Frequently Asked Questions - Page 1


1. What is University Gables?

University Gables is a residential community in Buena Park, California. The University Gables was completed in 2002 and the first residents moved in during August 2002. The University Gables sales program (the "Program") allows persons affiliated with California State University, Fullerton ("CSUF") to own a home near the CSUF campus at an affordable price.

The Program is operated by the CSU Fullerton Auxiliary Services Corporation (the "ASC"), a nonprofit corporation affiliated with CSUF. Unlike traditional homeownership programs, the buyers purchase the home and lease the land under the home from the ASC via a long-term ground lease which contains various terms and conditions, including indexed appreciation to ensure that homes remain affordable in the future. This also helps to keep the sales price lower than the price if the land were being sold, and will help to ensure that homes remain owned by persons affiliated with CSUF.

As explained more fully under the section "Purchasing a Home in the University Gables" below, the University Gables is subject to buyer income limits imposed by the City of Buena Park Redevelopment Agency in exchange for granting the site and entitlements for the project. All buyers must, at the time of purchase, earn no more than 120% of Orange County median income, adjusted for household size ("Moderate Income"). The purchasers of 11 of the townhouses must earn no more than 80% of Orange County median income ("Low Income"). The so-called "Low Income" and "Moderate Income" limits are higher than might be expected because of the relatively high median income in Orange County.

2. Why was University Gables established?

CSUF is in a high-cost housing area, and it is difficult for many CSUF faculty and employees to afford ownership housing near the CSUF campus. These circumstances make it more difficult for CSUF to recruit and retain faculty and employees, especially with respect to those in nationally recruited positions, such as faculty who could select a job at another institution in a location where housing is more affordable. Also, keeping employees near the CSUF campus fosters a sense of community and participation in CSUF activities. For the full, prioritized mission statement of the University Gables Program, see the adjoining inset.

Prioritized Mission Statement
  • To assist CSUF to compete successfully for talented candidates for "nationally recruited" employee positions who might otherwise be deterred because of high local housing costs.
  • To provide housing that is currently affordable and that will remain affordable and available over time, utilizing a system that is fair in its allocation process and will allow homeowners to build equity.
  • To provide high-quality homes, for both the short and long term, and enhance employee quality of life.
  • To foster "local" recruitment.
  • To create and maintain a program that remains flexible over time to meet changing circumstances and needs.
  • To create a housing resource that is marketable and fosters collegiality, community and employee productivity, through a program that is easy to administer and provides adequate revenue to operate the program over time as well as initially.
  • To further air quality, traffic reduction and relations with the outside community.

3. Why is the campus building an affordable community rather than giving employees financial
assistance to buy in the outside marketplace, as some universities do?

Unlike some other universities, CSUF does not have a large endowment or other source of discretionary funds to invest in marketplace assistance programs. And as home prices in the outside market escalate, an ever-greater investment would be required to bridge the affordability gap. An affordable community has the advantage of being self-supporting and remaining affordable and available over time to future employees. Such communities also foster collegiality and can help with transportation, traffic and air quality issues by being close to the workplace and facilitating techniques such as carpooling.

4. What types of housing units are there in University Gables? 

University Gables has 50 single-family detached houses and 36 attached townhouses in University Gables. The types of homes and respective sizes are as follows:


Plan Description Number of Homes


Townhome (Low Income Purchasers)
3 Bedroom, 2.5 Bath (1,277 s.f.)


Townhome (Low Income Purchasers)
3 Bedroom, 2.5 Bath (1,364 s.f.)



3 Bedroom, 2.5 Bath (1,364 s.f.)



3 Bedroom, 2.5 Bath (1,429 s.f.)



3 Bedroom, 2.5 Bath (1,473 s.f.)



Detached Home
3 Bedroom, 2.5 Bath (1,503 s.f.)



Detached Home
4 Bedroom, 3 Bath (1,640 s.f.)


5. What are the current prices for homes in University Gables? 

Homes in the University Gables are available only on a resale basis when an existing homeowner decides to relocate and sell their home. In general, resale prices are limited to a maximum price under the program. Under the program, the purchase price to a new buyer is limited to the initial purchase price plus appreciation based on the increase in Orange County median family incomes. Therefore, prices will vary according to the current market for similar properties in the area, the passage of time, the change in the Orange County median incomes, and the particular home that becomes available for sale.

To assist you in determining the approximate range of prices, the following were the approximate prices for the various models in the year 2014. Additionally, the Orange County median income increases in a range from 1.5% to 2.7%, averaging 1.9% during the past five years. This data can assist you in estimating the approximate appreciation for the homes.


