■ Taking advantage of Opportunity Zones when selling real estate can save you thousands.
■ This tax incentive allows investors to reduce taxable gains and possibly obtain tax-free growth if they re-invest capital gains into real estate within designated OZ.
■ In order to qualify, a taxpayer must invest in an OZ property within 180 days of recognizing a capital gain from the sale or disposition of property for cash.
■ The capital gain can be from the sale of stock, real, or personal property. Only the gain amount needs to be re-invested, not the entire sales proceeds (like a 1031 exchange).
■ The gain on the sale is deferred until you divest of the OZ property, or until December 31, 2028, (whichever comes sooner).
■ If you hold the OZ investment for 5 years, you qualify for an increased basis of 10% on the deferred gain.
■ If you hold the OZ investment for 7 years, you get an additional 5%-increased basis on the deferred gain. This means you only pay tax on 85% of the gain, which you have not paid for 7 years! Therefore, you get to decrease the taxable gain amount AND defer the tax bill to boot.
■ It gets better!! The biggest benefit is that if you hold the OZ investment for 10 years, you never pay any capital gains on the OZ investment! That's right, if you keep it 10 years, you get a stepped-up basis to the market value on the day you sell or dispose of the OZ investment. However, you must remember two important points:
a) you still pay taxes on at least 85% of the original gain amount, and
b) any operating income or net cash flow from the OZ investment along the way is taxable.
Opportunity Zones (OZ) investments were created under the recent passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and essentially, designed to help states jumpstart communities that historically have struggled economically. In theory, they have a two-prong benefit; help revitalize dilapidated areas and stimulate the economy with development and jobs.
This tax incentive allows investors to reduce taxable gains and possibly obtain tax-free growth if they re-invest capital gains into real estate within designated Opportunity Zones. This strategy can produce incredible benefits, but the window of opportunity is relatively short (especially if you consider the full development cycle), so you won't want to sit on the sideline for very long.
The provision provides two stages of tax benefits for those who invest in such a Zone:
Tax deferral and incremental step-up in basis for funds used to purchase a property in an Opportunity Zone, resulting in partial capital gain exclusion. Complete capital gain exemption for the new long-term investment interest in OZ.
WHO: The law mandates that tax incentives are available to Corporations and Partnerships holding at least 90% of their assets in OZ. The partnership or corporation must be organized for the specific purpose of being an investment vehicle in OZ, and it must be established after December 31, 2019.
WHAT: The capital gain amount the taxpayer wants to defer must be invested in an already-existing rental property or rehab property to ultimately be used as a rental property. The property must be acquired after 12/31/2019, be substantially improved, and the adjusted basis in the property must have increased while in the hands of the LLC.
HOW: In order to qualify, a taxpayer must invest in an OZ property within 180 days of recognizing a capital gain from the sale or disposition of property for cash. The beauty of this legislation is two-fold:
The capital gain can be from the sale of stock, real, or personal property.
Only the gain amount needs to be re-invested, not the entire sales proceeds (like a 1031 exchange). For example, if you sell a stock for $200,000 and have a capital gain of $50,000, you only need to invest the $50,000 in OZ property in order to take advantage of the tax incentive.
WHY: Once the investment in the OZ property is made, there are four benefits a taxpayer can take advantage of:
The gain on the sale is deferred until you divest of the OZ property, or until December 31, 2028, (whichever comes sooner). This is a benefit right out of the gate and, practically speaking, is an interest-free loan from the IRS. You don't have to pay the tax for possibly several years.
If you hold the OZ investment for 5 years, you qualify for an increased basis of 10% on the deferred gain. Another way of saying this is you reduce the taxable gain by 10%.
If you hold the OZ investment for 7 years, you get an additional 5%-increased basis on the deferred gain. This means you only pay tax on 85% of the gain, which you have not paid for 7 years! Therefore, you get to decrease the taxable gain amount AND defer the tax bill to boot.
