As your real estate resource, I am happy to send you everything you need to file your Homestead Exemption at no cost. Just answer these few questions, I'll fill in some of the details of the form that are tougher to find, and I will email you everything you need to file!

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What is the Homestead?

A “homestead” is a house or other residential structure that you own and use for residential purposes, with up to 20 acres where the structure sits. 

A manufactured home on a rented lot qualifies as long as you own the home. Manufactured homes must meet additional requirements for a "Statement of Ownership and Location," but if you did not receive the paperwork from the prior owner and cannot locate the seller after making a good faith effort, you can submit the affidavit in Form 114-A.

What is the Exemption?

The Homestead Exemption reduces the taxable value of your homestead. How much you save with the homestead exemption depends on the exemption amounts and tax levels adopted by your city, county and other local governments. 

Section 11.13(n) gives taxing units the option to offer a homestead exemption of up to 20% of the appraised property value — but not less than $5,000. For example, a homestead valued at $300,000 with a 20% exemption ($60,000) means you pay property taxes as if your home were valued at $240,000. 

The homestead exemption also protects a homeowner from their appraisal district assessed value going up more than 10% in one year (with the exception of additions made for major improvements such as the addition of a pool). 

You are eligible for a homestead exemption if you 

  1. Own your home (partial ownership counts), 
  2. The home is your principal residence, and 
  3. You have a Texas driver’s license or Texas-issued personal identification certificate (your I.D. card address must match your principal residence address).The homestead exemption is a legal provision that helps shield a home from some creditors following the death of a homeowner's spouse or the declaration of bankruptcy.
  4. (A Homeowner no longer needs to wait for January 1st to file. They may file as soon as they close.)