Deconstructing real estate exchanges

Tax-deferred deals get 'downright easy'

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As longtime subscribers know, my first tax-deferred exchange was the trade of a three-unit building at 1264 Third Ave. (just down the steep hill from UCSF Hospital) for a nine-unit apartment building at 4605 Balboa St. (overlooking the famous Playland at the Beach) in San Francisco. Having read in William Nickerson's great book about the benefits of tax-deferred exchanges for pyramiding real estate wealth, I was anxious to make my first tax-deferred trade. I shall always be grateful to Walt Lembi, and his dad Frank Lembi (now in his 80s and still selling real estate!), at Skyline Realty in San Francisco for showing me how "real world" tax-deferred simultaneous exchanges were done before 1984 (when "delayed" Starker exchanges became available). Purchase Bob Bruss reports online. The first step was to find a cash buyer for my three units. Walt and Frank took care of that within a few weeks. The second step was to find a property for the trade up. Finding a qualifying replacement prop...