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News about city transfer taxes

You may already be aware that some cities in California impose transfer taxes on top of the one charged in all counties. The county tax, which is $1.10 per $1,000 of transferred value, will remain the same, but some Northern California cities will see a big increase. The city transfer tax is commonly split between buyer and seller 50/50, but everyone should be aware of the changes, which will presumably take effect on January 1, 2019.

Here are the changes for Bay Area cities (if you are reading this in some other region, check with your friendly neighborhood title company):

Note that El Cerrito did not previously have a transfer tax. Now, buyers and sellers will have to deal with an additional cost of 1.2% of the purchase price. The median price among the 24 active listings in El Cerrito as of this writing is $799,475. This represents an additional $9,993 in cost to be shared between buyer and seller.

Mortgage lenders in particular need to be aware of this change; they are responsible for disclosing transfer taxes when they send their disclosures to their borrowers, regardless of who will pay them.

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