King Land & Water LLC

During his nineteen-year tenure as the Director of Land Protection for the Nature Conservancy and West Texas Program Manager in Texas, James King garnered more experience putting conservation real estate transactions together than anyone else in Texas. A staunch advocate of community-based conservation, James has worked on many projects that are now well-known protected lands. Among many such undertakings, in his own back yard in the Trans-Pecos, James spearheaded the efforts to create the Davis Mountains Preserve – one of the most pristine and compelling conservation assets in the state. Additionally, James currently serves as the chairman of the Big Bend Ranch State Park Advisory Board, in which capacity he works with other volunteers to help support the needs of this vast 300,000-acre state wilderness park. James is also a founding board member of the Trans-Pecos Water Trust.

The Conservation Client's Agent
James King takes particular pride in finding and creating opportunities for an elite, discerning and motivated clientele. His ability to match the right buyer with the right property has been tested and proven over and over again.

In fact, it is no stretch to say that ranch acquisition is in James' blood. Starting with Captain Richard King, founder of the legendary King Ranch in South Texas and James' great-great-great grandfather, James' ancestors, from generation to generation, have been land merchants since 1853. With the same spark in his eye that inspired Captain King to tame a huge portion of a land once known as the Wild Horse Desert and turn it into a first-rate ranching operation, James King pursues properties that help his clients fulfill lifelong dreams.

The early developers of King Ranch also led the first efforts in Texas to conserve wild habitats and manage populations of wild game and other fauna. Today, James King continues this traditional priority of conserving the land so that wildlife and unique flora can flourish, and future generations can enjoy the rich diversity of life for which conservation properties create ideal homes.

James King approaches each search for a client's ideal property with an inspired zeal as if it were the first such transaction he had ever facilitated. James' passion for the land is contagious, and his ability to quickly grasp the specific desires and goals of his clients sets him apart as the premier conservation ranch broker in the Trans-Pecos.

The Trans-Pecos Specialist
James King has facilitated over one half million acres of conservation real estate transactions in Texas, but his particular concentration, today, is in the majestic Trans-Pecos region of far West Texas. James and his family live in the area, having made Fort Davis their home for over a decade. They are also conservation real estate owners, themselves, so the King family has had first-hand experience of many aspects of owning conservation property.

The Trans-Pecos is a land of grand landscapes and vast panoramas, with an array of wildlife that complements this inspiring area perfectly. The mountains, high grasslands and canyons around Alpine, Marfa and Fort Davis have attracted a unique breed of people who care about wild lands and are committed to keeping them that way. Additionally, these individuals have made it a priority to honor the cultural patrimony of the ranching heritage in this part of Texas. James' work with these like-minded people has helped establish a landscape that is relatively free of the threats that have marred the habitats and views of some other great recreational destinations in the United States.

If the panorama of life in the Trans-Pecos has inspired you to take the next step and consider ownership of a piece of this classic southwestern landscape, James King is ready to be your boots-on-the-ground representative from his ideally-located base in Fort Davis, Texas.


Conservation Real Estate

Recognizing that the term "conservation real estate" has been the subject of misinterpretation or misunderstanding, King Land & Water would like to take this opportunity to clear the air regarding this increasingly salient term in the Trans-Pecos and throughout Texas in the real estate industry.

What is Conservation Real Estate?
Broadly, conservation real estate refers to special lands for buyers committed to being good stewards of them. These properties frequently feature unique forms of flora and fauna, compelling live water resources, and, often, stunning, one-of-a-kind views.

Who are conservation buyers?
Conservation buyers are people who appreciate conservation values and are willing to invest in conservation properties. After the purchase, they continue to conserve the land and make conservation-related investments in it. Conservation real estate investments have helped buyers realize significant value increases in their properties while affording them the opportunity to enjoy the natural splendor of these special lands.

What is a conservation easement?
Some buyers who purchase land in areas that are subject to increased commercial or residential development pressure choose to create conservation easements to help conserve the lasting wild and scenic attributes of their property. Landowners can use conservation easements to protect views, wildlife habitat and valuable water features while taking advantage of significant tax benefits.

The Conservation Easement 
The easement is a legal document that becomes part of the title of a property; it restricts future development rights and uses of the property in ways specific to each easement. The owner dedicates the conservation easement to a qualified organization that monitors the land to ensure that no one violates the restrictions. These restrictions run with the land in perpetuity and do not generally allow for third party access.

The Benefit
When an easement is placed on a property, the owner still maintains possession, fee ownership, the right to quiet enjoyment and use of the land. However, restricting the future development rights to the land can reduce the potential value of the land. The difference between the fair market value of the land and the value after the easement is in place is called the DIMINUTION VALUE, which can be considered a charitable donation by the IRS. This value can be used to offset federal income taxes over 15 years, and can effectively lower an owner's basis in the property while lowering annual real estate taxes and future estate taxes.

The Trans-Pecos real estate market, however, has often witnessed increases in the value of many lands that are subject to conservation easements. In this scenario, conservation landowners have enjoyed the knowledge that their investments have increased in value while they rest assured that they are protecting the precious natural features that attracted them to these lands in the first place.

Will a Conservation Easement decrease my property value?
Not necessarily. It may be a surprise to you that James King has seen properties with conservation easements increase significantly in value over time - especially in areas where such easements are on properties that are adjacent to or near other lands with conservation easements. A cluster of conservation easement properties in the general vicinity of one another has had the effect of creating a conservation "neighborhood" of ranches that reinforces and bolsters land values because these lands are regarded as sacred treasures upon which buyers and sellers can rely that they will remain conserved for present-day enjoyment and for the cultural, physical, spiritual and intellectual enrichment of future generations.

Contact King Land & Water LLC

James King
600 State Street
P.O. Box 109
Fort Davis, Texas  79734
Phone: 432.426.2024
Fax: (432) 224-1110


Service Area

Statewide service provider in:
  • Texas

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