When friends and family find out that you are purchasing a new home they have tons of advice and tips to give. One of those tips you might have heard was “You need to go file for your homestead exemption right away once you close on your home, so you can get that exemption” while that is a good tip, it’s not exactly being conveyed to you correctly.

You must own your home as of January 1st of that year to be eligible to file for homestead exemption. This means if you bought your home in December of 2017 then when January 1st of 2018 rolled around you would be able to file your application for homestead exemption on your home. If you have closed on your new home recently, you can go ahead and go to the appraisal district for your County and file the homestead application, but you will not receive the homestead exemption until the following tax year.

What is the benefit of having this exemption?

The homestead exemption removes part of your homes value from taxation, meaning that your property taxes are going to be based from a lower value and be a lower amount. For example, say your home is appraised at $100,000 and the exemption lowers the value by $25,000. This means that you would pay school taxes based on the homes value being $75,000

If I am selling my home and purchasing a new home can I move my current homestead exemption?

Yes! Once you have closed on both transactions you will need to contact the appraisal district and take the steps to move it from one residence to the other.

Can I have the homestead exemption on more than one property?

No, you can only claim homestead on one property at a time and it can only be on your primary residence.

Can I still qualify for the homestead exemption if I only own 50% of the home I live in?

Yes you can. However, if you qualify for the homestead exemption and are not the sole owner of the property, the exemption you receive will be based on the interest you own. So if you own 50% of the property then you will only receive one-half of the exemption, so if the exemption is $25,000 you would only receive $12,500

For a full list of guidelines and the homestead application please visit the appraisal district for the County that your home is located in. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to reach out to us here at Red River Title Company.