The Transfer tax was an issue that originated based on the Sierra Club holding developers hostage through court proceeding on building in certain areas. The result was that for every sale AFTER the first sale, would include a transfer tax that would go to some 'community organization' (named various things) for future improvements. Where that tax might be identified may not be as evident as it's often buried in the title record so watch for that as well for newer homes. (and please excuse my brevity in explaining this- it's much more complicated as to who/what/where than can be specified here.
Good luck and happy home hunting.
Keller Williams Realty
Homes built in the eighties may or may not have had them in the past, even if they had them, the bonds are either paid off in full or paid down to a very low balance with small payments and a small balance remaining. Bonds were usually issued for thirty years. There are not many modern homes that do not have mello-roos. When you are comparison shopping it is smart to keep in mind the payment difference between a mello and non-mello home along with the other differences that affect value such as location, size, appearance, condition, age, floor plan, lot size, amenities, features, systems, finishes, flooring, cabinetry, garage spaces and appliances. If you decide to entirely eliminate all mello roos homes from your search criteria, you may miss out on a home that matches your other wants and needs on the criteria list that I just enumerated.