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Tax Law (Questions About Taxes)/buying/selling 2nd home tax question


I'd like to ask if there is any capital gains relief when buying and selling a 2nd home, and also, what qualifies as a 2nd home. Here's the specific situation:

Along with her two siblings, my wife was part-owner of her mother's house in Bellport, NY, which was sold in June 2012. My wife's share of the sale was about $100,000. Before the house was sold, typically occupied the house on average about 4-6 weeks a year on weekends and vacations. We own our own home, but are looking to buy an apartment in DC, where I work during the week. I would occupy the apartment approximately 3 days a week. Is there any way that the profit realized from the sale of the house could be used for a downpayment on the apartment, so that capital gains would be avoided?

I hope my question isn't too naive - I'd be grateful for any advice.

thanks, James Shreeve


Thanks for your question.

Your primary home is where you spend most of your nights.  Any other home is classified as a second home.

There is not tax relief from taxes on gain from the sale of a second home.   Her basis is the original cost times her percentage of ownership.  Sale price minus cost of sale (times her percentage) minus her basis is the taxable gain.  The profit cannot be rolled over into the purchase of another asset of any type.

Hope this helps.

John Stancil, CPA

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John Stancil, CPA


I can answer questions on personal income taxes, partnerships, and some corporate income taxes. I can deal with some state tax questions. Limited gift and estate tax questions. I am also familiar with ministerial and church tax reporting issues. I am Professor Emeritus at Florida Southern College. Sales taxes and property taxes are state and local issues so I am not likely be be able to give you an in depth answer on those types of taxes. I have maintained a CPA practice, specializing in tax, for over 35 years. I am a member of the National Association of Tax Professionals, The Florida Insititute of CPA's, The NCPE Fellowship. In addition I am a Certified Mentor for SCORE. Visit my website at I also offer seminars and consultations to churches and clergy on their tax issues at Also visit my blog, I am listed on Tax Connections at Prepare and file your own taxes at


I hold a doctorate in Accounting, and am a CPA. My certifications of CIA, CFM, and CMA are inactive. I passed all certification examinations on the first attempt, and received honorable mention for my scores on the CIA exam. I have operated a CPA firm for over 37 years and have taught accounting and tax at the college level for over 35 years.

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