Office of Gift Development

Gifts of Real Estate

Homes, vacation homes and other properties hold memories of a family’s past. But they also can be used as philanthropic tools to help improve the future through medicine.

These properties are often among a person’s most valuable assets, and there are many creative ways to leverage their worth to support medical research and education at IU School of Medicine. Donating a home, farm or other real estate may be especially appealing for those who are planning to downsize or when changing life circumstances require a new living situation. But moving isn’t required to donate your home, as some giving mechanisms allow donors to continue living in their home long after they gift the property.

As with all gifts to IU School of Medicine, a donor may decide what the contribution will support. For instance, a gift of real estate may be used to establish a scholarship for a worthy medical student, fund the activities of a brilliant scientist or physician, or fuel research related to a specific disease.

Gifts of real estate to benefit the IU School of Medicine are made through the Indiana University Foundation. Gift planning experts are available to work with donors and their representatives to help achieve philanthropic goals — and to ensure the gift serves as the spark intended to ignite innovation in medical education and research.

Benefits of Gifting Real Estate

Donors who gift real estate to IU School of Medicine or other charitable organization may realize substantial personal income tax benefits. Gifting property during your lifetime can also remove a taxable asset from your federal gross estate and simplify the estate settlement process. Certain giving mechanisms allow donors to continue living in the gifted home and enjoying the property for as long as they wish. Gifts of real estate allow donors to make a significant gift to improve the health and wellbeing of others without giving up liquid assets.

Types of Real Estate Gifts

A retained life estate agreement is one way to contribute real estate to benefit IU School of Medicine. This type of gift allows a donor to continue living in and enjoying using the home, vacation home or farm while establishing a gift of that property. The donor receives a charitable tax deduction in the year the gift is made, and IU receives the property at the end of the retained life estate term, usually in the person’s lifetime.

As part of a bargain sale, a donor agrees to sell a house to the Indiana University Foundation for less than its appraised value and receive an immediate cash payment. The IU Foundation later sells the property at fair-market value, and the profit benefits the area of the donor’s choosing at IU School of Medicine. Among advantages of this type of gift are the up-front payment for the sale, eligibility for a charitable deduction, and avoidance of the hassles of putting a property on the market.

Farmland may also be donated to benefit IU School of Medicine. Like homes and vacation homes, donors may consider a bargain sale or can choose to continue living on the farm after it’s been donated. Donors may also want to explore the possibility of a giving vehicle that pays income for the rest of their life, such as a charitable remainder trust or gift annuity.