Using a lease option to accommodate a sellers 1031 exchange?

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This question is regarding a trailer park, however I think it is equally applicable to pretty much any 1031 exchange.  In this situation a park owner owns a park outright (prime for seller financing), and he really wants to 1031 exchange into a farm.  He doesn't want to exchange right now, and my partner and I need a few years to stabilize everything (and document expenses) so we can get bank financing.  This is a nice park, the owner owns and rents the majority of the homes, however it's a typical mom and pop park.  Poor records, owner does all his own work and maintenance, and it's hard to get a true handle on expenses.

From my understanding the 45 day period to identify properties to purchase on a 1031 exchange starts the day the property goes under contract.  Obviously we need more than 45 days (or even 6 months) to stabilize and document trailer park expenses.  Someone recently recommended doing a lease to purchase option.  Does anyone have any experience doing this?  Any other thoughts on how we can "take over" a park, but allow for a balloon payment 3-5 years out and allow the seller to 1031 exchange this final buyout?

@Pat Jackson , The 45 days actually starts with the closing of the sale not going into contract.  So that's your first opportunity - put it under contract with an extended closing date.

A second opportunity would be for you to lease the park from him and have a separate option to purchase.  You aren't buying the property yet so his 1031 clock doesn't start.  But you have control and you have an option to execute a purchase when you're ready.

There is a 3rd option and that is that the owner could sell with owner financing and let the note go into the 1031 exchange account.  Sometime during the exchange period he could take cash from outside the exchange and trade it for the note.  So the exchange account has all cash and he can complete his exchange.  Meanwhile, outside the exchange the note is still in force.  He collects the payments of which only the interest is taxable.  And you continue making payments on the note.  Not everyone has that kind of cash but it can work.