Plan Description Number of Homes Prices in Year 2014
(Home Price + Prepaid Ground Rent)


Townhome (Low Income Purchasers)
3 Bedroom, 2.5 Bath (1,277 s.f.)
8 $210,000 - $240,000
(Low-income Purchasers only) 


Townhome (Low Income Purchasers)
3 Bedroom, 2.5 Bath (1,364 s.f.)

3 $225,000 - $260,000
(Low-income Purchasers only)


3 Bedroom, 2.5 Bath (1,364 s.f.)

7 $230,000 - $250,000


3 Bedroom, 2.5 Bath (1,429 s.f.)

10  $240,000 - $260,000


3 Bedroom, 2.5 Bath (1,473 s.f.)

8 $250,000 - $270,000


Detached Home
3 Bedroom, 2.5 Bath (1,503 s.f.)

22 $280,000 - $300,000


Detached Home
4 Bedroom, 3 Bath (1,640 s.f.)

28  $290,000 - $320,000

6. What amenities are featured in University Gables? 

University Gables is a neotraditional neighborhood with Craftsman Bungalow type architecture designed by an award-winning architectural firm. The street scene features trees, white picket fences and front porches, with landscaping outside of fenced areas provided and maintained by the CSU Fullerton Auxiliary Services Corporation. Back yards are fenced and have gas hookups for barbecue installation. Neighborhood amenities include a recreational area with a pool, restroom and shower facilities and a park. There are community parks nearby. The neighborhood has easy access to shopping and the entertainment, cultural and educational resources of Orange County. 

The homes themselves offer a range of quality appliances, fixtures and finishes, such as built-in bookshelves and ceramic-tile kitchen counters & entryway. Master baths feature dual sinks, an oversized oval tub and separate glass-enclosed shower. Detached homes will have fireplaces, which were also available as an option on townhomes. Specifications emphasize safety, energy efficiency, attractiveness, comfort and convenience, including fire sprinklers; smoke & fire alarms; fireproof, energy-efficient concrete-tile roof; dual-glazed windows; extra insulation; central forced-air heating and air conditioning; gas water heater and kitchen range; 1.6-gallon toilets; concealed-hinge cabinetry; quiet floors; no-wax vinyl flooring in the kitchen, baths and laundry; and fiber-optic connectivity. All homes have 2-car garages with automatic sectional raised-panel doors. 

While the above describes many standard features of the homes when they were initially constructed, initial purchasers and subsequent owners may have purchased additional upgrades or have otherwise made changes and alterations to the properties. Therefore, each home will be furnished, decorated and maintained differently and any new buyer should therefore inspect the property before any purchase decision is made.

7. Are any single-story units or handicapped-accessibility features available?

No single-level homes were constructed in this project because they would have required more land, reducing the number homes that could be built and thus the number of families that could be accommodated, and also making the financial feasibility of the project questionable by reducing the number of units that City entitlement costs could be shared among. Plan 2 has a first-floor bedroom option and bath. There are no exterior stairs into the units, and the community walkways are handicapped accessible. As a single-family residential development, University Gables homes are exempt from handicapped accessibility requirements.

8. How far from campus is University Gables?

University Gables is about 7 miles from the CSUF campus (from CSUF going west on Chapman, which becomes Malvern). Drive time is about 15 minutes. 

9. What is the neighborhood setting for the site?

Adjacent to the site of the University Gables occupies is the site of a commuter-rail station. Westerly are residential neighborhoods. More homes are located to the north, across the Brea Creek channel and Malvern Avenue, including the Los Coyotes Country Club neighborhood. To the west, across Dale Street, is Lakeside, a new upscale gated community of for-sale homes. To the south are railroad tracks and (adjoining the City's portion of the parcel) an industrial area; beyond that (southwards from Lakeside) is Fullerton's light-aircraft airport. Like Lakeside, University Gables is partially shielded from the train noise with a sound wall. Prospective homeowners are strongly encouraged to visit the area to view the site.

10. How can I purchase a home in University Gables?

All the homes in the University Gables are currently owned and occupied by faculty and staff, however, homes come onto the market from time to time as residents relocate, move to another community or otherwise decide to sell their home. Potential buyers are contacted in order of priority when a home becomes available and an applicant may or may not proceed with a purchase of an available home. Should a potential buyer pass on an opportunity, the ASC will proceed to the next applicant and through the waitlist in order until a buyer is identified. Therefore, if you are interested the first step in acquiring a home in the University Gables is to go to our web site at  and complete a application for the desired community and fax the application to the ASC at the number located in the instructions. The ASC will contact you via email with confirmation that the ASC received your application, verified eligibility determined priority and added your name to the waitlist.

