Quick Facts about Mello-Roos

How is community funding provided?

Let’s say for example, that plans for a new Carlsbad school are approved in your Community Facilities District. To finance the San Diego school, tax-exempt municipal bonds are issued. These public bonds are repaid (or secured) over an extended time through the levy of a special tax (Mello-Roos) on properties that benefit from the facility. This tax is usually added to the annual San Diego North County property tax bills (over a 20-25 year period) of residences within the CFD.

How Much Will be Assessed?

An adopted formula that relates to the size of the San Diego North County home (square footage or lot size) is used to determine the amount of an individual assessment.  In general, the special taxes and assessments do not exceed 1% to 1.5% of the market value of new new homes. Moreover, the total amount of all annual taxes (including property tax) usually does not exceed 2% to 2.5% of the North County home’s market value.

Can my Mello-Roos increase?

This special tax on your North County home can increase only at a maximum rate of 2% per year over a 25 year period. On the other hand, it’s possible that this tax will decrease.

Can I choose how to pay for Mello-Roos?

Yes. As already mentioned, the special assessment can be added to your San Diego property tax bills until your portion of the tax is paid off. A schedule of maximum special tax payments over a period of 25 years is available to San Diego North County home owners prior to the close of escrow.  Those who purchase a new North Country home also have the option to pay for their Mello-Roos tax in it’s entirety at the time they buy. However, because statistics indicate that the average homeowner in California moves every 7 years, it’s often prudent to spread the payment over time.

Find out more about Mello Roos in San Diego North County by reading “How to Avoid Mello Roos.”  To get more info, contact Gary Harmon, your Real Living Lifestyles real estate agent.

Homes are Currently 24% Underpriced

Lowest in Over 35 Years

This summer, qualified San Diego buyers – those with excellent credit and with funds available for down payments – couldn’t be in a better position to buy a North County home.  According to experts, prices have overcorrected to their lowest since 2002. Since 2006, prices have fallen 33%, greater than the 31% decline recorded during the Great Depression. Using historical wages to home prices, Capital Economics’ senior economist Paul Dales says that housing is currently 24% underpriced – the lowest in 35 years. That translates to the best affordability in decades, and an end in sight to the housing malaise, he says.

Across the US

In the latest existing home price survey from the National Association of REALTORS, the national median existing-home price for all housing types was $163,700 in April 2011, 5.0% lower than in April 2010. Distressed homes, which sell at a discount of approximately 20%, were 37% of sales, up from 33% a year ago.  Foreclosures, which have pressured both prices and real estate appraisals for non-distressed homes, are still high but leveling off. RealtyTrac says that U.S. foreclosure filings were down 9% in April 2011 from March, and down 34% from a year ago.

Across California

Like the rest of the nation, California home sales also declined in April 2011 from the previous month, but were up 5% over a year ago. And, unlike the national trend, home prices actually increased.  The statewide median price of an existing, single-family detached home sold in California rose 2.5% in April to $293,570, up from a revised $286,510 in March, according to the California Association of REALTORS (C.A.R.).  Yet, despite improving conditions, the Southern California housing market is trending softer, with sales volume the lowest April sales recorded in three years. In Los Angeles, San Diego, Ventura and Orange counties, sales volume drifted 5.5% lower than March, and 9.2% lower than the previous year, keeping in mind that sales in April 2010 were being heavily stimulated by federal and state tax incentives.

Advice for San Diego North County Buyers

The biggest hurdle for San Diego buyers today is creditworthiness. To compete against cash buyers and to take advantage of unprecedented affordability, North County buyers should get their finances in order quickly. Contact HomeServices Lending, one of Gary’s winning team,  for preapprovals now, so that glitches in credit reports that impact credit scores can quickly be resolved.

Advice for San Diego North County Sellers

With continued competition from distressed North County homes, it’s more challenging for sellers to get top dollar for their San Diego homes.  San Diego North county sellers should carefully analyze their equity position before they price their home for sale. Lenders will work with sellers who are “short” or owe more than their homes will sell for in the current market, but the process may be lengthy. Contact Gary Harmon, your North County real estate expert for a comparable sales analysis before pricing your home for sale.

