jlynn149June 27, 2013

My husband and I are looking to buy a home in San Diego, Carmel valley area. The schools are great, best in San Diego but the mello-roos are about $600-650 a month and HOA's being about anothe $500! Does anyone live in SD and pay these Mello-roos and HOA fees? I would love to get your opinion on if you think its worth it. Thank you!

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It sounds like if you want the best/greatest schools you have to pay the mello-roos... that is how they are getting around limited school funding by property taxes. If you aren't interested in mello-roos, then you'll be in a different school.

So, you have to decide if the price of that mello-roos tax is worth the (public) school education...

It seems like you could find somewhere less expensive, without a mello-roos, and pay for private schooling, at that rate...

    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 12:57PM
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What the heck are mello-roos???

    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 4:41PM
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At first, I was like

but I knew that couldn't be right. So I started looking around . . . Fees. Taxes, pretty much, that somehow get around the Proposition 13 limitations on property taxes in California. The OP's proposed HOA + Mello-Roos is roughly equal to my house payment. But then I don't get to live in San Diego.

Here is a link that might be useful: Mello-Roos

    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 4:54PM
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In California in recent decades, new construction was charged a fee to help with the impact of needing space in a classroom for the household. Apartments were charged a different amount from a condo and from a huge single family home because of the number of students they typically contributed to the schools for the schools. At first, the fees were called Developer Fees, and that cost was added onto the price tag of a house.

Then Mello-Roos was enacted, and instead of the cost of providing space in classrooms or road, or sewers or street lights being added to the cost of the house, the fee was divided into tax payments due every year for a specific number of years. Also, the Mello-Roos improvement to the city streets, sanitation or schools could be constructed right away before the need became acute (unlike Developer Fees). Mello-Roos made it easier for a developer to sell a cheaper house with the mitigation fees tacked onto the home owner's tax bills and not onto the price of the house and the mortgage.

It is how it is done in California these days. Some Mello-Roos fees are more manageable than others, and it varies from development to development, so shop around and ask questions. As someone said, it makes a huge difference in the school FACILITIES and FURNISHINGS/EQUIPMENT.

Even after the community has been built, it is possible to put a Mello-Roos tax before the taxpayers at election time for similar improvements. If it passes, then a certain amount is collected annually for a certain number of years.

Hope this helps explain.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 8:18PM
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You should double check the fees. Sometimes they are not listed clearly, or correctly. The mello-roos are usually annual;HOA monthly. Not sure if it is current, but the link provided shows the max mello-roos on a 2500 sq.ft or larger house to be $1244 annually.
Also check the duration remaining for individual houses on the market. If only a few years remain, the fee may be worth the school district advantages.

edit:meant may be worth, rather than may not be

This post was edited by Gyr_Falcon on Fri, Jun 28, 13 at 0:09

    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 9:50PM
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Yes, I think you're looking at annual fees, not monthly fees--Mello-Roos is usually assessed with your annual property taxes, and I've never heard of one that is more than $1000-1500 at the absolute max. Our neighborhood is looking at using one to help fund a new library, which would be amazing and I would happily pay for. (So to that end, they're not always for new construction--sometimes they help pay for needed improvements in older communities.) Generally they are for improvements in close proximity to the home, so if you will use the improvements (e.g., if you want the great schools), then they're worthwhile, and if not, you could look for a home without those facilities with a lower cost.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 1:36AM
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Then I lost the link when I edited above...

Here is a link that might be useful: Carmel Valley

    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 1:45AM
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Huh. It sounded so much like a vintage candy bar to me...

    Bookmark   July 14, 2013 at 7:36PM
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