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February 12, 2008

What is a 1031 Exchange, and is it right for your Center City condominium?

Filed under: General Real Estate,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 10:37 am

I am not a tax expert, nor do I pretend to be. In fact, the issues of a 1031 exchange kinda’ confuse me. However, I have been in MANY transactions where either the buyer or the seller have participated in such an exchange. The exchange is all done via paperwork, prior to, and at the settlement table. It does seem like a nice way to basically defer taxes due on the sale of a piece of real estate. If you are looking to sell and buy another piece of real estate in Philadelphia, or elsewhere, you might want to consider what a 1031 exchange can offer. Here is a little info on the topic, garnered from

In a typical transaction, the property owner is taxed on any gain realized from the sale. However, through a Section 1031 Exchange, the tax on the gain is deferred until some future date.
For more information, please visit, and find out if a “1031 exchange” is right for you and your Philadelphia condominium!

Section 1031 of the Internal Revenue Code provides that no gain or loss shall be recognized on the exchange of property held for productive use in a trade or business, or for investment. A tax-deferred exchange is a method by which a property owner trades one or more relinquished properties for one or more replacement properties of “like-kind”, while deferring the payment of federal income taxes and some state taxes on the transaction.

The theory behind Section 1031 is that when a property owner has reinvested the sale proceeds into another property, the economic gain has not been realized in a way that generates funds to pay any tax. In other words, the taxpayer’s investment is still the same, only the form has changed (e.g. vacant land exchanged for apartment building). Therefore, it would be unfair to force the taxpayer to pay tax on a “paper” gain.

The like-kind exchange under Section 1031 is tax-deferred, not tax-free. When the replacement property is ultimately sold (not as part of another exchange), the original deferred gain, plus any additional gain realized since the purchase of the replacement property, is subject to tax.

Q – What are the benefits of exchanging v. selling?

• A Section 1031 exchange is one of the few techniques available to postpone or potentially eliminate taxes due on the sale of qualifying properties.

• By deferring the tax, you have more money available to invest in another property. In effect, you receive an interest free loan from the federal government, in the amount you would have paid in taxes.

• Any gain from depreciation recapture is postponed.

• You can acquire and dispose of properties to reallocate your investment portfolio without paying tax on any gain.

Mark Wade
Prudential Fox and Roach REALTORS®
530 Walnut St., Suite 260 Philadelphia, PA 19106 

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