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What are the negatives in selling a house in under a year?

October 8, 2004

Subject:  Real Estate
Date:  Mon, 27 Sep 2004
From:  Jose

I want to buy the home next door to mine, fix it up and sell it 2 or 3 months later. What kind of taxes and fees will I have to pay? What are the negatives in selling so fast?


Date:  Fri, 08 Oct 2004

Hello Jose,

I don't know what fees you will have to pay. There will probably permits for the repair work. There may be commissions to real estate brokers.

If this is an isolated transaction, any gain will be a short-term capital gain, subject to regular income tax rates (maximum 35%). If you held the house for more than one year, you could qualify for long-term capital gains rates (maximum 15%). Holding the house for a longer period of time exposes you to more market risk. If mortgage interest increase dramatically, the value of the house could go down or it could be harder to sell.

If you do a lot of "rehabs", you will probably have a trade or business, not qualifying for capital gains treatment and subject to self-employment taxes in addition to regular income taxes.

Good luck!
Mike Gray

We have more answers to frequently asked real estate tax questions! We also offer up-to-date information about new tax real estate tax developments in Michael Gray, CPA's Real Estate Tax Letter.

IRS Circular 230 Disclosure: As required by U.S. Treasury Regulations, you are hereby advised that any written tax advice contained on this website was not written or intended to be used (and cannot be used) by any taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed under the U.S. Internal Revenue Code.

What are the negatives in selling a house in under a year?

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