You can look into doing a reverse 1031 exchange. They are more expensive and complicated then a conventional 1031 - but they are made for what you are thinking of doing. Please be warned though - some big guy 1031 QI’s are in big trouble as this financial debauchel unravels.
A couple of quick comments about 1031’s: 1. In my opinion, Jack Shea knows what he is doing and he is my personal choice for a QI. 2. The 45 days is cut in stone, there is no work around. 3. During the 45 days, as long as you will be exchanging 95% or more of your relinquished property, you may identify as many properties that you can find. 4. It is difficult to buy a 3M property without having the liquidity from the first sale - if you can put a deal together like Rolf suggests then great - but some of the best buys will be made for ALL CASH. So, here’s a couple of other ideas for you to ponder.
You can exchange into ALL OR A PORTION of an Illinois style land trust. This solution may allow you to take on a partner in order to buy the expensive new property for cash until you can sell your old property whereby your partner agrees that you may buy out his/her “shares” in order to complete your 1031. Please keep in mind that all the debt and equity ratios need to work out just like any other 1031 and that there is a bunch of other very important details to understand and consider.
Another classic yet controversial solution is to let a third party friend buy the new park and then you 1031 into it by buying out your friend after you sell. This technique under extreme scrutiny could be disqualified if you had control over your friend, hence controversial.
Let me be clear that I feel all of these exchange and/or tax ideas are the “tail of the dog.” I don’t/won’t be a general advocate of any of these techniques in any great detail since they are all quite advanced and if misunderstood or misapplied could hurt the group more then they help ~ but, the idea of trading up in a buyers market is very savvy and a good idea for the group to contemplate (with or without tax implications, especially keeping in mind that paying now may not be all that bad since we are still experiencing historically low capital gains rates).
In order to sell in todays market you may need to discount say 20% or so. But, if you can trade up at another 20% discount - with good decision making and some quality guidance you will likely be in great shape. After all, 20% of 1M becomes a measly 200K loss when compared to the 20% / $600K discount when you buy that 3M property for 2.4M!
Now go find that next dog