Welcome to City-Data.com Forum!
2,500,000 members. Thank you!
U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Texas > Austin
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 02-15-2008, 09:57 AM
 
532 posts, read 1,384,222 times
Reputation: 970

Advertisements

I just got a post card in the mail from a realtor (NOT the one I used to buy my house in November of 2007) that starts off with "What Property Tax Exemption? Have you filed your Homestead Exemption form? If you owned and occupied your home as of January 1, you have until March 31st to file for your Homestead Exemption." It then says that that realtor can send me a form, or I can go to a website (Travis Central Appraisal District - Appraisal Roll Information) to download one.

I really don't even know what the post card is talking about, so I guess my first question is - what the heck is a homestead exemption? What am I being exempted from? Do I have to do it? If not, is there a reason I shouldn't do it? Is it advantageous for me to do it for tax reasons? Do I have to do it every year? If I do need to do something, should I contact my own realtor, or does this have nothing to do with realtors? Anything else I need to know? I looked at the form online that the realtor referenced, and the questions look pretty straightforward, but I can't tell from the form or any other part of that website why I would even be filling it out. I know I'm asking very basic questions here, but I just have absolutely no idea what this is even talking about.

Since we've moved here, we've received all sorts of unsolicited offers about mortgage protection, tax consolidation, insurance, etc. from unknown banks, realtors, and loan companies (all very specifically referencing the fact that I'm a new homeowner), so I'm very leery of automatically filling out forms without knowing why I'm doing it.

If it matters regarding this exemption, my wife and I closed on our first ever house in Austin (moved from CA) on November 30, 2007, and started living in it full-time in December of 2007.

Can someone please give me a brief primer on what I need to do and not do regarding Homestead Exemption, starting with the very simple question of what it is? Thanks a lot; I really appreciate it!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 02-15-2008, 09:59 AM
 
2,238 posts, read 8,972,560 times
Reputation: 954
The big deal about filing the Homestead Exemption is that it caps the amount the tax assessed value of the home you occupy can increase at 10% per year. Without it, if the market value of your home increases 80%, the appraisal district could theoretically raise the tax assessment 80% and tax you accordingly.

It's a one page form found on your appraisal district's website.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-15-2008, 11:48 AM
 
Location: Austin
206 posts, read 1,306,475 times
Reputation: 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paulmmm View Post
what the heck is a homestead exemption? What am I being exempted from?
Homestead exemptions remove part of your home's value from taxation, so they lower your taxes. For example, if your home is appraised at $300,000, and you qualify for a $15,000 exemption, you will pay taxes on the home as if it was worth only $285,000.

Only the homeowner's principal residence qualifies and the homeowner must be an individual (not a corporation or business)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paulmmm View Post
Do I have to do it? If not, is there a reason I shouldn't do it? Is it advantageous for me to do it for tax reasons?
Its your choice. Law doesn't mandate you to apply for it.
If you don't want to save money and if you like to pay tax on the fully appraised value, then you don't apply for it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paulmmm View Post
Do I have to do it every year? If I do need to do something, should I contact my own realtor, or does this have nothing to do with realtors?
I am not very sure on this one. If I am not mistaken, you only need to do it once.
You don't have to contact your realtor; it has nothing to do with realtors. you can apply with the county office straight.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-15-2008, 01:36 PM
 
947 posts, read 3,125,539 times
Reputation: 736
I think you have to re apply every year. I live in RR, Williamson County and they send a pre-printed exemption form with all our info. We just have to put our birthdates and Drivers license number, sign, date and mail back. Pretty simple and it does save you money.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-15-2008, 02:11 PM
 
55 posts, read 232,793 times
Reputation: 33
Homestead exemption form is due April 30th, not March 31st.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-15-2008, 02:19 PM
 
532 posts, read 1,384,222 times
Reputation: 970
Default Thanks!

Thanks for all the helpful responses. At least now I know what the exemption is and why I should apply for it. Thanks again, everyone - this board is great!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-15-2008, 04:13 PM
 
10,130 posts, read 19,752,860 times
Reputation: 5815
It may vary by county, but I only had to file for it one time in Travis -- after that, the exemption remains on until you change the status.

You don't need a realtor to do it, and all sorts of companies will try to scam with official-looking offers to file your exemption. Don't take any of those. Just print the form from the website, tcad.org or wcad.org and mail it to the address they give. Also, you could drop it off directly at the appropriate CAD office, and they will answer any questions you have.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-14-2008, 12:47 PM
 
1 posts, read 14,260 times
Reputation: 11
Default Does it affect the appraised valued of the house

I have a quick question on applying for homestead, does it affect the appraised valued of my house? If I sell my house will this affect the price I can ask for? It seems that applying for homestead is a win-win situation? are there any negative effects from it? My mortage just wen up $1000 just because of taxes, so any help is appreciate it.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-14-2008, 01:08 PM
 
Location: NW Austin, TX
106 posts, read 474,000 times
Reputation: 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by gixxer1970 View Post
I have a quick question on applying for homestead, does it affect the appraised valued of my house?
No, it doesn't affect the appraised value of your home... only the amount of appraised value you'll pay taxes on.

Quote:
If I sell my house will this affect the price I can ask for?
Absolutely not!

Quote:
It seems that applying for homestead is a win-win situation?
It is... one of the few win-wins in this life, so grab it!

Quote:
are there any negative effects from it? My mortage just wen up $1000 just because of taxes, so any help is appreciate it.
I've never heard of a single negative effect in my 8+ years here.

TX Griff
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-14-2008, 01:39 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
15,229 posts, read 35,346,106 times
Reputation: 8564
Possibly almost as important an effect of the homestead exemption is that it 'caps' the increase in taxable value on your home to 10 percent per year. A couple of scenarios:
  • You buy a house at $300k and don't file for a homestead exemption. The house appreciates at 12% a year for the four years after the first. Assuming the tax rate is 2.5%, you would pay a total of $47,650 in taxes (no, I am not making that up ).
  • You buy a house at $300k and do file for a homestead exemption. The house appreciates at 12% a year, but you are capped at 10% for tax value and get a $15,000 per year exemption. Assuming the same tax (2.5%), you would pay a total of $43,915 in taxes.
In this case, the HSE saves you ~$3,735, or about $747/year.

The change is more dramatic if there is a 'boom' in property value where your home is...at 15% appreciation a year over five years, the $3,735 becomes $6,655 ($1,331/year).
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Settings
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2020 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram


Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Texas > Austin
Similar Threads
View detailed profiles of:

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2024, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top