Policy on Real Estate
Himalayan Institute considers gifts of real estate on a case-by-case basis driven by the needs of the institution. Because non-cash gifts can be complicated and time-consuming for both you and the Himalayan Institute staff, we consider the value of the donation versus the investment needed before accepting these gifts. Our goal in formally reviewing gifts of real estate is to accept those donations that contribute towards our mission while being good stewards of the time and resources we have.

Gifts of Real Estate
To determine whether a gift of real estate is beneficial to both you and Himalayan Institute, we may consider:

  • the fair market value of the property
  • the marketability of the property
  • potential liability for environmental risks associated with the property
  • the existence of restrictions, reservations, easements, and other limitations
  • the existence of encumbrances such as mortgages and mechanics liens
  • carrying costs, such as property owners’ association dues, taxes and insurance
  • the usefulness of the property for Himalayan Institute’s purposes

The process of consideration begins with an initial discussion of these factors. To this end, Himalayan Institute may ask for the following information in order to consider acceptance of a gift of real estate:

  • a title insurance commitment showing marketable title in the donor, free and clear of unacceptable encumbrances, issued by a reputable title insurance company
  • an appraisal by a qualified appraiser (see discussion below) dated no more than 60 days prior to the date of the donation
  • a phase one environmental audit by a qualified engineer indicating that ownership will not expose Himalayan Institute to environmental liabilities
  • at the election of Himalayan Institute, a market feasibility study for the property
  • survey of the property by a registered land surveyor, typically a member of ALTA (American Land Title Association)
  • evidence of compliance with ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) (when applicable)
  • a structural engineering report (when applicable)
  • a review of leases (for commercial property)
  • a disclosure statement for residential property (when applicable)

Please note that submission of this documentation is not tantamount to acceptance of the gift; acceptance still requires the review and assent of our staff.

All appraisals of real property contributed to the Himalayan Institute shall be done in accordance with IRS Publication 561, “Determining the Value of Donated Property.” A real property valuation should be prepared by an MAI (Member of the Appraisal Institute) appraiser. The responsibility for expenses incurred to obtain an appraisal shall be determined on a case-by-case basis.

If you are interested in starting the conversation about donating real estate (either via outright donation, a bequest, or retained life estate), please contact Greg Capitolo, Treasurer, at 570-647-1516 to continue the conversation.

As with any decision involving your assets, we urge you to seek the advice of professional counsel when considering a gift to the Himalayan Institute.