We have a property and our son also has a property that we would like to swap permanently. Where do we start? Who's help do we need? How does it work generally?
Are there loans on the properties? If not, then I would suggest you consult an Escrow Officer or a Realtor. If there are loans on the properties, then it becomes more complicated. The problem would be that if you swap properties somehow, the names on the mortgages would not match up with the current title holder. You may be able to refinance out of the loans, but you need a lot of extraordinary circumstances to go your way to do that.
The easiest way to swap would be to sell to each other using a gift of equity. A Gift of Equity is when the seller of property gives a certain amount of their equity in the property to the seller. For example, if Seller sold a home for $500,000 and their loan/closing costs total $400,000, then they could potentially give a $100,000 Gift of Equity to the buyer. The thing about Gift's of equity is that they usually can only come from a family member, which would be the case for you. And of course, you would need equity in your homes to do this. The person to contact in order to figure this out if loans are involved would be a Loan Officer/Mortgage Broker. Good luck.
1031 Exchange. See a Real Estate Attorney that specialize in exchanges or a Real Estate Agent who specializes in exchanges.
Are the properties owned free and clear? If not, than the loans remain the borrowers responsibility and this can pose some risk.
For a 1031 exchange and tax purposes they must be 'like-kind'. To humor the situation, you can't exhange a mansion for a 2 bedroom home.
The only two main points that need to be addressed is the 'tax side' of things and the 'credit side' of things. You want to minimize paying taxes via a proper exchange and if there are loans on the properties, this must be addressed because ultimately the loans stay under your names because your social security numbers were used, make sense?