It gets better!! The biggest benefit is that if you hold the OZ investment for 10 years, you never pay any capital gains on the OZ investment! That's right, if you keep it 10 years, you get a stepped-up basis to the market value on the day you sell or dispose of the OZ investment.
Clay, a real estate investor, owned a single-family rental. He decided he wanted to sell the property and invest into an OZ property OR an OZ 'fund' (the Fund concept is a topic for another article here).
Clay purchased the rental for $250,000 in 2010 and was able to sell the property for $500,000 in February 2018. For simplicity's sake, let's say his gain was $250,000.
NOTE: Remember, Clay only has to re-invest the capital gain, and this could be capital gain on any asset. It could be capital gain on selling Amazon stock, gain from the sale of a business, or real estate. Within 180 days after the sale, Clay invested the entire $250,000 from the sale into an LLC (taxed as a partnership) with the express purpose of buying, rehabbing and renting multi-family housing units in an Opportunity Zone.
Clay is able to defer the gain of $250,000 on the sale of his commercial building until
1) he sells the partnership interest, or
Let's assume Clay never sells the property or his partnership interest, so he recognizes the gain on his 2028 tax return. However, he held the property for at least 7 years, so his basis in the original building has increased by 15% or $37,500. Not only does Clay get to save tax on the increased basis, but he also DIDN'T HAVE TO PAY TAX ON IT FOR 8 YEARS!
It gets better, though! Because the OZ partnership rehabbing of the rental units went well, his initial investment of $500,000 is now worth over $1 million, and if he keeps the investment for at least ten years, (presumably mid-2030 under this example) he will never pay any capital gains on the partnership investment! Did we mention Clay has been receiving income from the rentals all along, as well?
Don't forget to tell your accountant that you invested in a qualified opportunity zone, and make sure they are up to speed on the strategy and process. Once you make the investment in the land or fund, you will make an election on your personal 1040 tax return for the year you would have reported the capital gain. In the example above, Clay would make the election on his 2021 return filed sometime during 2022. Here are two important "takeaways":
You need to make the investment now! You only have 180 days from the time you incur the capital gain to purchase a property in an OZ or buy into an OZ fund. For now, the capital gain is deferred until December 31, 2028, which means you need to get your 7 years started now to qualify for the partial gain exclusion to the fullest extent possible.
If you want to save on taxes when selling an appreciated asset and want to learn more, the IRS has posted some interesting FAQs to help taxpayers take advantage of this amazing opportunity. The good news is, it's easier than you may think, and it's certainly much simpler than qualifying for a 1031 exchange.
How to Get Started
Schedule a Complimentary Consultation
If you are interested in learning more about Opportunity Zones and whether they may be a good 1031 Exchange option for you, the next step is to contact us to schedule a complimentary consultation. This can be done either via phone or an in-person meeting at our office. Either way, we would be pleased to educate you further on Opportunity Zones, discuss our process and assist you in selecting the offerings that will best position you to meet your objectives. We have multiple properties available for your consideration.
Does your apartment building need repairs in order to sell? Would you like to maximize the value of your apartment building when you sell? You can obtain a loan to complete the work and not make any payments until you sell. No loan payments and the loan is not due until you sell. Get "top dollar" for your property with no out of pocket expenses. Click Here for more info.
"Mike helped us purchase an upleg property last year and helped us exchange one of our other properties this year. We've put our investments in a position to not only increase our net worth but also show a better return on our invested dollar. We plan on using his expertise in the future to expand our portfolio again"
"As a full time real estate investor I know I'm in good hands with Mike handling my transactions. He has listed and sold both apartment buildings and single family homes for me. I know I can always count on him to close escrow, even with the more difficult ones."
"Mike sold my two four plexs in Buena Park and then helped me find a duplex for my daughter in Orange. I was so happy with his care and attention to my needs that I asked him to help another daughter sell her property."
