What is Mello Roos and why am I paying for it?

Okay students class today is on Mello-Roos 101…it’s such  a very common question among home buyers in the State of California…I get that one all the time. While in reality most home buyers have heard of it (Mello Roos), there’s still a lot of confusion of the subject…not only with home buyers and home sellers but also agents alike.  This quick 2-Minute Real Estate Video will provide you more information on the subject.

As a long-time broker/REALTOR myself I see the issue popping up when I routinely view listings for prospective buyers. And although most listings (on the Multiple Listing Service) provide a field to identify whether or not Mello-Roos applies to that specific property it’s (rarely IMHO) identified correctly…It might be as simple as a YES or NO on the MLS…and whether it does or not, I think a prudent home buyer would want to know for sure!

Mello-Roos is an assessment(s) levied against a property and normally shows up on the property tax bill from the local county. At times (yet not always) they are labeled as Mello-Roos or, they can also show up as a CFD = Community Facilities District(s). And yes there can be more than one…multiple assessments on the same property.  They’re normally most common in areas of new growth, areas of major construction. Although with that said, at times I’ve personally seen Mello-Roos assessments myself in newer developments that show up in well established areas.

In most CA counties you can obtain a copy of the existing property tax bill (in re-sale homes) by searching the local county website. By clicking through a few times you can usually find a “detailed” copy of the tax bill showing assessments and other levies as applicable. When Mello-Roos or CFD’s show up on the detailed report (tax bill) they usually have a phone number affiliated with that particular bond fund. If you’re buying in a brand new subdivision, be sure to check with the local sales associates and ask the questions…how much and for how long?

And yes of course in the State of CA we have a wide array of property disclosures…and yes more disclosures where the Mello-Roos should eventually show up in a nice Zone Disclosure Report…however wouldn’t it be nice to know that ahead of time and not after you’re spent bucks for a home inspection, and or an appraisal? Why not find out ahead ot time, again how much and how long?

I’ve seen some assessments from the 1980’s (when Mello-Roos was first introduced) which many of them are already paid off, seems like most of the early assessments were of a shorter duration, 10-15-20 years.  Now it’s not uncommon to see them up to 30 (and I’ve heard of, yet not seen myself 40 years) years! Some assessments have been as low as a few hundred dollars a year, up to others as much a $5,000+ a year added the the good old property tax bill!

 All the more reason to find out in advance…wouldn’t you say?

So if you’re a home buyer or seller contact me for real estate help Southern Cal!

Written by Class Instructor: Lynda Eisenmann

I maintains an active residential re-sale brokerage in Brea, CA, located in Orange County, about 20 minutes north of Disneyland. Contact Lynda directly at (714) 595-1494, or Lynda@PreferredHomeBrokers.comCA License #00402040

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *