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Monday, January 7, 2008

Time to File for a Homestead Exemption

Did you buy a residence in Texas in 2006? If you did, you may qualify for a Homestead Exemption. The major qualifications are:
  1. You must own your own home
  2. You must occupy it as your principal residence on January 1st
  3. Neither you nor your spouse can claim a homestead exemption on any other property
Homestead laws prevent any creditor from forcing the sale of the home to satisfy nonpayment of a debt, with the exception of the mortgage holder, a taxing authority, or the holder of a note created for a home improvement loan. The homestead exemption also reduces taxes by lowering a home's taxable value.

However, the protection is not automatic in Texas, so the homeowner must file an application after January 1st with the appraisal district in order to receive the protection of the law.

Application for Residential Homestead Exemption and more information regarding homestead exemptions can be found with your tax appriasal district.

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