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Real Estate

There are many options for donating your home, second home, commercial building, raw land, farm, or other real estate to Amherst College. There may be a gift plan available that will help you achieve your charitable and financial goals.

A gift of real estate could be right for you if:

  • You own real estate for which you no longer want to be responsible.
  • You are willing to donate your home if you can continue to live in it.
  • You own real estate that you are willing to sell to us for a bargain price.
  • You own real estate that you are willing to donate if you get income in return.
  • You want to save income taxes.
  • You want to make a generous gift to Amherst.

How it works

Here are some common techniques for making a gift of real estate to Amherst.

  • Give your real estate now.
  • Give your home now, but continue to live in it as long as you wish.
  • Give your real estate now and receive payments for life.
  • Give your real estate through your estate.
  • Give a portion of your real estate and keep the rest.
  • Sell your real estate to us for less than its appraised value.

Show More Details

The common techniques for making gifts of real estate are each briefly described below. Please note that gifts of real estate can be complex and must be reviewed in accordance with the College’s gift acceptance policy prior to acceptance. We would be happy to discuss with you which technique might be best for your particular situation and goals.

Transfer your real estate to Amherst outright
This is the simplest way for you to give Amherst College a piece of real estate. By giving Amherst all rights to your real estate, you will maximize your support of Amherst, and you will earn an income tax deduction equal to the full appraised value of your real estate.

Sell your real estate to Amherst for less than its appraised value
When you sell Amherst your real estate in a "bargain sale" arrangement, you will enjoy several benefits. You will receive an immediate cash payment equal to the sale price and an income tax deduction for the difference between your sale price and the appraised value of your property. You will also avoid capital gains tax on your gain in the gift portion of the arrangement.

Give your home to Amherst, but continue to live in it as long as you wish
When you give your home to Amherst subject to a "retained life estate," you can continue to live in your home for as long as you wish, for the rest of your life, or for the lives of you and your spouse. You will earn an immediate income tax deduction for a portion of the value of your home. You also can make a retained life estate gift using a second home, farm, or any structure you use as a personal residence.

Give your real estate now and receive variable payments for life
Using a gift arrangement called a "charitable remainder unitrust," you can give your real estate now and start receiving payments as soon as your real estate has been sold. Your payments will vary with the value of your unitrust. Payments equal to 5% of trust value are typical. You will also receive a substantial income tax deduction. In addition, there will be no immediate capital gains tax on the sale of your real estate.

Give Amherst a portion of your real estate holding
Rather than give us all of your real estate holding, you can give us an "undivided interest." For example, if you own 100 acres of farm land, you could give Amherst 50 acres. You will receive an immediate income tax deduction for the value of the portion you give. You will, of course, retain complete control of the portion of your real estate that you choose to keep.

Give your real estate through your estate
By making a gift of real estate through your estate, you will retain use of your property during your life. What's more, you can change your gift plan whenever you wish, should your circumstances or priorities change. Putting your gift of real estate into your estate plan now will help assure that your wishes will be carried out later. You may also save estate taxes.

Example

Juan owns several buildings in his hometown. While they have been a good investment for him over the years, he's ready to stop being a landlord. His properties have grown substantially in value, so he's concerned that he will have a big capital gains tax bill to worry about if he sells them. He would also like to show his dedication to Amherst College by making a major gift.

One of Juan's buildings is appraised for $300,000. He purchased it for $45,000. Juan proposes that he donate it to Amherst which will eliminate his concern over capital gains tax. After performing a review of the property, the College confirms that the appraised value is accurate and that there are no environmental or financial concerns regarding Juan's property.

Benefits

  • Juan receives a $300,000 income tax deduction.
  • Juan saves substantial income and capital gain taxes.
  • Juan is relieved of all responsibilities of owning the property.
  • Juan gains the satisfaction of providing substantial support to Amherst.