While many investors purchase NNN properties for their steady cash flow, that's not the only way to buy one. Some real estate owners use their NNN investments as ways to minimize their tax exposure and to maximize the benefits of leverage. Zero cash flow deals might not provide cash flow in the present, but they offer significant returns in the long-term.
Most zero cash flow NNN investments have two pieces. First, you purchase a high quality NNN investment with a long-term lease and a tenant with a high credit rating. Drug stores like Walgreens and CVS are popular choices. Next, you obtain special zero cash flow financing. This NNN financing has an amortization period that is fixed to the term of the lease and a flat rate. Typically, you put between 10 and 20 percent down and, when the lease's initial term ends, you have a paid-off building.
The Short and Middle Term Horizon
While you don't cash flow from rents with a zero cash flow NNN deal, you usually make money on it for most of the time you own it. The depreciation that it throws off more than covers your principal payments, leaving you with a net loss on your taxes that you can use to offset other gains.
In the middle term of the NNN investment, the principal payments gradually grow. Once they are more than your depreciation, you may end up being subject to phantom income, which is taxable. This is the one key drawback to NNN zero cash flow deals. However, the phantom income can be offset by a Section 467 loan.
The Long-Term Horizon
At the end of the lease, your loan ends and you own your NNN building free and clear. With any luck, the tenant exercises its option and you will own a cashflow asset with no debt. In a worst-case scenario, the NNN tenant moves out. After 20 or more years of appreciation, it's reasonable to assume that the NNN building would be worth as much vacant as it was occupied way-back-when.
Zero Cash Flow and 1031
One of the advantages of zero cash flow NNN investments is that they allow you to put relatively small amounts of money down. This makes them a perfect place to park extra capital from a 1031 exchange. If you have money left over after buying your primary investment, buying a zero cash flow NNN can save you from paying boot. ZCF deals also allow an investor to more closely match debt and equity requirements from a 1031 Exchange.
For a free list of available Zero Cash Flow deals call Thomas at 1-866-539-1777 or email him here.