Planning Correctly For A 1031 Exchange Into A DST

The recent uncertainty in the global stock market has many investors looking for more conservative and less volatile investments. On top of that, traditional investment instruments like stocks and bonds are similarly not looking very attractive because of their recent lackluster yield performances. Therefore, more and more investors are attracted to Real Estate Income Funds.

While Perch Wealth is best known for its expert-level knowledge of Delaware Statutory Trust & 1031 exchange investment strategies and opportunities, the company also has a great reputation for working with nationally recognized real estate sponsors to source and structure All-Cash/Debt-Free Real Estate Income Funds for accredited investors.

Now, any investor who is thinking about selling an investment property may look into a 1031 Exchange, which is a provision in the IRS code that allows for tax benefits. This exchange allows the sale of an investment property and the reinvestment of the proceeds into a similar property, postponing capital gains and other taxes until a later date.

However, the process must be completed within 180 days and the funds must be held with a Qualified Intermediary to maintain eligibility for the exchange. If the funds are touched during the process, the exchange becomes invalid and the taxes must be paid.

Tips To Get Ready For the Exchange

Likely the most challenging aspect of the 1031 exchange process is the initial 45-day identification period. During this period, investors must formally identify the property or properties they intend to purchase, and they must do so within a matter of 6 weeks.

To avoid tax liability, the identified property or properties must have equal or greater value than the relinquished property. There are two primary ways to identify properties: the 3 property rule, where up to 3 separate properties can be identified regardless of their value, or the 200% rule, where an unlimited number of properties can be identified as long as their combined value does not exceed 200% of the value of the relinquished property.

To summarize, investors should keep in mind that the 1031 Exchange process must be completed within 180 days, starting from the sale of the property and the escrowing of the proceeds with a Qualified Intermediary, and including the identification and closing of the new property. Additionally, the equity and debt of the new property should be equal or greater than the relinquished property.

Prepare For the 45-Day ID Period

To reduce stress during the 45-day identification period, it is recommended to start searching and selecting potential like-kind properties before officially closing on the relinquished property. This way, the 45-day time clock starts ticking after the identification process has already begun.

Delaware Statutory Trust (DST) properties offer a convenient option for 1031 Exchange investors as the underlying real estate is already acquired and owned by the trust, making the purchasing process quick and seamless. Additionally, DSTs can serve as a back-up or contingency plan in case the initial replacement property falls through.

While the Real Estate Sponsor Company may have completed their due diligence on a DST property, it is still important for investors to conduct their own research. It is recommended to review current DST properties offered on the marketplace, and work with a Perch Wealth Registered Representative to evaluate the different options and strive to find the best solution for their specific situation. It is important to remember that each investor's needs are unique and the due diligence process is crucial to make an informed decision.

Starting the Exchange Selection Process

It is advisable to start the screening process for DST investments around 30 days before closing on the relinquished or downleg property. This is because DST offerings have a limited availability and are capped at a specific value, and once the last dollar is invested, the offering is no longer open for further investment.

Typically, DST offerings are available for purchase for 1-3 months, so starting the selection process too early may result in missed opportunities. By starting the process approximately 30 days before closing, investors will have a better chance of identifying viable options that they can reserve and invest in as soon as the funds become available, allowing them to complete the 1031 exchange efficiently and within the 45-day identification period.

By keeping these guidelines in mind, investors can greatly reduce stress associated with a 1031 exchange, and potentially start earning cash flow from their investments immediately. The quick and seamless purchase process of DSTs compared to traditional real estate transactions can be a big advantage.

For more information on the 1031 exchange and DST selection process, it is recommended to reach out to a Perch Wealth's Registered Representative or visit their website for more resources.


Not an offer to buy, nor a solicitation to sell securities. All investing involves risk of loss of some or all principal invested. Past performance is not indicative of future results. Speak to your finance and/or tax professional prior to investing. Any information provided is for informational purposes only.

Securities offered through Emerson Equity LLC Member: FINRA/SIPC. Only available in states where Emerson Equity LLC is registered. Emerson Equity LLC is not affiliated with any other entities identified in this communication.

1031 Risk Disclosure:

The History of Delaware Statutory Trusts

Commercial real estate, which has been regarded a "alternative" asset sector for a long time, has historically presented substantial entrance barriers. Due to the expense, inaccessibility of property information, and danger connected with purchasing properties individually, only the wealthy could enter the market. This comprises institutional investors such as life insurance companies, endowments, and pension funds, in addition to family offices and individuals with an extraordinarily high net worth. DSTs, or Delaware Statutory Trusts, have begun to level the playing field.

Today, DSTs enable individuals to invest fractionally in a trust's assets, which may include one or more pieces of commercial real estate. The sponsor of the DST is then responsible for the day-to-day management of the trust's properties on behalf of the investors.

Moreover, unlike investing in a syndicate or fund, DSTs have been considered "1031 Exchange eligible," meaning that people can sell their own investment property and reinvest the proceeds into a DST to defer capital gains tax. Thus, it is not surprising that DSTs are rapidly gaining favor.

But DSTs did not merely appear suddenly. Their arrival was a lengthy process. This article examines the history and origin of Daylight Saving Time.

The History of DSTs

Historically, wealthy Americans have utilized trusts to transfer property from one generation to the next. Using a trust provides tax and security advantages that would not otherwise be available.

The majority of these trusts are housed in Delaware, a state renowned for being business-friendly and tax-friendly. Since at least 1947, Delaware common law has recognized business trusts. This is why a large number of Fortune 500 firms put their headquarters in the state. Trust income, including capital gains, has been exempt from taxation for decades, even trusts controlled by non-residents. In other words, out-of-state residents can take advantage of Delaware's trust tax laws just as easily as Delaware residents.