11. Who is eligible to purchase homes in University Gables?

University Gables is subject to buyer income limits imposed by the City of Buena Park Redevelopment Agency in exchange for granting the site and entitlements for the project. All buyers must, at the time of purchase, earn no more than 120% of Orange County median income, adjusted for household size ("Moderate Income"). The purchasers of 11 of the townhouses must earn no more than 80% of Orange County median income ("Low Income"). The so-called "Low Income" and "Moderate Income" limits are higher than might be expected (see below), because of the relatively high median income in Orange County. Purchasers are not required to be affiliated with CSUF, but persons affiliated with CSUF will have the highest priority for homes (see below). All purchasers must use their University Gables home as their principal place of residence and retain employment status from time of purchase.

12. How is "income" determined?

Income includes wages, overtime, bonuses, commissions, tips, investment income, social security, retirement/pensions & annuities, wage equivalents such as unemployment & worker compensation, alimony & child support, etc. of household members over 18 years of age who will occupy the home. For self-employment, income is determined net of expenses other than depreciation/amortization and home rent (take the higher of the prior year's tax filing or the year-to-date income). Income does not include foster-care payments, items excluded from income by state/federal law, sporadic gifts, medical expense reimbursements, scholarships and VA education benefits, and lump-sum additions such as inheritance, insurance payments and capital gains, etc.

13. Who has priority for purchase of homes?

Following are the prioritized tables of Tiers and Categories within Tiers. Persons in Tier I must be employees of CSUF except Tier IA which is at the President's determination. Applications are ranked by Tier and then by Category within Tier.


Tier 1: CSUF Institutional Advancement and National Hires
Category Description


 CSUF Presidential nominees approved by Housing Authority's Board of Directors


Designated Current Homeowners


CSUF National Hires




CSUF Presidential Nominee approved by the ASC

Consists of individuals identified as special instances by the President of the University for which a special priority is deemed to be appropriate. Such instances will include special faculty retention cases, unique recruiting opportunities, etc. There are a limited number of such appointments available and each needs to be approved by the ASC.

Presidential Nominees are limited to a maximum of 25% of all units in any one development or 20% of all units in all developments.

Presidential Nominees who leave the community and sell their home will open a like appointment for resale purposes. Openings not immediately filled on a resale will carry over to future sales, up to the limit set forth above.

Designated Current Homeowner

Consists of individuals who are current homeowners in another ASC or Housing Authority sponsored housing where the ASC has determined that the move will benefit the campus's recruitment or retention objectives. An example would be where the buyer relocating from the University Heights or another home with University Gables.

There is no limitation on the percentages of homes occupied by Designated Current Homeowners.

National Hires

National Hires are fulltime, tenured or tenure track Faculty and Level Three and above Management Level (or comparable rank for positions at campus auxiliaries, other than the ASC) individuals who are employees of CSUF, or one of it auxiliaries. This category includes current and newly recruited individuals, including those who have signed contracts for future starting dates. 

National Hires are eligible within 30days of contract date.

Long-Term Employee

Employees with over five (5) consecutive years of service to CSUF and/or its auxiliaries.

Local Educational Institutions

Consists of individuals of the following (with first priority in each category to institutions located in the City of Fullerton)

  1. State higher-education

  2. Other State educational institutions (including K-12 school districts)

  3. Private, nonprofit higher-educational institutions

  4. Other nonprofit educational institutions

  5. For profit educational institutions

Public Employees

Consists of individuals in the following:

  1. Employees of the State of California

  2. Employees of the County of Orange

  3. Employees of a city in Orange County

  4. Employees of other public entity with location in Orange County

Ties are resolved first by reference to date added to interest list and thereafter by lot.

The ASC reserves the right to modify the priority system as it deems appropriate.

14. How does a person apply to purchase a University Gables home? 

University Gables has a waitlist therefore at this point in time applications are being accepted. Interested individuals should go to the University Gables section How to Apply and print out a University Gables application, complete, sign and fax or email to ASC. Once the application is received by the ASC you will receive an email verifying the receipt of your application and that your name was added to the waitlist.

How to Apply

15. Who can afford to buy the homes?

Affordability will vary with factors such as the buyer's income, down payment funds and mortgage interest rate.

16. Is there any special financing available for home purchases?

The ASC has worked with several lending sources to familiarize them with the University Gables Program. Participating lenders currently include SchoolsFirst FCU and U.S. Bank. See "Financing" for lender contact information.

