What is Homestead?

Fri, Jan 29, 2021 at 10:20AM

What is Homestead?

Buying a home can be taxing – in more ways than one! But we’re here to make things a little easier, financially and otherwise. If you’re planning on purchasing real estate in our beautiful sunshine state then you need to know about the Florida Homestead Exemption! Florida is a pretty gracious state when it comes to tax exemptions and this benefit is an exemption that can reduce the taxable value of your home by as much as $50,000. Join us as we break down the basics about Homestead – it could save you a chunk of money!


Florida Homestead Exemption Explained

The Florida Homestead Exemption is a tax break that protects against losing your home to most creditors. While it doesn’t protect you from foreclosure, the exemption does offer a tax break of up to $50,000 on your assessed home value. Homestead also provides the opportunity for your assessed value to only go up at most 3% per year, every year as long as it’s your homesteaded property. Many homes in Florida appreciate higher than 3% so that 3% yearly cap can protect against higher taxes on your home. 


Thankfully, you do not have to reapply for the Florida Homestead Exemption every year. However, the exemption will no longer apply if the property changes ownership, the home is no longer the primary residence of the owner, or you rent the property for more than 30 days per year. 


Does This Apply to Me?

The Homestead Exemption applies to primary permanent residences only. So, a vacation home or secondary residence would not apply. It can be the permanent primary residence of a dependent, though. It only applies if you have not rented the property for more than 30 days in a given calendar year. 


What Do I Need To Do?

In order to receive the homestead exemption on your Florida taxes, you have to fill out an application form and provide proof of residence by March 1 of the qualifying year. To qualify for the Florida homestead exemption on your 2021 taxes, you must have filed the paperwork by March 1, 2021.


All persons seeking homestead exemption must complete an original application (Form DR-501).  Check with your local county property appraiser for filing instructions. 


What Do I Need to Have When Filing?

Whether you complete the form online or in person, you’ll need to bring the following documents to prove residency at your local property appraiser’s office: 

  • A recorded deed or tax bill with your name

  • Social Security number for each owner

  • Proof of Residency for all owners who occupy the property

    • Florida Driver's License

    • Florida auto tag registration (if you drive)

    • Florida voter registration card (if registered to vote)

For more information on the Florida Homestead Exemption, please contact your local county property appraiser. And when you’re ready to find your next dream home and try the Florida Homestead Exemption out for yourself — drop us a line! 





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