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Can I Do a 1031 Exchange on My Personal Residence?

Updated: May 6

A 1031 exchange, also known as a like-kind exchange, is a tax-deferral strategy commonly used by real estate investors. It allows them to defer capital gains taxes when they sell one investment property and reinvest the proceeds into another property of equal or greater value. However, when it comes to personal residences, the rules surrounding 1031 exchanges are quite different. In this article, we will explore whether you can perform a 1031 exchange on your personal residence.

Understanding 1031 Exchanges

Before delving into the topic of personal residences and 1031 exchanges, it's essential to understand the basic principles of a 1031 exchange:

  1. Like-Kind Property: In a 1031 exchange, the property you sell (relinquished property) and the property you acquire (replacement property) must be of like-kind. However, the definition of like-kind property is quite broad for real estate, which means you can exchange various types of real estate, such as residential for commercial or vacant land.

  2. Investment or Business Property: The property being exchanged must be held for investment or used in a trade or business. Personal residences typically do not meet this criterion.

  3. Qualified Intermediary: To execute a 1031 exchange, you must work with a qualified intermediary who facilitates the exchange and holds the proceeds from the sale of your relinquished property until they are reinvested in the replacement property.

The Exclusion of Personal Residences

The IRS explicitly excludes personal residences from 1031 exchanges. The primary reason for this exclusion is that personal residences are considered personal use property rather than investment or business property. Therefore, when you sell your primary residence, you cannot use a 1031 exchange to defer capital gains taxes on any profits from the sale.

However, there are other tax provisions that may apply to personal residences, such as the home sale exclusion under Section 121 of the Internal Revenue Code. This provision allows homeowners to exclude up to $250,000 (or $500,000 for married couples filing jointly) of capital gains from the sale of their primary residence if they meet certain ownership and use requirements. To qualify, you must have lived in the home for at least two of the last five years before the sale.

When a 1031 Exchange May Apply to a Residence

While personal residences are generally ineligible for 1031 exchanges, there is a scenario where it might be possible. If you have used a portion of your residence for business or investment purposes, you may be able to allocate a portion of your property's value to the business or investment use and exchange that portion under a 1031 exchange. However, this can be a complex and contentious area of tax law, so it's essential to consult with a tax professional to ensure compliance with IRS regulations.

In most cases, you cannot do a 1031 exchange on your personal residence because personal residences are not considered like-kind, investment, or business property under IRS rules. However, there are exceptions and unique circumstances where a portion of a personal residence might qualify for a 1031 exchange. Before attempting such an exchange, it is crucial to seek advice from a qualified tax professional to navigate the complexities of the tax code and ensure compliance with all applicable regulations. If your tax professional does think your situation qualifies, then we recommend you seek advice from a qualified intermediary like 1031 Pros to ensure an audit-free 1031 exchange transaction.

To learn more about 1031 Pros, you can visit our website at and fill out the contact submission form, send us an email to or give us a call directly at 916-252-6900 and talk with a live representative about how you can use a 1031 exchange to avoid taxes on your next investment real estate transaction.

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