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Old 01-03-2009, 10:12 AM
 
Location: Benbrook, TX
23 posts, read 157,098 times
Reputation: 31

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I bought a house last year in Benbrook and just a few days ago received an application for Homestead Exemption in the mail. I did some reading but I'm still fuzzy so I'm hoping some of you guys can explain this to me in simple terms (like you did the "winterization" of my sprinkler system - haha).

I understand it will reduce my property taxes. It sounds like a no brainer but since it's not automatic, there must be a catch. What exactly am I giving up in exchange for lower taxes? I mean, is this something wise and wonderful that everybody does?

Obviously I'm still new to Texas.
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Old 01-03-2009, 01:07 PM
 
95 posts, read 235,183 times
Reputation: 34
This should help-http://www.window.state.tx.us/taxinfo/proptax/exmptns.html

Also, be leery of some of the mail that you receive about homestead exemption because my wife almost fell into having a company file the exemption for us and they pocket the fee that you don't need their assistance with.
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Old 01-03-2009, 05:29 PM
 
32,473 posts, read 50,948,349 times
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good heads up about being smart about it
the tax office will not send out that type of info from what I remember
you can get the forms on-line I think that tad.org
check it out
there is time window to put in your application--do it at the wrong time and the TAD will throw it away

you don't give up anything but you can only have one homestead exemption--it means that is your primary legal residence

we bought house at end of 2008 and still own our old one--we can't get it for both--and we have to check and see if we can switch the exemption to the new house --which is more expensive-- for 2009

it used to be that you could not take out a second mortgage for your "homestead" which prevented many people from getting line of credit years ago against their equity--the banks and other credit people lobbied the state legislature really hard to open the TX market to that type of credit operation--if the law had not changed TX would not have been hit as hard has it has with foreclosures because people would not have been taking out second mortgages for anything but home improvements
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Old 01-04-2009, 06:55 PM
 
Location: Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas
4,184 posts, read 14,031,032 times
Reputation: 2644
Quote:
Originally Posted by loves2read View Post

we bought house at end of 2008 and still own our old one--we can't get it for both--and we have to check and see if we can switch the exemption to the new house --which is more expensive-- for 2009
Yes, when you apply on the form it asks you if you are claiming exemption on another house and when you check the box "yes" they will cancel the old one and put it on your new one.

Just to be safe, write a short note with your app. when you mail it in.

Also, gliebster, don't pay anyone to file a homestead exemption for you. It's free and you only need to do it once for the whole time you own the house and as long as it's your primary residence.

Naima
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Old 01-04-2009, 08:41 PM
 
Location: NorthTexas
634 posts, read 1,438,158 times
Reputation: 327
You can only claim the exemption at certain times of the year for the first time and you must file it every year. I think you have until the end of January. Texas has very unique laws about your home. Homesteading means that this is your primary residence, it also means that only a taxing authority (IRS or non-payment of property taxes) can take your home from you. Unlike other states, if you are in a lawsuit or default credit cards, they cannot take your home with a homestead exemption. A homestead exemption is a good thing for sure and saves you lots of money!

Welcome to Texas!

Last edited by EllenArlingtonPark; 01-04-2009 at 08:43 PM.. Reason: additional info
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Old 01-05-2009, 12:08 PM
 
Location: Keller, TX
295 posts, read 875,915 times
Reputation: 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by loves2read View Post
the tax office will not send out that type of info from what I remember
you can get the forms on-line I think that tad.org
check it out
there is time window to put in your application--do it at the wrong time and the TAD will throw it away
I actually got the same form in the mail a few days ago as well and it came from TAD so I know they do send these (I bought my home in march 08).

I still cannot understand why I wasn't able to file a partial exemption for 08 though... specially given I lived in the house 10 months out of the year. Can someone explain that?
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Old 01-05-2009, 12:15 PM
 
119 posts, read 473,357 times
Reputation: 28
you had to have lived there on January 1st of 2008 to get the exemption. That's why you are now eligible for this year.
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Old 01-05-2009, 12:16 PM
 
Location: Keller, TX
295 posts, read 875,915 times
Reputation: 57
well at least I didn't buy on January 2nd or I would have pulled my hairs when I found out.

This isn't done intentionally to have the homeowner pay more that first year, is it?

sorry, just venting....
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Old 01-05-2009, 09:31 PM
 
Location: Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas
4,184 posts, read 14,031,032 times
Reputation: 2644
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcamber View Post
well at least I didn't buy on January 2nd or I would have pulled my hairs when I found out.

This isn't done intentionally to have the homeowner pay more that first year, is it?

sorry, just venting....
If there was an existing homestead exemption on that house from the previous owners, you would be able to take advantage of it. Unless it was a brand new construction or the homeowners claimed the exemption on their new house.

Naima
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Old 01-06-2009, 09:45 AM
 
Location: Keller, TX
295 posts, read 875,915 times
Reputation: 57
nope... brand new .

Oh well, this year it better appraise to current market conditions!
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