Understanding Purchase and Sale Agreements

A purchase and sale agreement is the document that establishes the steps of the transaction, as well as the responsibilities of the Seller and the Buyer. Purchasing real estate can seem like a complicated process but we will walk you through it.

During this webinar, Massachusetts attorney Richard Cavanaugh of Common Grow, LLC will discuss typical provisions in a purchase and sale agreement. He will also cover some other issues – like zoning and wetland restrictions – that you should consider when deciding whether or not to buy a property.

Presenter: Attorney Rich Kavanaugh, Common Grow LLC.

Buying the Farm – Part I

Farmers can obtain rights to farmland in a variety of ways, for example, by entering into a lease with the owner of the farmland, sharing ownership of the land with others, or acquiring full ownership (“fee simple” title) of the farmland. Part I of this Guide focuses on:

(i) the different types of land ownership,

ii) the advantages and disadvantages of purchasing the farmland directly through fee simple ownership, and

(iii) considerations when locating the right farmland to purchase.

Buying the Farm – Part II

Once a deal has been negotiated, a farmer works with the land owner to buy farmland for the agreed-upon purchase price. Part II of this Guide focuses on

(i) the elements of a Purchase and Sale Agreement,

ii) the investigation “due diligence” process that every farmer should undertake,

(iii) the deed and other acquisition closing documents, and

(iv) the closing.

Vermont’s Current Use Program

This legal guide provides a brief overview of Vermont’s Current Use Program—a state program designed to keep taxes on working lands affordable so long as land is being used for active agricultural purposes. The guide includes a high-level summary of the Program, including:

  • Eligibility requirements for enrolling
  • Steps for applying
  • How to maintain enrolled status and how to withdraw from the Program
  • How to transfer ownership of enrolled land

Urban Agriculture in the City of Boston

Did you know that Boston has an ordinance that covers urban farming?  Article 89 is part of the Boston land zoning laws.  It covers urban agriculture activities in Boston such as farming, hydroponics and beekeeping and more.  The City of Boston prepared this guide to demystify the language of the actual rule.  After reading this guide, you will have a better understanding of:

  • the rules covering land use and permitting requirements
  • the permitted location and size of ground-level farms, roof-top farms and freight farms
  • soil safety guidelines for urban farming
  • keeping bees and chickens.

Massachusetts Chapter 61 Tax Program

Chapter 61 programs offer a property tax break for landowners willing to keep their land undeveloped for a specified period of time. This guide provides all you need to know about the Massachusetts Chapter 61 Tax program.  After reading this guide, you will know:

  • description of Chapter 61 programs in forestry, agriculture and open space
  • minimum acreage to qualify for the program
  • types of land eligible for the Chapter 61 programs
  • tax benefits of the Chapter 61 programs
  • what happens if you withdraw from the program

This informative guide was prepared by University of Massachusetts Extension.

 

Negotiating Your Land Lease

Many farmers choose to lease their farmland. When leasing, consider what your farm needs are before signing. Be an advocate for yourself so that the provisions you need are in the land lease. This guide will navigate the lease negotiation process.  It discusses several issues that you should think about including in your lease.