The Not So Ugly Truth About Mello-Roos Taxes On Irvine Homes For Sale

Some home buyers run screaming when they hear the words Mello-Roos during a purchase on an Irvine home for sale. It’s time to dispel the fear and the not so ugly truth behind these special taxes. First Team Real Estate agents Sandi Clark and Debbie Miller are veteran experts on Irvine homes for sale and top producers in the area.

Sandi says, “Many Irvine home buyers are scared by the term Mello-Roos, but it’s not that scary. Once buyers know the facts, they realize Mello-Roos is not a problem.” If you’ve decided to invest in Irvine real estate it’s probably because you fell in love with the award-winning schools, convenient amenities and location and the fact that Irvine is the safest large city in the entire country 9 years running. Do you know what made Irvine such a desirable place to live? It was Mello-Roos.

Image Of Irvine, Ca Home Exterior

What is Mello Roos?

Mello Roos are simply taxes to repay community bonds used to build the community. Back in 1978, California passed Proposition 13 which limited property taxation and so in 1982 the State Legislature got creative and passed Mello-Roos taxes which would be a way to help raise money for developing cities and communities.

These taxes a part of your annual property tax bill and paid monthly in order to pay said bonds from the city. They paid to convert the raw land and mountains into something the city could build on and create the amazing city we know today. Mello Roos taxes are found in several other desirable new South Orange County cities and communities like Coto De Caza, Mission Viejo, Ladera Ranch, and Mission Viejo

How much are Mello Roos in Irvine?

The cost of Mello-Roos taxes depends on when the home was built and varies from subdivision to subdivision. They can range anywhere from $30 to over $300 which is added onto your monthly bills. The length of time for Mello-Roos taxes also varies. Some payments only last as few as 10 years while others (most) last up to 30 years or beyond.

Sandi says, “Irvine buyers need to realize that Mello-Roos taxes are a part of the premium to live in Irvine and enjoy the top schools and amenities. The simple question is, can you live with that added onto your mortgage? If not, then choose a part of Irvine that does not have them. Most areas built before 1987 do not have the tax.”

What is the purpose of Mello Roos taxes?

Mello-Roos taxes pay for new schools, parks, and recreation centers in town. They can also be used to build more inventory in high demand locations. Communities with Mello-Roos, therefore, are great family-friendly cities because they are supported and maintained by these taxes. Irvine has amazing new homes for sale, low crime rates, award-winning schools, and great parks all because of Mello-Roos.

When you pay Irvine Mello-Roos taxes you reap the benefits of them. It is because of Mello Roos taxes that homes for sale in Irvine have such great schools, amazing parks and convenient infrastructure to offer home buyers.

What areas of Irvine have no Mello Roos taxes?

Common communities that do not have Mello Roos taxes include El Camino Real, Turtle Rock, University Park, most of Northwood and Woodbridge. These are some of the first communities built in Irvine before 1988 and therefore there never were Mello Roos taxes in these areas. Remember, Mello Roos is determined on a house by house basis so these areas have some Irvine homes for sale with no Mello Roos but it is in no way descriptive of all homes for sale in these neighborhoods.

What areas of Irvine have Mello Roos taxes?

Nearly all areas of Irvine built after 1988 have had Mello-Roos taxes. New construction homes in Irvine also have the tax. New homes for sale in Irvine, CA are currently available in the following neighborhoods: Cypress Village, Great Park Neighborhoods , Orchard Hills and areas of Woodbury, Stonegate, and Portola Springs. Contact Sandi Clark and Debbie Miller or any one of our agents in the First Team Real Estate Irvine Office to start your search for Irvine homes for sale.

How much is property tax in Irvine?

According to, the median home value in Irvine is $797,100 which makes the median annual property tax payment in Irvine $6,499.

How much are my property taxes Orange County?

Real estate in Orange County is taxed at a rate of 0.72%. This means that a home valued at $250,000 will pay about $1,788 in property taxes in a given year. To calculate your specific annual property tax, simply multiply the value of your home by 0.72 to get an approximate estimate. You can also look up your Orange County property taxes on the county’s website.

Full Orange County Property Tax Schedule:

July 1: Beginning of the fiscal year.

August: Treasurer-Tax Collector’s Office mails delinquent prior year secured notices.

August 31: Unsecured Tax Delinquency Deadline at 5:00 p.m. A 10% penalty plus a $75.00 collection fee is added as of 5:00 p.m.

Sept 25 – Oct 5: The Treasurer-Tax Collector’s Office mails out original Secured Property Tax bills. In addition, Supplemental Tax bills are mailed throughout the year. October: Unsecured Tax liens filed for unpaid unsecured accounts.

