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Learn more about the many ways to use real estate to support Penn State University in the FREE guide Ways to Donate Real Estate.View My Guide
Transforming Realty to Gift Reality
Want to make a big gift to Penn State without touching your bank account? Consider giving us real estate. Such a generous gift helps us continue our work for years to come. And a gift of real estate also helps you. When you give us appreciated property you have held longer than one year, you qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction. This eliminates capital gains tax. And you no longer have to deal with that property's maintenance costs, property taxes, or insurance.
Another benefit: You don't have to hassle with selling the real estate. You can deed the property directly to Penn State or ask your attorney to add a few sentences in your will or trust agreement.
Learn more by viewing our Gifts of Real Estate fact sheet.
Ways to Give Real Estate
You can give real estate to Penn State in the following ways:
When you make a gift today of real estate you have owned longer than one year, you qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction equal to the property's full fair market value. This deduction lets you reduce the cost of making the gift and frees cash that otherwise would have been used to pay taxes. By donating the property to us, you also eliminate capital gains tax on its appreciation.
A gift of real estate through your will or living trust allows you the flexibility to change your mind and the potential to support our work with a larger gift than you could during your lifetime. In as little as one sentence or two, you can ensure that your support for Penn State continues after your lifetime.
Perhaps you like the tax advantages a gift of real estate to our organization would offer, but you want to continue living in your personal residence for your lifetime. You can transfer your personal residence or farm to Penn State but keep the right to occupy (or rent out) the home for the rest of your life. You continue to pay real estate taxes, maintenance fees, and insurance on the property. Even though we would not actually take possession of the residence until after your lifetime, since your gift cannot be revoked, you qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction for a portion of your home's value.
Want to sell us your property for less than the fair market value? A "bargain sale" may be the answer. When you make a bargain sale, you sell your property to our organization for less than what it's worth. The difference between the actual value and the sale price is considered a gift to us. A bargain sale can be an effective way to dispose of property that has increased in value, and it is the only gift vehicle that can give you a lump sum of cash and a charitable deduction (when you itemize) at the same time.
You can contribute any type of appreciated real estate you've owned for more than one year, provided it's unmortgaged, in exchange for an income stream for life or a term of up to 20 years. The donated property may be a residence (a personal residence must be vacant upon contribution), undeveloped land, a farm, or commercial property. Real estate works well with only certain variations of charitable remainder trusts. Your estate planning attorney, who will draft your trust, can give you more details.
This gift can be a wonderful way for you to benefit Penn State and simultaneously transfer appreciated real estate to your family tax-free. You should consider funding the charitable lead trust with real estate that is income-producing and expected to increase in value over the term of the trust.
A gift of real estate may be a perfect way to honor your loved one in perpetuity. When you make an endowed gift of real estate, your contribution is invested with and becomes part of our endowment. An annual distribution is made for the purpose you designate. Because the principal remains intact, the fund will generate support in perpetuity.
When you transfer real estate to your donor advised fund, you avoid capital gains taxes and qualify for a federal income tax deduction based on the fair market value of the property when you itemize your taxes.
An Example From Penn State
When Richard Robinson acquired his aunt's million-dollar Lehman, Pennsylvania, home and fifty-acre farm after her death in 1963, he had a difficult decision to make. A Connecticut resident, he wasn't close enough to take care of the property or farm animals. But he and his cousins—who lived in the Wilkes-Barre area—decided to celebrate their relatives' philanthropic spirit: They would give the real estate to establish a permanent home for Penn State in the Wilkes-Barre region.