Five Reasons to Exchange



A story about Appreciation, Depreciation, Cash Flow, Diversification and Tax Deferral

If an investor bought an apartment building for $100,000 in 1975 and it is now valued at $1.8M dollars, the property has appreciated significantly and is now worth eighteen times what it was in 1975. Clearly, this was a great investment. But, like all investments, one should analyze whether it is now better to hold or to divest the asset.

The apartment building is currently owned free and clear of debt. It has been owned for more than 27.5 years so it is fully depreciated and no longer eligible for annual depreciation deductions on the investor’s tax return. Reviewing the cash-flow, after property taxes, maintenance, and insurance, it produces net rental income of about $3,000 per month.

$36,000 per year on an investment property worth $1.8M amounts to 2% annual income on the investment. However, the original $100,000 investment has grown by 1800% and there is now $1.8 million dollars’ worth of equity tied up in one asset. Since interest rates are at historic lows, what better time than now, when property values are lower than they were a few years ago, to unlock some of that equity and exchange, tax deferred, into one or more properties with greater income and long-term appreciation potential?

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