When John Morris purchased his 25-acre Newbury property, his intent was to restore the farmhouse, and perhaps create a place where his sons could build houses for themselves. Over the span of
more than 20 years, John did a masterful job on the farmhouse, eliminated virtually all trace of the mink farm that had previously occupied the property, and created a lovely landscape of
open fields and woodlands. Over time it became clear that his children’s plans did not include the land in Newbury, and it was then that John connected with Greenbelt, and began to
think about a conservation sale.
Sale of Land and House
Balance Conservation and
Federal Income Tax Deduction
Income from Sale
A major consideration for John was his desire to dispose of the property in one transaction, rather than separating the house from the balance of the land. Greenbelt agreed to purchase the
entire property, with the intent of selling the house privately while retaining some 18 acres as a Greenbelt reservation. Partial funding was secured from the state, as the property abutted a
major state conservation area. Greenbelt found a buyer for the house, and raised the balance of the required funds from private sources. A key component of the project was John’s
willingness to accept less than the full fair market value for the property, bringing the project within Greenbelt’s financial capacity.
At the dedication, the property was named the Hans Morris Reservation, for one of John’s grandsons. John and Hans had spent many hours walking the property, observing the birds and
other species that made it their home. The knowledge that it was now permanently protected and open to other kids and their grandparents was very gratifying to John.
When I walked the new trail that had been blazed, and saw the wildlife and the flowers that were in the preserved property, I was very satisfied with what I had done… ~John