"I couldn't be more happy with Mike as my agent. He has helped me purchase two four plexs and I am currently in escrow on another four plex. With the current market conditions of low inventory and multiple buyers for the same property it helps to have an agent who is recognized by his colleagues as someone who will get the transaction closed smoothly. I have been able to beat out other buyers for properties because of his credibility with other agents. If it were not for this reputation, then I would not have been able to purchase the properties I have."
"I called Mike because I had sold my apartment building and needed an upleg to complete my exchange. He was able to find me 10 units in Tustin that were taken back by the lender in foreclosure. Without his follow through during the escrow period the escrow probably would not have closed. I still speak to him periodically just to get an update on the current market conditions and to enjoy a laugh with him."
"Mike Lembeck is truly the real deal
I thought I knew it all after 32 years of buying and selling. . .
"I can tell you that Mike is truly the real deal. I have had nothing but good experiences with them. I have bought and sold a lot of property and thought I knew how to do it; I had a good history of doing it. Specifically, there was an apartment building in a rural area we had it on the market for 8 months. We had priced it below market yet we weren’t getting any offers. Nothing was happening at all. The problem was that the market changed and there were certain properties we just could not sell.
Mike had approached me many times for a period of several months. Finally, after enough much frustration I decided to give the Mike Lembeck team a try. In what seemed like no time at all we had a lot of offers. In the end we sold our property for the same price the other realtor hadn’t been able to sell it for. If it weren’t for Mike, I don’t think we would have sold our apartment building."
"I was very skeptical after many failed attempts to sell
I Talked to 28 Realtors, and NONE HAD MARKETING LIKE MIKE.
"I had my property on the market for quite a while, and it wouldn’t sell with many realtors over the course of 1 year. Once it expired I had many realtors sending me information, probably 40. Then I saw something that Mike sent me and it caught my eye. I was very skeptical about working with realtors after being burned over and over. I decided to give Mike a shot and was very happy that I did. I found him to be someone who didn’t make false promises. His marketing team came up with a plan and it really worked! He was not just sitting back once my property was on the MLS and wait for another realtor to bring the buyer. He’s was very aggressive on getting my offers and working out the best one to get me the most money. He’s much more technologically advanced than anyone I had dealt with and most of all he has integrity, he does what he says he will do. I found him to be competent and caring. He addresses every issue I bring up with respect and I have now sold my property and I’m very happy. If I had to sell or buy another apartment building I would come back to Mike"
My apartments were not selling…no offers for 9 months
" Our apartments were on the market for a while with no activity, when it came to for a new agent I decided to give Mike a try. I wanted to sell the property and not have people walking through the property that were not really interested. I’ve heard nothing but complaints (from other sellers) about to many inspections, but it just wasn’t an issue for us. We had a handful of buyers that were already approved and narrowed down to this is exactly what they are looking for. I had a friend who complained about 5 to 7 walk through’s and not one buyer opened escrow. When they had offers come through their real estate agent just wasn’t able to get the deal done. I kept telling her you need to call Mike. Mike was able to take care of every little situation that came up for me. He was able to think through things before they were a problem. After getting the contract, I was concerned with the inspection, because this property was older. I was also concerned with the appraisal but the process went smoothly. Mike was really involved with the whole process to make sure they were aware of all the upgrades to get me the most money for the property. I’ve already recommended Mike to a lot of people. I say if you want to sell your property you need to this guy to handle it for you."
Great marketing team
Great Marketing sold my apartments!
"After a year and a half of being listed with two other realtors Mike was able to sell my apartments in 65-days and for more than 98% of the asking price. My apartments had been listed for over 18-months without a sale and it just seemed like high-end properties like ours just weren’t moving. It seemed to be true for our property too. However, because of the Mike's extensive online advertising and promotion, they found a buyer within in just a little over two months who bought it for virtually the same price I had been listed with the other realtors.