Buyers should be aware that the University Gables is not a FNMA (Fannie Mae) approved development. This is the result of the restrictions placed on the community under an agreement with the City of Buena Park Redevelopment Agency. As a result, those lenders and mortgage brokers who do not retain and maintain their own loans may be unable or unwilling to make loans on homes within the community. This reduces the sources of financing that may otherwise be available had FNMA approval been obtained.

17. How does the ground lease work?

Homeowners lease the land under the terms of the University Gables Ground Lease Agreement from the ASC for a 99-year term. The ASC retains the residual "fee" ownership in the underlying land. This arrangement is like that used at the UC Irvine and Cal State Monterey Bay faculty-staff for-sale housing communities.

18. What ground rent and fees do homeowners pay under the ground lease?

Homeowners will pay ground rent for their use of the land, and monthly assessments for the ongoing maintenance of the University Gables community and reserves for future repairs and replacements.

Ground Rent

The ground rent for the use of the land has been discounted to take into account the project's restrictions. The ground rent for the use of the land is paid in monthly installments. Owners of detached homes pay approximately $149 per month, and owners of townhomes pay $84 per month. Ground rent amounts are reset at each resale transaction. The amount of ground rent for the use of the land is subject to adjustment every five years based on the Consumer Price Index. Please note that University Gables homeowners (unlike many new homeowners in the general marketplace) do not have to pay an ongoing "Mello-Roos" assessment for infrastructure, as the ASC is paying to install this.

Monthly Assessments

The monthly community maintenance payment (equivalent of homeowner dues) is initially $186 for detached homes and $180 for townhomes. Part of this amount covers items the homeowner would otherwise have to pay for directly at a higher cost, such as homeowner fire/casualty insurance and exterior maintenance. The remainder goes toward maintenance of common-area facilities such as landscaping, pool and streets and to fund reserves for future repairs and replacements. 

19. What are the other terms of the ground lease?

The ground lease agreement between the ASC and the homebuyer contains the Program controls designed to keep the University Gables community affordable, available and attractive to University-affiliated buyers over time, such as restrictions on buyer eligibility, the ASC right to repurchase, and resale price limitations. It also contains terms typically addressed in ground leases such as the length of the lease, ground rent, maintenance obligations, and mortgage rights, as well as miscellaneous protections for the ASC and the residents.

This is not a complete summary of the Ground Lease. Please refer to the actual lease document for full disclosure.

20. Are pets allowed in University Gables?

University Gables has property use and maintenance regulations similar to CC&R's in marketplace homeownership developments. The regulations allow pets on similar terms to those you would find elsewhere

21. What controls are on the resale price of homes?

Ground Lease Provisions

Under the ground lease, upon resale, the homes will remain affordable to the next buyer through resale price controls. The Maximum Resale Price will be capped at the sum of:

  1. The original purchase price of the home (i.e., not including prepaid ground rent), increased by an index based on the rise in Orange County median income (the "Resale Price Index"), plus

  2. The appraised value of approved capital improvements made by the homeowner after sale (up to 25% of the original purchase price of the home, as increased by the Resale Price Index), plus

  3. Presale fix-up expenses (up to 5% of the indexed purchase price of the home).

However, the maximum sales price will never be less than the original sales price, so that even if the index goes down, no homeowner will be forced to sell the home at a loss (although market conditions or the way you maintain the home may affect whether you are able to resell it at the maximum resale price). In addition, selling and transfer costs, which include the sales facilitation fee, and the amortization of the initial prepaid ground rent payment, could result in a loss by the seller in certain circumstances.

By way of example, if a family purchases a University Gables home priced at $190,000 in 2002, and the Resale Price Index goes up 3% per year, and the family resells the home 10 years later without any capital improvements or presale fix-up expenses, the Maximum Resale Price would be approximately $255,000. 


 Note: The above example is for illustrative purposes only and does not necessarily reflect the actual home price, prepaid ground rent or package price of any actual unit, nor can there be any assurance as to the future performance of the Resale Price Index or sales market, including whether a unit will sell for the Maximum Resale Price. Seller's Gross Proceeds figure does not include any sales facilitation fees (which could amount to 5% of the selling price) or any other sales transaction costs.

