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In order to NOT pay real estate capital gains, I understand a like kind exchange is possible--really just deferring the tax.

If I sell property and incur a cap gain, can I defer the tax by buying another rental even if I do not sock the sale proceeds from the first into the new property?

The story goes: One property I am selling was owner financed to me. This same gentleman has offered to sell me another for very favorable terms/nothing down when I pay off the first. It is a better property than what I currently own.

Does the fact that I take on the new property and debt mean that I can defer the capital gain from the first--even if I use the sale proceeds to pay off credit card debt istead of paying down the mew property?

Many, many thanks! I know...I need an accountant.

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