Five Things to Know Before
You Buy a Conserved Property

This is the third in a Conservation 101 series. Click for our blogs on Understanding Conserved Properties and What Makes Conserved Properties Special.

Conserved Property SalesRound Lot Farm, in the heart of Norfolk Hunt Country in Medfield, MA is one of many great conserved properties for sale listed by LandVest.

Have you looked at a great property on the market and wondered what makes it “conserved”?

Here are the five key things to know before you buy:

  1. Conservation means special

    With so much land in New England already lost to development, the opportunity to list a conserved property always piques our interest. A former owner or the community, or both, cared about it enough to protect it. There is something about it that distinguished it from other properties in the area. Find out what makes it special.

  2. Conserved does not mean public

    A popular misconception is that public access is a part of conservation. While some properties do have provision for public access, the vast majority of properties we market are never open to the public. The easement holder, usually a local land trust, may have the right to inspect the property once a year at a mutually agreeable time.

ConservationEastman Hill Stock Farm is a remarkable conserved property near beautiful Kezar Lake in Lovell, Maine. It even comes with an endowment.

  1. Know your rights

    It’s all about your rights when reading a conservation easement. Most easements read as if you can’t do anything on the property except…
    And it’s those exceptions that make all the difference, so go straight to the reserved rights section.

    Keep in mind a previous landowner probably shaped those rights so he could continue to use the property the way he wanted to. You may find there is provision for all sorts of things you might want to do: garden, farm, house animals, build a pool or a guest house, even build another house. It’s all in the reserved rights. Pair what you want to do with the property (or what a reasonable future owner might want) with what the easement permits.

ConservationUpton Pond, a 1318± acre conserved property in Stoddard, New Hampshire,
includes a nearly 10 acre pond, and is under agreement.

  1. Land trusts care about landowner relations

    A local land trust, a private conservation organization largely funded by landowners and friends in the community, holds most conservation easements. It cares a great deal about getting along with landowners, and will usually bend over backward to work with you.

  2. Is there an opportunity to conserve more?

    Find out if there is more land that could be purchased and protected around the property.  Conservation could increase your privacy and perhaps offer tax benefits. Are there remaining development rights within the property that you don’t need which might also be a source of tax deductions?

    LandVest brokers are expert in helping buyers understand conserved properties and in helping owners sell land for conservation. We love helping buyers decide whether a conserved property is right for them, and working with sellers to protect their properties through conservation sales.

A Sampling of Conserved Properties We Are Currently Marketing



Some of the Special Properties We’ve Sold that are Conserved


Interested in learning how LandVest can help you conserve your property? Contact David Rosen, President.

Interested in marketing your conserved property? Contact Ruth Kennedy Sudduth, Director, Residential Brokerage Division.

For more info on conserving your property, you might find these blogs helpful.