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Above are some of the current easements held by Preservation Forsyth. They are located across Forsyth County, from Winston-Salem, Pfafftown, Lewisville, and Clemmons.

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Preservation Easements are the most powerful protection for your historic building

A part of Preservation Forsyth's mission is the protection of historic resources. We undertake that directly by accepting preservation easements on historic properties in Forsyth County.

There are honorary and regulatory protections. The National Register of Historic Places is largely honorary, only requiring 'comment' when there is federal involvement affecting a property. Outside of voluntary rehabilitation tax credits, there is no limit on private property owners actions. Local landmark/historic districts do have more direct control but in North Carolina they can only delay demolition. And local landmarks can even be removed from review upon request of the owner.

A Preservation Easement is a simple, ownership interest in a property that is given to a third party to protect the historic integrity. The current owner can continue to use the property. Once this is given to Preservation Forsyth, then we review changes to be made, similar to the local designated property, but the opinions are not appealable or avoidable. The easement holder has a legal, deed interest in the property and the option to get court action in order to enforce its decisions. These protections pass in perpetuity with the property to all subsequent owners, so never expire unless mutually agreed.

We can also take a gift of a property then sell with deed covenants that helps both protect the historic building and also helps support us and our mission. Proceeds are put into a dedicated fund to help monitor and take action if necessary to enforce deed covenants. In that case the full value of the property donated could be a charitable contribution.

There is a small fee we ask to help cover the cost to manage covenants.

There can be tax advantages to easements, since the value of the property is typically reduced and the IRS recognizes that change in value as a charitable donation. Similarly, tax assessors in North Carolina must account for the change in a property's value when an easement is given at the time they are recorded.

While National Register listing is makes accepting an easement simpler, it is not required for a Preservation Easement to be granted. In that case, the historic importance will need to be documented by additional information.

Preservation Forsyth representatives are available to evaluate and discuss the options available. The protections can be exterior only, or include interior.  They can also be closely tailored to identify key items that are subject to review.

Contact us at our email below to start a discussion about Preservation Easements can protect your historic property.

See this video from one our public presentations on easements and historic rehabilitation tax credits for more details.

PRESERVATION FORSYTH   |   226 S Liberty St   |   Winston-Salem, NC 27101   |

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