What You Need To Know About The Florida Homestead Exemption

If you own property on January 1, you may qualify for the Homestead Exemption.

If, like some of our clients, you’ve recently purchased real estate in Florida or are contemplating doing so in the future, you’ll want to read this timely reminder about the Florida Homestead Exemption.

I asked real estate attorney Linley B. Schatzman at Shapiro Blasi Wasserman & Hermann in Boca Raton to explain how the Florida Homestead Exemption works and what you should know about it, especially if you are new to the area.

Linley is one of the dedicated professionals I meet with once each month to share information and form strategic alliances benefitting our clients, as part of the National Association of Divorce Professionals. We work together to make the divorce process easier, and collaborate on other financial and planning matters for our clients as well.

Here’s some helpful background from Linley and the Palm Beach Property Appraiser’s Office:

• Exemptions reduce the assessed value of your property, thereby reducing the amount of property tax you pay. Homestead Exemption also qualifies you for the 3% Cap Save our Homes (SOH).

• In order to qualify for the Homestead Exemption for 2019 property taxes, you must own your primary residence on January 1, 2019.  That means you must close on your purchase on or before January 1st.

• Assuming you do own your primary residence on or before January 1st, you have until March 1st to apply for the Homestead Exemption.

• In Palm Beach, where our office is located, it is very easy to apply on the Property Appraiser’s Website. When qualifying for the Homestead Exemption here, you will need the following documents for all property owners applying (documents should reflect the address of your homesteaded property):

  • Florida Driver’s License or Florida ID if you do not drive
  • Florida car registration
  • Florida Voter’s ID (if you vote)
  • Immigration documents if not a U.S. citizen.


About Mari Adam

Mari Adam, Certified Financial Planner™ has been helping individuals and families chart their financial futures for over twenty-five years. Have a question about your financial situation? Ask Mari!

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