • management intensity
  • market demand for a replacement property
  • personal circumstances and economic conditions

Using a 1031 exchange for moving from smaller to larger properties over time allows investors to compound the value of their initial investment. They can accumulate wealth without incurring capital gains tax.

Choosing replacement properties that contribute to portfolio diversification and that match with personal financial strategies improves the investor’s ability to meet long-term investment goals.

1031 exchanges provide the agility to swiftly reposition your real estate investment portfolio to adapt to changing personal circumstances or economic conditions, supporting ongoing investment objectives.

One More Benefit: Selling Your Commercial Real Estate to Point Acquisitions

When considering a 1031 exchange, the timing and reliability of the sale of your current commercial real estate are key. Selling your property to Point Acquisitions guarantees a competitive offer quickly, ensuring you don’t miss the strict deadlines set by the IRS for a 1031 exchange.

With Point Acquisitions, you can confidently move forward with your investment strategy, knowing that your relinquished property sale will be handled efficiently and effectively.


The 1031 exchange is a powerful financial tool that offers numerous benefits to real estate investors. From deferring capital gains taxes to boosting purchasing power, the benefits of a 1031 exchange are substantial. Enhancing cash flow, granting portfolio diversification, and assisting in estate planning further underscore its value.

The key to maximizing these benefits lies in strategic planning, understanding the rules, and aligning the process with investment goals. When executed correctly, this strategic maneuver becomes a catalyst for long-term growth and financial success. It preserves your wealth by postponing tax liabilities, allowing you to capitalize on market trends and scale your investments tax-efficiently.

The intricate dance of buying and selling within the stipulated timelines requires a keen eye and a solid grasp of the real estate market, making the 1031 exchange a favorite among savvy investors who know how to deal with the complexities of real estate investments.

Is it better to do a 1031 exchange or pay taxes?

It’s generally better to do a 1031 Exchange as it allows you to preserve your equity and invest the funds in new real estate with greater potential rather than paying taxes on the sale.

What are the cons of a 1031 exchange?

The cons of a 1031 exchange include complex tax documentation, adherence to standards and regulations, the need to choose an experienced, qualified intermediary, strict timelines, and the fact that some taxes may still apply.

Does a 1031 exchange save on taxes?

Yes, a 1031 exchange allows investors to defer paying capital gains tax on the profit they make from selling an investment property.

Why does someone do a 1031 exchange?

A 1031 Exchange allows you to preserve your equity, defer taxes, and reinvest the proceeds into new real estate with greater potential, keeping your equity working for you.

About The Author

Jesse Shemesh

With a wealth of experience in nurturing diverse commercial real estate investment portfolios across multiple markets, I actively engage in the development and execution of deals spanning all asset classes. My expertise lies in collaborating with strategic partners, including corporate real estate professionals, fund managers, developers, and investors, to source, identify, and entitle opportunities. At Point Acquisitions, we take pride in our unique, proprietary platform that specializes in property acquisitions, generating a steady stream of organic deal flow that sets us apart from the competition. As a seasoned professional in the real estate industry, I am dedicated to creating lasting partnerships and delivering exceptional results for all stakeholders.


Please note that Point Acquisitions is not a tax expert or tax advisor. The information on our blogs and pages is for general informational purposes only and should not be relied upon as legal, tax, or accounting advice. Any information provided does not constitute professional advice or create an attorney-client or any other professional relationship. We recommend that you consult with your tax advisor or seek professional advice before making any decisions based on the information provided on our blogs and pages. Point Acquisitions is not responsible for any actions taken based on the information provided on our blogs and pages.

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