Investors find shelter in real estate exchanges

Tenant-in-common deals provide attractive options

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The real estate agent brought the elderly couple an unsolicited offer for the small store they've owned for nearly three decades. They were torn by the decision. They didn't really want to sell the store, loved the monthly income from the place but wanted to travel more and get out from behind the maintenance and bookkeeping. In addition, they had an opportunity to buy a big piece of an apartment complex with members of their bridge club, an attractive spot very similar to the community where they now lived. The couple did not want to sell the store and pay a huge capital gain. So, they decided to sell the place and roll the funds into the apartment complex and take advantage of the latest wrinkle in the tax-deferred exchange arena called TICs, or tenant-in-common investments. This strategy allows investors who sell an investment property to buy ownership interests in another property (or properties) instead of buying an entire "like-kind" property to qualify for an exchange and defe...