Case Study: Cost Segregation Analysis for a Single-Family Home in Fort Worth, TX

cost segregation case study single family home


In 2023, the owners of a residential property in Fort Worth, Texas, decided to enhance their investment through strategic tax planning. This property features a single-story building constructed in 2009. The building covers a total area of 1,851 square feet and was acquired for a total depreciable basis of $272,633.00. 

The structure is characterized by its practical and durable construction materials, including a combination of brick veneer and wood siding exteriors, an asphalt shingle roof, and modern electrical and plumbing systems. The property also includes well-maintained landscaping, a concrete sidewalk and a wooden fence that enhance its aesthetic appeal and functionality.

To capitalize on the potential tax benefits, the owners engaged Engineered Tax Services (ETS) to conduct a comprehensive cost segregation study. This case study examines the methodology and outcomes of the cost segregation analysis, highlighting how it has optimized the property's financial and tax position.


The primary objective of the cost segregation study was to meticulously identify and classify the property's assets to optimize the owners' tax benefits. The study sought to ensure that every asset was accurately categorized, allowing the owners to maximize their tax savings through optimized depreciation, providing both immediate and long-term financial benefits under current tax laws.


ETS employed a detailed, engineering-based approach, which included:

  1. Physical Inspection: conducting a thorough site visit to identify and photograph the property's components
  2. Document Review: examining architectural plans, construction documents and accounting records
  3. Cost Analysis: applying engineering principles to allocate costs to specific asset classifications
  4. Depreciation Calculation: calculating depreciation using IRS-accepted methods such as the Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS)

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Asset Allocation

5-Year Class Life

Total Depreciation Allocation: $59,003.64

Percentage of Total Depreciable Basis: 21.64%

5-year class life assets identified in this study include:

  • Appliances (e.g., dishwasher, refrigerator, microwave, oven, range)
  • Furniture and fixtures (e.g., cabinets, wire shelving)
  • Electrical and communication systems (e.g., dedicated equipment outlets, television and telephone connections)
  • Flooring (e.g., carpet with pad, vinyl plank flooring)
  • Ceiling fans
  • Office equipment
  • Window treatments (e.g., horizontal blinds, window shutters)

15-Year Class Life

Total Depreciation Allocation: $19,783.53

Percentage of Total Depreciable Basis: 7.26%

15-year class life assets identified in this study include:

  • Concrete sidewalks
  • Concrete paving and pavers
  • Equipment pads
  • Fencing
  • Landscaping

27.5-Year Class Life

Total Depreciation Allocation: $193,845.82

Percentage of Total Depreciable Basis: 71.1%

27.5-year class life assets identified in this study include:

  • Building structure (e.g., drywall, brick veneer, wood roof construction)
  • Roofing (e.g., asphalt shingle roof, aluminum gutter, downspouts)
  • Electrical systems (e.g., general use outlets, GFI outlets, exterior sconce lighting)
  • Doors and windows (e.g., exterior wood doors, interior hollow wood doors, windows)
  • Plumbing systems (e.g., sinks, water closets, bath tubs, hose bibbs, water heaters)
  • HVAC systems (e.g., central split system, ductwork, wiring and controls)

Class Life Details:

Accumulated Depreciation Comparison:


The cost segregation study for this residential property in Fort Worth, TX, demonstrates the substantial financial benefits of strategic tax planning. By reclassifying property components into shorter depreciation categories, the owners were able to utilize accelerated depreciation, thereby maximizing tax savings and improving cashflow. This approach not only enhanced the property's profitability but also provided a robust framework for effective future financial planning and investment in property upgrades, illustrating the powerful impact of cost segregation on real estate financial performance.

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