Unlike other states, Florida offers significant financial benefits to homeowners who choose to live in the state permanently, through a real estate provision known as homestead exemption. Learn more about homestead exemptions and if you qualify by reading below.
What Is a Homestead Exemption?
A homeowner in Florida can file for a homestead exemption worth up to $50,000. This exemption reduces the amount of taxes you pay on your property and it puts a cap on how much your taxes increase on a yearly basis. For example, if your home is worth $150,000, a homestead exemption will allow you to only pay taxes on $100,000. A homestead exemption also protects your home from most creditors, preventing them from forcing the sale of your primary residence.
Once you apply and are approved, your application will automatically renew every year, as long as you are living there. You will receive a document in the mail every year asking you about any changes, but if there are none, you can ignore it.
Do I Qualify?
To qualify for the homestead exemption, you must be a permanent Florida resident and own a property that is your primary place of residence. If you own a second home or investment property, you cannot receive the homestead exemption, unless it is owned by a living trust.
You will also be required to:
- Submit the application for homestead exemption before the March 1st deadline
- Own your home by January 1st of the year you want to be exempt for
- Be an individual homeowner (corporations and entities are not permitted to apply)
- Use the home as your principal residence on January 1st of the year you are applying
If you have questions about your Florida homestead and want to know if you are protected, contact our team of Okaloosa County real estate lawyers at Chesser & Barr, P.A. Whether you are buying or selling a home or involved in creditor issues, we’re here to help.Call (850) 610-7471 or contact us online for a free consultation about your case.