Monday, March 20, 2006

Asheville Real Estate Journal 

Asheville Real Estate Journal

ECO-INVESTMENTS in Asheville Real Estate

The team at Asheville1031, The ECO-STEWARD Firm is pleased to be a part of a growing number of folks who are “imagineering” a positive future where generations to come can enjoy healthy living spaces and unspoiled beauty in Asheville realestate and in Western North Carolina’s Appalachians, in general.

Like you, many REALTORS® here in the Asheville area are great lovers of nature. In fact, quite a few of us spend our weekends in the mountains hiking the Appalachian Trail, possibly hunting for waterfalls. REALTORS® who are Land Specialists can sense where they are by the very "feeling" of the land. Imagine a horse farm with steep trails to alpine pastures at 4,500 feet at the far end of Madison County to the north of Asheville. Now imagine how different you would feel in the rolling pasturelands in Polk County to the south of Asheville. Do you have a knack for sensing land, too?

If you also are a person who “feels” a sense of place and envisions stewardship of land, we would like to share information about practical ways you can invest in land, create a land legacy and enjoy a meaningful return on your investment. Conservation buyers invest in properties that are subject to a permanent and legally binding conservation restriction or who will impose a conservation restriction as part of their purchase.

A conservation restriction – also known as a CONSERVATION EASEMENT–limits certain uses of a property, such as the right to subdivide and develop. : Because use of this land is permanently restricted, land subject to a conservation restriction is generally appraised at a lower value than comparable unrestricted parcels and donation of such a conservation restriction can constitute a charitable gift and has strong tax advantages.A conservation restriction being imposed by the buyer at time of purchase can be customized to the needs of both the buyer and the land.

If no home exists on the property, a restriction can usually be structured to allow some construction under guidelines that protect the property’s natural assets. The property remains in private ownership and on the local tax rolls. The restrictions stay with the property, even if it is sold or transferred, and therefore limit the use of the property permanently. These restrictions are binding in perpetuity, and are designed for a distinct conservation purpose.

Many communities reduce property tax assessments on land with a conservation restriction in place, because the site's potential to be further developed has been reduced or eliminated. Another advantage is limited housing development and sprawl, which cost communities more than they contribute in tax revenues



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