Cap Gains & Like Kind Transactions


If you have contingent sale. That is if you sell one house in order to purchase another. Do you pay Capital Gains tax on the sale of the first house? In other words, isn’t this exempt from capital Gains tax because it is a “like kind transaction?”

A further wrinkle. Let’s assume you sell home 1 for 300k and purchase home 2 for 500k (borrowing the difference) BUT YOU HOLD BACK 20k from the proceeds of the sale in order to repair the roof on home 2. Do you pay Capital Gains Tax?

Thanks for any insight?


Are you selling a rental to purchase a rental? Or are you selling your main residence to purchase another residence? Or something else?

And keep in mind that “gain” is not the same as “selling price.” Gain is sales price minus cost basis.
Just because you sell home 1 for 300k doesn’t mean that you necessarily have any gain. You don’t provide enough information to answer fully.


Thanks for the response.

I’m selling a main residence to purchase a main residence.

I originally purchased home 1 then purchased land added a new septic system and added a substantial out building.

If you’re married and have lived there for 2 of the last 5 years, then $500,000 of GAIN (not sales price) is automatically excluded from income. If you are unmarried, the exclusion is $250,000 of gain. So it is unlikely that you have any reportable capital gain on the sale.

You don’t even need to report it. Just move on.

Note that this is a “residence exclusion” and has nothing to with like-kind transactions.