how long after a 1031 exchange can you convert to a primary residence

how long after a 1031 exchange can you convert to a primary residence

Conversion of 1031 Exchange Property to Primary Residence

Key Points on Conversion Timeline and Requirements

Holding Period for Conversion

  • After completing a 1031 exchange, the property must be held for a minimum of 24 months before considering conversion to a primary residence.
  • The IRS provides a safe harbor period of 24 months during which the property should be rented out to qualify for conversion without challenge.
  • A five-year holding period post-exchange is mandated before the property can be converted to a primary residence to qualify for the Section 121 exclusion.

Rental Requirements

  • During the 24-month period following the exchange, the property must be rented to another person for at least 14 days in each of the two 12-month periods.
  • Personal use of the property should not exceed 14 days or 10% of the number of days the property is rented at a fair rental, whichever is greater.

Conversion to Primary Residence

  • After meeting the 24-month rental requirement, the taxpayer may convert the property to a primary residence or vacation home.
  • It is possible to convert an investment property purchased with a 1031 exchange into a principal residence, but specific rules apply.

Section 121 Exclusion

  • To benefit from the Section 121 primary residence exclusion, the taxpayer must have owned the property for at least five years and used it as a primary residence for at least two of the past five years.
  • The exclusion applies only to gains experienced when the property was used as a primary residence.
  • The amount of gain that can be excluded is reduced proportionally to the time the property was used for purposes other than as a primary residence.

Tax Implications and Strategies

Section 121 Exclusion Limits

  • Section 121 of the Internal Revenue Code exempts up to $250,000 of capital gains (or $500,000 for a married couple filing jointly) from the sale of a primary residence, subject to ownership and use tests .

Compliance with 1031 Exchange Rules

  • The funds from the sale of the original property must be held by a Qualified Intermediary (QI) and not received by the investor directly .
  • Potential replacement properties must be identified within 45 days, and the replacement property must be purchased within 180 days of the sale of the original property.

Planning and Documentation

  • Avoid explicitly stating the intention to convert the property into a primary residence in the exchange agreement .
  • Refrain from starting construction or renovation immediately after the exchange and delay making specific plans for conversion until after the required holding period .
  • Continue to rent out the property during the required holding period and keep documentation such as lease agreements and rental records .
  • Do not disclose plans to convert the property to a primary residence to anyone involved in the exchange.

Tax Advantages and Considerations

  • Converting a rental property to a primary residence can yield significant tax advantages if planned carefully.
  • The rules are more favorable for taxpayers who start with the property as a primary residence and then convert it into an investment property.


Taxpayers must adhere to specific holding periods and rental requirements to convert a property acquired through a 1031 exchange into a primary residence. The property must be held for at least 24 months as a rental and for a total of five years before conversion. During the rental period, personal use must be limited.

After conversion, the Section 121 exclusion can be applied to capital gains from the sale of the property, with certain limitations based on the duration of its use as a primary residence. Careful planning, documentation, and compliance with IRS rules are essential to successfully convert a 1031 exchange property to a primary residence and maximize potential tax benefits.



About the author

Nathan Tarrant

Nathan has worked in financial services, marketing, and strategic business growth for over 30 years. He was the founder and COO of a Queens award-winning financial services company based in the UK, and a capital investment company in Virginia USA..

He operated as a financial & alternative investment advisor to delegates of the UN, World Health Organization, and senior managers of Fortune 500 companies in Geneva, Switzerland, after the 2008 financial crash.

As an avid investor, especially in alternative investments, he runs this blog, sharing his growing experience and views on alternative investments. You can see Nathan's full profile at his personal website
You can read his full bio on our about us page

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