We hired Mike because we felt like they did more than any other agent had before them. Other agents seemed to just throw the property on the MLS and then would disappear, conveniently forgetting to call us again. With the Mike Lembeck Team we were updated every week during the entire process. They did more advertising and promotion than anyone else in the area. I had seen all of the ads and flyers from the Mike Lembeck Team and initially thought they were just under-pricing their listings. But thankfully what I actually thought turned out to be wrong. After a short and easy meeting with the Mike Lembeck Team, we felt like confident our property would sell. The results were proven and after 65-days our apartment building sold and got the price we were looking for."
Mike Lembeck will get the job done right away
Timing was very important to us!
"We were very happy that they were able to move the property at a time that was very crucial to us. At first we hired someone to sell our apartment building that didn’t really know what they were doing. They were new to the business. Then, when we hired Mike Lembeck it was amazing. They did so much more for us than the other agents had. At the time, it became very urgent that we sell our property and it became very tiresome to deal with the variety of things that came up. However, once Mike got involved things quickly changed for the better. They were diligent and persistent and tenacious.
In the end they were able to sell our apartments at a very critical time. If we had not been able to sell our apartments when we did, we would have had a heap of problems. At first when we received the Mike Lembeck Team fliers, we were very skeptical as we had already been burned several times. However, we took a chance and everything worked out in the end. The Mike Lembeck Team did everything they said they would do. It is with confidence and trust that we would highly recommend them for any of your upcoming real estate transactions. I’m sure there are others out there that may be up against the clock and facing crunch time in terms of selling a property. Mike will get the job done right away."
I would highly recommend Mike Lembeck
UNDER PROMISED AND OVER DELIVERED!
"We found ourselves in a pretty sticky spot. We bought our apartment building at the wrong time and then were about $80,000 upside down. After struggling with the payments, we put it on the market. We had almost no activity until Mike got involved. They were able to negotiate with the banks get a fair payoff. Everything went great and the Mike Lembeck Team kept us in the loop until our property sold.
It was such a great relief because being in financial trouble is just one of the hardest things anyone can endure. It felt like a giant weight was lifted and we were now able to move on and build a new life. Mike Lembeck's Team were true to their word keeping us updated on a constant basis. Even when there were a few bumps in the road (which had nothing to do with them), they kept us informed and just knowing the truth helped us greatly. We felt like they were fighting for us every step of the way.
I’m in sales myself and obviously there is always a temptation to sell your client on more than you could deliver. What we experienced with Mike Lembeck was the exact opposite. They under-promised and over-delivered and in the end we were very happy with the service. I could tell that they were making things happen that were typically very difficult for most agents. They were able to navigate through the complex mortgage banking system like pros. I would highly recommend Mike Lembeck to anyone looking for a professional real estate agent to help them buy or sell an apartment building. "
We were really satisfied with the outcome
Bad experience with other realtors :(
"In the one year experience with other realtors, we only had one so-called offer and it was a little iffy at that. Mike put a plan together and suddenly things began to happen. We started getting offers immediately and within 2-months later the apartments were sold. We were really satisfied with the outcome.
We had kind of figured out what our bottom line needed to be and were really excited that we sold the property for more than we had expected, even with the decline in the real estate market. If you want your apartment building sold quickly, then you can trust the agents at RE/MAX Commercial. They have some great ideas on how to sell properties quickly and at the best price."
Large amount of exposure got me my asking price
Full-price cash offer, highest price in area!
"I choose RE/MAX Commercial because I liked the large amount of exposure you are provided on the Internet, with the videos ,drone. I was shocked when we had three offers right off the bat, but Mike told me to hold off for another week for a full price offer. Sure enough we had a cash full price offer a week later! Everything was done for me for a timely closing and it was painless! I didn’t do any of it. Mike did all of it. I feel that the increased technology in the advertising and the presentation of my property really made a difference in how quickly it sold and getting my asking price as well. I really liked all the video and the drone shots, it showed the close proximity to the beach. You can say it’s two blocks from the beach but then there are short blocks and there are long blocks. I most definitely would recommend Mike and RE/MAX Commercial in general for anybody who was thinking of selling their house or buying an apartment building."