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Market News and Trends, The Business of Real Estate

Texas Homestead — new rules

In case you missed it, the Texas Legislature enacted new rules in this year’s session aimed at making sure that property owners claiming the Homestead Exemption from a portion of their property taxes are legitimately using the home as their primary residence.  That law took effect on September 1, 2011.  If you already own your home and have your exemption in place, this does NOT affect you, but …

If you buy a new home and need to file a new Homestead Exemption Application, or if you want to add additional homestead-related exemptions (“Over 65,” for example) you will need to provide more info than in the past.  Specifically, you’ll need to provide a copy of your Texas driver’s license (or State-issued ID) and a copy of your vehicle registration receipt.  The addresses on both must match the address you are claiming as your homestead.

If you bought a home this year, don’t rush out to file for your homestead exemption.  You’re not eligible to claim it until January 1, 2012 anyway.  (And don’t fall for a scam by paying somebody to file it for you!)  When the time comes though, be aware of these new requirements.

About Bill Morris, Realtor

Many years of business experience (high tech, client service, business organization and start-up, including almost 20 years in real estate) tell me that service is the key to success and I look forward to serving you. I represent both buyers and sellers throughout the Austin metropolitan area, which means first-hand market knowledge is brought to bear on serving your needs. Learn more about my background and experience, my commitment to my clients, my profession, and to the real estate industry at


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