In 1988, Delaware formalized its common law on trusts and became the first state to establish an effective and judicially protected legal entity: the Delaware Statutory Trust (DST). The Delaware Business Trust Act of 1988 provides specific guidelines for the operation of trusts. This gave investors the assurance they required to invest with confidence in DSTs.

Several other states have since enacted legislation governing trusts, but Delaware remains the jurisdiction of choice for trustees due to the breadth and clarity of its corporate entity rules. In addition, the Court of Chancery and the Supreme Court of Delaware have gained a reputation for excellence due to their extensive familiarity with commercial matters, which results in the efficient, fast, and equitable resolution of disputes. Today, there is a vast body of Delaware case law from which people seeking trust-related assistance might draw.

The Delaware Business Trust Act (DBTA) was renamed the Delaware Statutory Trust Act (DST Act) in 2002. (Title 12, Ch. 38 of the Delaware Code). The DST Act expressly authorizes the establishment of DSTs and stipulates rules governing their internal operations. The DST Act recognizes DSTs as distinct legal entities that may engage in any legitimate business or activity. The regulations further indicate that a DST will not terminate or dissolve due to the death, incapacity, dissolution, termination, or bankruptcy of a beneficial owner, unless the Trust Agreement specifies otherwise. DSTs are also permitted to obtain funding in their own name as opposed to in the names of their individual trustees.

The DST Act also specifically limits the trustee's obligation. The Act provides that a trustee "must not be personally accountable to any person other than the statutory trust or a beneficial owner for any act, omission, or obligation of the statutory trust or any trustee thereof," unless otherwise expressly stipulated in the trust's governing instruments. This provision provides trustees with great protection; they can rest easy knowing that the possible liabilities they may face as a result of investing in a DST are strictly limited, whereas indemnity affords them extensive protections.


DSTs vs. TICs

The DST Act of 2002 effectively provides the necessary advice and protections for persons interested in fractional investments in commercial real estate. Prior to this, the majority of co-investors in real estate utilized a tenant-in-common (or "TIC") structure.

Those who invest in a TIC hold a partial interest in the property's title. As a result, each owner is personally accountable for any debt incurred to acquire or enhance property held by a TIC. TICs can have up to 35 individual co-owners, therefore the procedure of underwriting each individual investor might make financing a TIC more difficult than financing DST investments, because the loan is backed by the DST itself and not by individual investors.

Moreover, each major investment decision involving TICs requires unanimity among co-investors. Even in the best of times, this makes decision-making difficult. Important decisions required to develop the TIC's business plan and investment strategy can be halted by a single holdout.

Despite the obvious benefits of investing in a DST as opposed to a TIC, many continued to favor the latter until the middle of the 2000s. This is because industry groups, including some of the nation's top commercial real estate sponsors, urged the IRS in the early 2000s to adopt criteria that would allow TIC real estate to qualify for 1031 exchanges (IRS Revenue Procedure 2002-22). Those who sold their own investment property could then reinvest the sale proceeds into a TIC to delay paying capital gains tax (sometimes, indefinitely).

This led to a record number of people investing in TICs. 2007 marked the peak of the TIC business, when about $4 billion of equity was invested using TIC structures. Nonetheless, many of these investors quickly realized the flaws of the TIC framework.

DSTs gained popularity at the same period, partly due to the inefficiencies of the TIC paradigm. The IRS implemented comparable 1031 exchange standards for DSTs in 2004. Revenue Ruling 2004-86 permitted the use of the DST structure for the acquisition of real estate where the beneficial interests of the trust would be recognized as direct interests in replacement property for purposes of a 1031 exchange. Investors in the United States rejoiced.

Co-Investment in Real Estate During the Great Recession

When the Great Recession struck in 2008, both TICs and DSTs suffered a severe blow. The investment in syndicated real estate plummeted. TICs were hit worse than DSTs. In 2009, less than $250 million was invested in TICs, which represents approximately 6.25 percent of the equity contributed just two years previous. In general, lenders grew more prudent. Due to the necessity to evaluate each investor's creditworthiness, a minuscule number of people desired to invest in TICs. The effort required by banks to establish loans on TICs (which, again, might have up to 35 individual investors) simply became too burdensome.

Investment in TICs and DSTs remained stagnant over the most of 2013. As the economy began to recover, DSTs became the favored form for co-investment. By 2015, DST investment had regained its pre-recession level and has risen steadily since then. In 2020, around $3.20 billion in equity was raised for DST investments, a surprising amount given the remaining anxiety among investors caused by COVID.

Future Prospects for DSTs

Investing in DSTs could continue to be robust in the future. There is a backlog of investors who are eagerly awaiting the end of the pandemic before selling their property. Many of these investors may use 1031 exchanges to avoid paying capital gains tax, and many of them may invest in DSTs to do so. Cash investors are diversifying their portfolios by expanding their DST investments. DSTs are a fantastic alternative for accredited investors wishing to invest in fully passive real estate due to the variety of associated potential benefits, including asset and geographic diversity.

Already, it appears that 2021 will be a good year for DST equities investments. This could continue throughout the coming months and years, barring any unforeseen occurrences.

Are you curious to find out more about DSTs? Contact us immediately to learn more about our investing strategy, 1031 exchanges, and DSTs.

General Disclosure

Not an offer to buy, nor a solicitation to sell securities. Information herein is provided for information purposes only and should not be relied upon to make an investment decision. All investing involves risk of loss of some, or all principal invested. Past performance is not indicative of future results. Speak to your finance and/or tax professional prior to investing.

Securities offered through Emerson Equity LLC Member: FINRA/SIPC. Only available in states where Emerson Equity LLC is registered. Emerson Equity LLC is not affiliated with any other entities identified in this communication.

1031 Risk Disclosure: