Mello-Roos, California Home Buyers Must Know What They Are
What Are Mello-Roos?
California home buyers need to know the definition of the term Mello-Roos. Have you ever heard it before? Do you know what Mello-Roos are?
Simply put, Mello-Roos is a special tax assessed to homeowners in a community as repayment for bonds used to fund the infrastructure of their community.
Home buyers often think poorly of the term Mello-Roos. This is probably because they know that there will be an additional fee (the special tax assessment) on the property that a California homebuyer may want to purchase.
Here are some advantages and disadvantages of living in a community with Mello-Roos (also called a Mello-Roos District):
- New schools, parks, and recreation centers can be built and funded using the revenue generated from the Mello-Roos.
- More housing inventory will be created when undeveloped locations are built up.
- Low crime rates and highly desirable new schools are common in Mello-Roos communities.
- Cost of housing may be increased because of the special tax assessment
- Maintenance of the improvements could be more costly than anticipated
Mello-Roos are commonly found in cities with new construction and in subdivisions built after 1994. The length of the Mello-Roos tax varies from subdivision to subdivision, so prospective buyers should always ask about the length of the special assessment before making their home purchase in a Mello-Roos District.
Why are they called Mello-Roos?
Good question. The authors of the Community Facilities District Act—the impetus for this assessment–were Senator Henry Mello and Mike Roos. Maybe you will get that question next time you play Trivial Pursuit. If not, know that California home buyers should definitely inquire if there are Mello-Roos on a property that they want to purchase.
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