Acquiring Land and Conservation Easements overviews the laws on property title, steps to take in acquiring land, working with attorneys to ensure sound transactions and completing title work to ensure conservation efforts stand the test of time. The book includes information and case studies on conducting effective and principled negotiations.
At closing, the transfer of the real estate interest, whether land or easement, is completed. This guide helps users organize and expedite the closing.
Doing Deals introduces the basic real estate, financial and strategic principles used by land trusts to purchase land for conservation. It provides basic information on how to: develop a strategy for acquiring a property, pull together all the information necessary to understand the project and players, understand the process and feel comfortable working within it, know when to seek help, and know how to effectively deploy others. The book includes strategies on how to negotiate a land conservation deal.
Landowners can convey a future interest in real property to a conservation organization or government but continue to live on or otherwise enjoy using the property during their lifetimes. If the property ia a personal residence or a fiarm, a donation of a future interest can generate immediate tax benefits.
A conservation easement may have one or more holders responsible for upholding the easement’s conservation objectives. It may have a beneficiary, an entity with some rights to manage the easement in furtherance of the conservation objectives but no responsibility to do so. It may also provide a contingency plan to replace a holder in the event the holder cannot or will not perform its duties. Effective long-term easement management requires that when more than one entity shares easement management rights, the relationship between the entities must be carefully delineated.
An installment agreement requires the buyer of real estate to pay the seller the purchase price in installments over time; the buyer takes immediate possession of the property but the seller retains legal title as security until the buyer pays in full. An installment agreement can be a low-cost, flexible alternative to a traditional mortgage loan.
If an owner intends to accept an offer for the purchase of his or her land, the holder of a right of first refusal has the opportunity to purchase the land at the price and terms offered by the prospective buyer. If the holder of the right declines to purchase on those exact terms, the owner is then free to sell to the prospective buyer. If an owner is willing to commit to providing such a right to an organization, this model is a tool to document and ensure the enforceability of the commitment.
An option to sell may be used to assure that a property acquisition can be undone if expectations are not met.
Before investing time and money in a prospective project, a conservation organization may seek to minimize the potential for misunderstandings with the prospective donor for the project and make the donor’s promise to support the project a legally binding obligation.
A purchase option is a right to purchase or lease land or other property interests without any obligation to do so.
A landowner who is concerned about the future use of his land can donate or sell the land on a conditional rather than absolute basis. A reversionary interest is created by a deed that reserves to the grantor a future ownership right upon the occurrence of some condition.
A right of first purchase gives a potential purchaser the opportunity to purchase before a property is sold to another. It can be a right of first offer, a right of first negotiation, a right of first refusal or a combination of these rights.