As a responsible Real Estate Agent in Florida, I always will advise anyone who’s looking to purchase real estate in Florida to take the time to teach themselves on the Florida Homestead exemption. The Homestead exemption not only can give a Florida homeowner a nice savings on their real-estate tax bill, but there are other benefits that a homeowner enjoys as well. Including those homeowners with Fort Lauderdale Real Estate.
Homestead exemptions are only available on an individual’s primary residence. Consequently, this exemption won’t apply to businesses, rental property, second homes, homeowners claiming permanent residency-based exemptions or tax credits in other states, or homes with owners that do not claim Florida as their primary residence.
All legal Florida residents are eligible to get a Homestead Exemption on their residences, condominiums, co-op apartments, and certain mobile home lots as long as they qualify. The Florida Constitution provides this tax-saving exemption on the 1st and 3rd $25,000 of the assessed value of an owner/occupied residence. While a sophisticated formula is used to explain this — as the extra $25,000 only applies to the non-schools portion of the tax bill — the bottom line is that the fundamental homestead exemption saved a Broward homeowner in 2011 anywhere from $648 to $1,147 (depending upon their city’s millage rate) in yearly tax savings for all homes with a worth of $75,000 or more.
You’re entitled to a Homestead Exemption if, as of January 1st, you’ve made the home your permanent residence or the permanent residence of the person who is legally or naturally dependent on you. By law, January 1 of each year will be the date on which permanent residence is determined.
Because of the “portability” provision of the January 2008 constitutional amendment, a homesteaded owner can now move up to $500,000 of the “Save Our Homes” benefit from one Florida home towards the next. However, buying a home that had a homestead exemption won’t entitle the buyer to keep the low tax rate enjoyed by the previous homesteaded owner, as homestead exemptions cannot be inherited or purchased.
Supporters of the “Save Our Homes” Amendment contend that it permits long term residents with a fixed income to have the ability to afford to remain in their residences without being driven out by tax increases as their property value increases. Detractors argue that it results in an unfair system of taxation wherein first time home buyers, new residents, seasonal residents, and businesses are burdened with more than their share of taxes while homesteaders are trapped in their homes, often unable to move without doubling their tax rate.
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