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Demystifying Loan to Value (LTV) in DST 1031 Exchanges

We are pleased to share this guest blog provided to our readers by Exchange Planning Corporation, a company dedicated to providing comprehensive 1031 exchange solutions to real estate investors.

Understanding Loan to Value (LTV) in the context of a Delaware Statutory Trust (“DST”) 1031 exchange requires consideration of the reserves, when making the right financial moves for investors. Not to worry though, this post is all about clearing the fog. When investing in a DST, the LTV is important because it indicates how much debt is paired with the equity. The higher the LTV, the more debt that is paired with the equity purchased. On the other hand, a lower LTV means an investor pairs less debt with their equity to buy the replacement property. Using a lower LTV can create boot and will generate more taxable income in the future.

We previously posted an explainer on LTV here. Overall, understanding LTV in the context of a DST 1031 exchange is crucial for making informed investment decisions. By taking the time to carefully consider the LTV ratio, you can help yourself or your clients make the right financial moves and avoid unnecessary and unplanned tax liabilities.

Understanding LTV in a 1031 Exchange: A Closer Look

In the real estate and financial world, LTV, or Loan to Value, is a commonly used metric. It offers a snapshot of the relationship between the amount of a loan and the value of an asset. But when it comes to the nuanced universe of DST 1031 exchanges, LTV takes on an even more significant role.

LTV Basics
At its core, LTV represents the ratio of a loan to the value of a real estate assets with loans. In simpler terms, it helps us understand how much of the property’s value is financed through borrowed funds versus how much is directly paid for. A higher LTV also implies more tax-savings.

Are We Just Replacing Debt When Making a 1031 Exchange?

Actually, the requirement isn’t to replace debt but to replace the net selling price of the relinquished property. So, if you’re thinking of reinvesting all the cash received, the idea of replacing the LTV on the relinquished property with a higher LTV on the replacement property is a straightforward way to ensure you’re replacing the net purchase price. 

How Do We Calculate the Correct ‘Exit’ LTV?

Ah, the million-dollar question! The ‘Exit’ LTV is not your run-of-the-mill LTV calculation. It’s an insight into how much replacement property one should buy with the equity held by an accommodator. The first step in looking at what we term ‘Exit LTV’ is to ascertain – how much cash do you have available at the accommodator and how much debt is given with the sale of the relinquished property? The LTV formula is: relinquished property debt at sale divided by the sum of relinquished property debt and anticipated cash. 

Significance of ‘Exit’ LTV in a 1031 Exchange
The ‘Exit’ LTV offers investors a snapshot of their financial position as they conclude one investment and consider entering another. Understanding the ‘Exit’ LTV aids in structuring the exchange in a manner that optimizes tax benefits. Once the ‘Exit’ LTV is established, investors can compare it with the LTV of potential replacement properties to make choices that align with their financial goals and the requirements of the 1031 exchange.

So, What’s the Deal with the Replacement Property LTV?

This is where the waters get a bit murky. Some DST Sponsors present multiple LTVs for the replacement property. The concept of reserves comes into play here. Most DSTs, if not all, include reserves in the property’s purchase price. However, reserves don’t technically fall under the property’s purchase price in the DST framework, which plays a pivotal role in ensuring a tax-efficient exchange. The formula for calculating your own LTV for the replacement property is: property debt divided by the sum of property debt and equity raise, then subtract the DST reserves.

Is There a Simpler Way?

Absolutely. If numbers aren’t your forte, there’s an easier route. With the investor’s approval, forward us the relinquished property closing statement and your proposed DST replacement property. We’ll run the numbers free of charge for both you and your client.


Q: What is LTV in the context of a 1031 exchange?
A: LTV, or Loan to Value, is a crucial metric when assessing the financial details of a 1031 exchange, ensuring clients get the best value without unnecessary taxable income.

Q: Why is replacing the net selling price of the relinquished property more important than replacing the debt?
A: The primary requirement in a 1031 exchange is to replace the net selling price. Replacing all debt and equity serves as a straightforward method to ensure you’re hitting that net purchase price target.

Q: What is ‘Exit’ LTV?
A: ‘Exit’ LTV provides insight into the potential replacement property LTV one should buy with the equity at an accommodator. It takes into account the anticipated cash sent to the accommodator and the investor’s share of debt.

Q: How do reserves affect the LTV of the replacement property in DSTs?
A: Reserves, although often a small portion, are included in most DSTs’ purchase price. For a more tax-efficient exchange, it’s better to exclude these reserves when calculating the LTV for the replacement property.

Q: Can I get help with these LTV calculations?
A: Absolutely! Just send over your relinquished property details and DST allocation, and we’ll run the numbers for you – free of charge.

Please contact FGG1031 | First Guardian Group today if you have any questions or would like more information on this topic. 

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Paul Getty

Paul Getty is a licensed real estate broker in the state of California and Texas and has been directly involved in commercial transactions totaling over $3 billion on assets throughout the United States. His experience spans all major asset classes including retail, office, multifamily, and student, and senior housing. Paul’s transaction experience includes buy and sell side representation, sourcing and structuring of debt and equity, workouts, and asset and property management. He has worked closely with nationally prominent real estate brokerage and investment organizations including Marcus Millichap, CB Richard Ellis, JP Morgan, and Morgan Stanley among others on the firm’s numerous transactions. Paul also maintains a broad network of active buyers and sellers of commercial real estate including lenders, institutions, family office managers, and high net worth individuals. Prior to founding First Guardian Group/FGG1031, Paul was a founder and CEO of Venture Navigation, a boutique investment banking firm specializing in structuring equity investments made by institutions and high net worth individuals. He possesses over 35 years of comprehensive worldwide business management experience in environments ranging from early phase start-ups to multi-billion-dollar corporations. His track record includes participation in IPOs and successful M&A activity that has resulted in investor returns of over $700M. Paul holds an MBA in Finance from the University of Michigan, graduating with honors, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry from Wayne State University. Paul Getty holds Series 22, 62, and 63 securities licenses and is a registered financial representative with LightPath Capital Inc, member FINRA /SIPC. Paul is a noted speaker, author, and actively lectures on investments, sales, and management related topics. He is author of The 12 Magic Slides, Regulation A+: How the JOBS Act Creates Opportunities for Entrepreneurs and Investors, and Tax Deferral Strategies Utilizing the Delaware Statutory Trust (DST), available on Amazon and other retail outlets.

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