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  12 Feb 2023

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How Can a Non-Profit Buy Property

Non-profit organizations use residential properties as their headquarters and as agency offices. The non-profit board overseeing the agency usually has to approve home purchases made with agency cash. 

Depending on the organization's legal structure, the non-profit's treasurer and the operating officer may also need to sign the contract. 

Some non-profit organizations' operational charters also call for membership approval before making significant agency expenditures like buying a home.

Can a Nonprofit Own Rental Property

A non-profit organization can buy and hold real estate titles legally. A not-for-profit organization must follow precise processes in order to buy real estate legally.

Adherence to these processes may result in the failure of a real estate transaction and the transfer of ownership to the non-profit organization.

Also, non-profits and other tax-exempt institutions are permitted to lease property. However, there are some legal criteria that you must learn about and adhere to before you sign on the dotted line if you plan to rent out your own premises. 

The money a non-profit makes from renting out property isn't necessarily tax-exempt.

Steps to Buying Property for Non-profit Organizations

Step 1: Establish the housing requirements

Establish the housing requirements for your charitable organization. Discussing the agency's requirements with your staff, managers, and board of directors is necessary for this process. 

List the number of employees and volunteers residing in the residential space and the amount of space needed by the target audience when calculating the required square footage.

Step 2: Establish the non-profit's budget for the acquisition of the residence

Establish the non-profit's budget for the acquisition of the residence. Include the cost of the house in the conversation with your board and managers. 

Formally assess your financial condition to determine your available cash and the obligation to make monthly mortgage payments. Using this information, determine a sales price for the home your non-profit will buy.

Step 3: Use a qualified, seasoned real estate agent

Use a qualified, seasoned real estate agent to browse homes. Think about filing a registration with the federal housing organizations HUD and FHA. 

A non-profit organization can bid on FHA and HUD-owned properties at a discount from the listed listing price by filling out and submitting Mortgagee Letter 00-08 and 02-01, which are accessible on the HUD website. 

To qualify for the discount and participate in the auction, your company must be on the agencies' list of approved vendors.

Step 4: Look for special financing options through HUD and FHA

Look for special financing options through HUD and FHA for charity house purchase. Unless your organization intends to pay for the home purchase with cash profits, the lender's calculations give a range for the authorized mortgage amount. 

Obtain a formal permission letter that has been approved and is endorsed by your lending broker to include a sales offer that includes a mortgage loan.

Step 5: Create a sales agreement for the chosen property

Create a sales agreement for the chosen property and look for building insurance. To make an offer on a property, get the sales contract signed by an officer or board member authorized by your organization. Attach the letter of approval from your lender to the offer, or have your real estate agent submit it together with the purchase agreement for the home.

Step 6: Close the Escrow

Seal the escrow on the new home for your company, get the necessary insurance to cover your liability on the property, and relocate.

Contract for Sale of the Property

Before a not-for-profit organization enters into a contract for the sale of real estate, the proposal must be approved by the board of directors. The board of directors is legally required to evaluate the proposed contract for sale. 

Following a review, the board of directors of the non-profit approves a resolution allowing the relevant official to engage in the contract for sale on the institution's behalf.

The appointed officer (usually the president or CEO) approves the actual contract for sale with her signature but adds a remark that the execution is done on behalf of the non-profit organization.

Funding and Financing

The non-profit organization can borrow money since it is a legal entity. The company could be able to secure a mortgage loan. Almost all not-for-profit organizations' articles of incorporation clearly provide that the board must approve any loan of directors. 

As a result, before filing an application for mortgage finance, the board of directors must approve a resolution authorizing the incurring of such debt. 

Typically, the resolution will set a limit on the amount of money that can be borrowed for a certain real estate transaction.


The closure of the real estate transaction involves the board of directors positively. The board of directors decides everything is in order after the title search, inspections, and other procedures done before to the closure and adopts another resolution. The appointed officer is required under the resolution to complete the sale.

The designated officer of the company attends the closing and signs all paperwork required to conclude the sale.

Benefits of Buying Non-Profit Property 

Some benefits of buying nonprofit property are:

Tax advantages: The 501(c)(3) status entitles organizations to a variety of regional, state, and/or federal tax advantages.

Nonprofit organizations are free from paying federal taxes as well as sales and property taxes, according IRS laws. Even some states may exclude charitable entities from paying payroll taxes.

Equity/Control: Nonprofits may take control of their finances by owning real estate, make extra money by renting out the space that isn't being utilized, or use assets to boost their investment portfolio.

Increased charity dedication: Donors are informed of a nonprofit's long-term strength and dedication to attaining mission goals and reaching strategic objectives by a well-executed real estate purchase. 

This might serve as motivation for both current and future contributors to raise their contributions to your charity. 

Key Takeaways

Spend enough time evaluating a range of homes to satisfy the requirements of your organization. Consider making internal changes to the house to create an office or work area. 

When compared to choosing a more costly property, a little interior repair on a home matching your basic needs usually results in cost savings, especially when dealing with special HUD or FHA acquisitions given at a discounted sales price.

After successfully purchasing a suitable property for your nonprofit organization, it is also important that you manage it seamlessly. 

With a property management system like Booking Ninjas, you can fully automate your property management tasks without having to worry about accuracy, productivity, or profitability.

Schedule a free call with us to learn more about who we are and what we do.

Improve Your Property's Management, Operation & Revenue With Booking Ninjas Property Management System

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