San Diego Homes – Hot and Cold Zip Codes

San Diego County – Single Family Detached Homes

In San Diego County detached homes priced under $1 million, prices have risen 20% for the past two years ending April 2011, with little negative impact on sales volume. Detached homes are in a white-hot seller’s market under $900K, but once prices go higher, sales volume starts to cool. Sellers should note that buyers, despite the competition, remain price-sensitive. Half of San Diego zip codes reported gains in both price and transaction volume in the February-April 2011 quarter.

With over 3,400 sales associates in 58 offices across Southern California and the Central Coast, Prudential California Realty is the name to trust when buying or selling a San Diego North County home. Prudential agents like Gary Harmon close more than $12 billion in sales volume and well over 16,000 transactions each year. We also provide every aspect of domestic and international relocation to corporations around the world. As one of the top five brokerages in the nation and the largest affiliate in the Prudential Real Estate international network, we have the resources and connections to protect your interests and make sure your experience is a successful one. Prudential California Realty is proud to be a member of HomeServices Lending., a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate.

For more information, contact Gary Harmon, you San Diego North County Realtor.

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Enjoy San Diego's Real Living Lifestyles!

San Diego North County Home Purchase – A Win-Win

It is now time to enjoy San Diego’s real living lifestyles.  Whether San Diego ocean view homes or inland communities like Vista homes, San Marcos homes, or Escondido homes, the San Diego lifestyle is awaiting you.  San Diego homes offer real living at its best.  Once you have found the San Diego North County home of your dreams, writing the offer becomes very important. You don’t want to pay too much, but you want to be successful in buying that San Diego North County real estate. It is time to set down with your San Diego North County Realtor, contact Gary Harmon, and write the purchase offer.

Most things are negotiable in the offer, but when buying San Diego County homes there is a standard to follow on most items. A good rule of thumb, using an old clicke, is to make any offer a win-win for everyone. Your Realtor will know how to advise you.

Keep it Simple

Keep the purchase offer on the San Diego North County home for sale as simple as possible. For example, don’t ask for closing cost back unless you need the cash. San Diego North County sellers will only be looking at the net price. Don’t ask for repairs up front. You can handle those later in the request for repairs. Structure you offer to keep things simple and clear for everyone to understand. If there are any items of personal property you are requesting that don’t normally come with the home, do them separately after you have an acceptance on the home. Don’t forget the big picture which is to buy your San Diego North County home, not to get a good deal on a refrigerator, etc.

Focus Only on What is Important

The first important thing is the sales price. Your San Diego North County Realtor, Gary Harmon, can provide you with comps of other San Diego North County homes to help you pick the right offer price. In this current San Diego North County real estate market, homes are selling at or above listing price. Many times you won’t get a counter offer, so put your best foot forward. The deposit, usually at least one percent of the purchase price, is the next important item. How long an escrow will you need? It takes at least 30-45 days to get all the loan details worked out. Other items to consider are who pays escrow, title, and other closing cost. Ask your Realtor what is customary in the San Diego North County area.   Gary also has  great winning team members, in California Title Company (Caltitle), HomeServices Lending and Pickford Escrow.

In cost no more to use the best, contact Gary Harmon and Prudential California Realty.


Rent vs Buy – San Deigo Homes

San Diego North County Homes make good investments, so why rent when you can buy?   Moving from “Renter” to “Owner” may be easier than you think.  You may be able to find a San Diego North County home with a total monthly payment comparable to your current rent payment!
Interest rate and payment illustrations are below. Contact Gary Harmon, and I will put you intouch with Home Services Lending for current interest rate and payment information. Rates are illustrative and are subject to change daily.

Payments will vary during the initial 123 months due to annual adjustments to the required monthly mortgage insurance premium. After 123 months the mortgage insurance premium is dropped. Closing costs are assumed to be paid by the borrower at closing. If the closing costs are financed, the loan and payment amounts will be higher. Your loan’s interest rate will depend upon the specific characteristics of the loan transaction and your credit profile up to the time of closing. Amounts shown for hazard insurance and taxes are estimates and are subject to change.
1. Financing the UFMIP is optional. Borrower can pay the premium at closing.

Get Started Now

Take your first step to buying your San Diego North County home by talking to a tax advisor for more information. To get more information about borrowing money see HomeServices Lending.  To get more information about buying a San Diego North County home, contact Gary Harmon, your North County Realtor.

Current Listings of ALL San Diego homes is the easiest way to see photos and get details about what is available in San Diego North County.