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Gifts of Real Estate

A gift of real property to Auburn University can open doors for students, reward faculty excellence or elevate your favorite program, all while providing you tax savings, relief from property maintenance and freedom from the hassle of selling.

The Auburn University Real Estate Foundation can accept donations of primary or vacation homes, commercial property, timberland, farmland or vacant lots.

Whether you want Auburn to keep the property to support the university’s mission or sell it to fund a scholarship, professorship or program, a gift of real estate is a tax-smart way to achieve your philanthropic goals at Auburn.

Benefits of a real estate gift

  • Make a significant gift in support of Auburn University
  • Qualify for an income tax charitable deduction
  • Reduce or eliminate capital gains tax
  • Pay no gift tax on the transfer
  • Reduce your estate administration expenses

How It Works


A donor completes forms to initiate the donation process.


The property undergoes a review for any potential hazards.


A title company researches and insures the title of the property.


The AUREF Board of Directors conducts a formal review of the property.


A deed is prepared and ownership of the property is transferred to AUREF.

Overall Time: 6 – 8 weeks

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the Auburn University Real Estate Foundation?

A: The Auburn University Real Estate Foundation Inc. (AUREF) is a nonprofit organization that exists to facilitate real property donations and receive gifts, bequests and other transfers of real property valued at $50,000 or greater on behalf of the Auburn University Foundation, Auburn University, Auburn University at Montgomery and the Tigers Unlimited Foundation.

Q: Will donating property cost me anything?

A: Only if an appraisal is conducted on the property. According to IRS guidelines, the donor will be responsible for ordering and paying for an appraisal of the property. See the Q&A on appraisals for additional information.

Q: Will I need to order an appraisal?

A: While an appraisal of donated real property is not required for it to be gifted, having one at the time the deed is transferred to the Auburn University Real Estate Foundation (AUREF) is preferred.

If an appraisal is conducted on the property, IRS guidelines require donors to order and pay for it. In the absence of an appropriate property appraisal, AUREF will utilize the property’s tax-assessed value.

Q: How is my charitable gift valued?

A: The charitable gift is based upon an appraisal that is provided to the Auburn University Real Estate Foundation by the donor. In the absence of an appraisal, the tax-assessed value of the property is used to determine the gift value of real property.

Q: What if I still have a mortgage or other debt on the property?

A: The Auburn University Real Estate Foundation does not accept debt-encumbered property.

Q: Does my property have to be worth a certain amount to donate to the AUREF?

A: Yes. Gifts of real property must have a minimum value of $50,000.

Q: If I decide to donate my property, do I need to vacate it immediately?

A: Not necessarily. If you want to continue to live in or use the property for a period of time or even for the duration of your lifetime, contact us to inquire about donating the property through your will or creating a retained life estate.

Board of Directors

Steve Cates, Chair
Rob Wellbaum, President
Pat Henry, Vice Chair and Treasurer
Erin Lewis, Chief Operations Officer
Beau Byrd, Director
Benny LaRussa, Director
John Thomas, Director
David Welch, Director
Greg Winchester, Director
Nancy Davis, Advisor

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