Redevelopment Agency Provisions

As noted above, the Redevelopment Agency has imposed income restrictions on the maximum income of buyers in University Gables at the time of purchase. These restrictions expire in 30 years. While they are in force, at the time of any sale a home must be affordable to buyers earning no more than 120% of the Orange County median income. (For the 11 low-income-restricted units, the home must be affordable to buyers earning no more than 80% of Orange County median income.) The affordable housing payment limit is calculated based upon the percentage of income that is deemed to be available for housing payments (for mortgage principal & interest, ground rent, property, taxes, utilities, etc.), as defined in state law and imposed by the Redevelopment Agency. These Redevelopment Agency affordable housing restrictions may indirectly limit the resale price of the home. Because the Resale Price Index under the ground lease is also based on the County median income, there will likely be substantial parity between the Redevelopment Agency's restriction and the ground lease restriction as regards the basic home price (before capital improvements & presale fix-up expenses). Some other factors, such as mortgage interest rates and the amount of down payment prospective resale purchasers have and their family size, could affect the affordability calculation one way or the other.

22. Are there any fees payable by a homeowner upon resale of homes?

Yes. The ASC will charge the seller a nominal administrative fee for processing any ground lease transfer (set at $500; this fee will not exceed 1% of the sales price), plus a 3% sales facilitation fee. Marketplace brokers typically charge sellers 6% of the gross sales proceeds including the land value. Sellers will also pay closing costs to third parties typically paid by sellers in this area. Unlike some other campus programs, there is no "shared appreciation" or "equity sharing" of the sales proceeds with the ASC.

Fees payable will typically be deducted from the seller's proceeds from the sale of the home at the time of escrow closing, along with any prorated items such as maintenance dues, real property taxes, etc.

23. To whom can the homeowner resell the home?

Ground Lease Provisions

To keep the homes available to CSUF-associated persons, when the homeowner decides to sell, the ASC has 60 days from notification date to exercise an option to buy it, and can assign this right to persons on the prioritized waitlist. The purchase price will be the lowest of the seller's asking price, the appraised value, or the Maximum Resale Price described above. The ASC, or its assignee, then has an additional 60 days from the expiration of the initial 60 day option period to close on the home.

If the ASC does not elect to buy the home, The ASC will work with the homeowner to sell the home to persons with priority to purchase the home, as provided above. If no priority buyer can be found within 180 days(including the initial 60 days option period), the homeowner will be able to sell the home to a member of the general public(restrictions still in place).

Redevelopment Agency Provisions

As noted above, for the first 30 years from original sale, a resale purchaser must have a household income that does not exceed 120% of the then-current Orange County median income (or, for the 11 low-income units, 80% of Orange County median income).

24. Can homeowners be required to sell their homes?

In order to keep the homes available to help achieve the project's mission, the ASC will have a right to repurchase a home from a University Gables homeowner upon the occurrence of the following circumstances:

In order to keep the homes available to help achieve the project's mission, the ASC will have a right to repurchase a home from a University Gables homeowner upon the occurrence of the following circumstances:

  • The employee homeowner undergoes a change in employment status (resignation, termination, non-renewal of contract, reduction to part-time, change to nonpermanent position, etc.) such that the employee no longer satisfies the requirements for the priority level under which the person originally qualified. This repurchase option will not be triggered if the occurrence is a result of becoming temporarily or permanently disabled, or is a result of an involuntary reduction in hours where the employee is still considered to be in full-time service.

  • A non-employee (other than surviving spouse or legal equivalent) receives an interest in the University Gables home by will or operation of law.

  • A non-employee (other than surviving spouse or legal equivalent) receives an interest in the University Gables home by will or operation of law.

  • The original homeowner holds less than 50% title to the home. (Acquisition of 50% or less undivided interest in the home by a non-employee does not trigger the ASC repurchase option, provided that the remaining share is wholly owned by an eligible employee who uses the home as the principal residence.)

  • After the death of the employee, the surviving spouse (or legal equivalent) holds less than 100% of title to the home.

  • A non-employee is awarded rights to occupy the home by a court, tribunal in divorce proceedings, separation or other legal proceedings.

  • Title is conveyed to another person or entity, other than to a trust for estate-planning purposes.

  • The employee retires, provided that for CSUF and CSUF auxiliary employees, the ASC will not be entitled to purchase the home until the expiration of one-half of the number of years of service with CSUF or its auxiliaries

  • Starting five years after the original date of sale, if the homeowner was not a CSU fulltime employee at the time of sale, and still is not a fulltime CSU (or CSUF auxiliary) employee.

  • The home is not used as the homeowner's principal place of residence.

  • The homeowner's default on his/her mortgage, or on a housing-assistance loan sponsored by the ASC or affiliate.

  • The homeowner is in default of terms of the Ground Lease Agreement.




The CSU Fullerton Auxiliary Services Corporation (ASC) is a non-profit public corporation that was incorporated in 1959 for the purpose of promoting and assisting the educational mission of Cal State Fullerton.