November 1: First Secured Property Tax installment is due; delinquent Unsecured accounts are charged additional penalties of 1.5% per month until paid.

December 10: First Installment payment deadline. A 10% penalty is added after the deadline.

January: Treasurer- Tax Collector’s Office mails delinquent notice for unpaid First Installment and Supplemental Secured Installments.

February 1: Second Secured Property Tax installment due.

Feb – March: Treasurer-Tax Collector mails delinquent prior year secured installment.

March – July: Unsecured Property Tax statements mailed.

April 10: Second Secured Property Tax installment payment deadline. A 10% penalty plus $23.00 cost is added after the deadline.

May: Treasurer-Tax Collector mails delinquent notices for any unpaid first and second installment taxes and Supplemental Secured Installments.

June 30: End of fiscal year.

July 1: Delinquent Secured and Secured Supplemental accounts are transferred to delinquent tax roll and additional penalties added at 1.5% per month on any unpaid tax amounts, plus $15.00 redemption fee.

5 Tips When Purchasing New Homes For Sale In Irvine

New homes for sale in Irvine CA are heating up the real estate market in Orange County, and as we now know, all new developments will have Mello-Roos taxes.

Buying new construction is very similar to purchasing a resale home but there are some differences – including negotiating strategy and timeline to name a few. Here are 5  facts you need to know as a home buyer when purchasing new construction, specifically in the Irvine area.

1. Choose your upgrades carefully

One of the most exciting things about buying new construction is the fact that you get to customize your home and choose your own floorplan, lot, and individual upgrades from crown molding to granite countertops. However it’s important to know that upgrades are where builders make their largest profit because the industry standard is to charge buyers double the sub-trader’s fee. That means that granite counters tops that cost you $8,000 only cost your builder $4,000. What is the lesson to be learned here? First of all, choose your upgrades wisely.

When Sandi and Debbie have buyers interested in new construction, they make sure their buyers know what they’re paying for. Sandi says, “I help out my buyers by going with them to choose upgrades based on their lifestyle and give them my expert opinion on prices. I’ve been in the business for years so I can let them know if the builder’s price is good on a certain amenity and what the buyers can easily upgrade themselves for less.”

There are over 20 different builders in Irvine with several different companies building in the same community. When you’re choosing where you want to buy, consider the builder and their price upgrade options as well.

2. Working with a buyer’s agent is in your best interest

When you buy new construction you have the option of working with the builder’s sales agents or hiring your own real estate agent. It is in your best interest to work with your own buyer’s agent for several reasons. First of all the sales agents working for the builder ultimately get paid by the builder so they will keep their company’s interests in mind at all times. A buyer’s agent, on the other hand, will be focused on keeping your best interests first and foremost.

Secondly, agents can save you money when purchasing a new home. There’s not as much room for negotiating on a newly built home as there is with a resale but a trained agent can create wiggle room.  Sandi says, “I’ve negotiated on lot premiums for clients in Irvine and got builders to reduce prices. I’ve also increased credits at the design center if I couldn’t reduce prices for my buyers.”

3. You’re moving into a construction zone

Buying a new home means that you’re moving into a community that’s not yet built. There will be noise, dirt, and dust and it’s important to prepare yourself for that added stress. Streets are not finished and the community is not quite pretty and manicured yet. Irvine CA houses for sale are all part of a master plan but in a new community, that plan hasn’t become a reality yet.

Consider an already established community in Irvine like Woodbury or Stonegate if you’re worried about some of these issues. These Irvine Villages offer newly constructed homes but most of the community is already built and ready to be enjoyed immediately.  Pavilion Park, the first of the Great Park Neighborhoods, on the other hand, is a completely new community which means construction will be ongoing and disruptive for some time before the area is completed.

4. Community amenities vary

There are several different communities to choose from when looking at new construction in Irvine and while all of the neighborhoods have parks and pools, each one is different. For example, Pavilion Park has a neighborhood greenhouse to promote farming and gardening culture as well as 320+ miles of bikeways. Research each community and its individual character before choosing the best newly constructed home in Irvine for you. A condo or townhome could be a great way for your family to get into one of these exclusive communities and enjoy the amenities with a smaller mortgage payment.

5. You can’t go wrong!

Irvine is an amazing city. The award-winning Irvine Unified School District is ranked 10/10 by GreatSchools. org based on test scores in the state, there are dozens of amazing parks throughout the area and the city has ranked as the #1 safest large city in America 9 years in a row. No matter where you end up buying in Irvine, it’s a great choice.

If you’re interested in new construction in the Irvine area, contact Sandi and her partner Debbie or any of the local experts at the First Team Irvine Office. You can call Sandi and Debbie at (949) 400-0987 or email them at to find out more about new homes for sale in Irvine CA.

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