By Cyndi Gurrola
Despite much home buying insecurity, including the most diverse
inventory of houses for sale in a decade, the team behind the Fair
Oaks Walk Development is optimistic about providing homes for Cal
Poly faculty, staff and alumni, as well as local school, city,
state, public and medical employees.
“It’s a pay it forward type of deal,” said Cal Poly director of
real estate development Sandy Acton, referring to the association
rules that should assuage any fears potential buyers may have.
The five-building development of 34 townhouses located at 141
East Foothill Blvd. in Pomona had its grand opening Saturday.
Anyone meeting the criteria can buy a 1,548-square foot plan one
townhouse for $339,000 or a 1,741-square foot plan two townhouse
Although the project is open to more than campus employees, the
main purpose for the development is to provide affordable, low-risk
housing to Cal Poly faculty and staff.
The Olson Company, which constructed the project before selling
it to Cal Poly last month, is working with the Cal Poly real estate
department to help interested parties feel secure about the
The guaranteed buyback option gives everyone three years to sell
their property back to Cal Poly for the original purchase price,
even if the home drops in value.
“The programs being offered take away the risk of buying a
house,” said Peter Shelton, marketing representative for the Olson
Additionally, the units will be appreciation controlled. Years
from now, if the values of homes rise, any Fair Oaks townhouse for
sale can only be sold at a rate tied to the Consumer Price
“The idea is to get [new faculty] here, and make it easy for
them to find affordable housing near campus and establish
themselves,” said Acton. “If we keep the appreciation controlled
with the CPI, then the next person coming in behind him or her will
get an affordable home. The person selling will still get a return
on their invested dollar and turn over a nice home to the next
person once in their same shoes.”
There are a few more benefits available only to Cal Poly faculty
The “silent second” program is a down payment solution.
According to Shelton, this program, which can take the place of
a 5 to 20 percent down payment from the buyer, doesn’t have to be
paid back until the house is sold, and can help reduce monthly
payments up to $400.
Future Cal Poly faculty and staff will have first choice at
buying future resales once the development sells out, something
Shelton predicts will happen soon.
Cal Poly admissions counselor Monica Kays and her husband, a San
Dimas High School teacher, have already taken advantage.
The couple, previously renting in Glendora, closed escrow and
moved into their plan one in January and said Fair Oaks housing
kept them living and working in Southern California.
“We knew it was going to take a couple of years to establish
ourselves,” said Monica. “The idea was to move out of California,
because that was the only way we could afford a home.”
This type of project is common at many Southern California
universities, including UC Irvine and Cal State Fullerton.
“When you create this type of a townhome project where most of
your neighbors are peers, you create a community where everyone is
supportive of one another,” said Acton.
The Kays can’t wait until their community fills up with
“We want neighbors to bake a batch of cookies for,” said
Parties interested in purchasing a townhouse need a $2,500
deposit and to fill out a pre-qualification application available
at the sales office located on-site at the models.
Stacey Olivas/Poly Post
Fair Oaks offers low risk
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