Filing Your 2020 Homestead Exemption

Taxes. Nobody likes them; everybody pays them. I’m sure when you considered buying a home you heard about the potential tax savings. Now you own a home and pay your own property taxes. You want to pay as little as you have to, because who would want to pay more? The good news is that you can reduce your property taxes by claiming a homestead exemption!

What is a homestead exemption?

A homestead exemption (HS) removes a slice of your home’s value from being taxed. A homestead is a separate structure, condominium or manufactured home on owned or leased land up to 20 acres. To qualify for a homestead exemption, you must:

  • Own the property
  • Use it as your primary residence as of January 1 of the year in which you are applying (2020 – so you had to close in 2019)
  • The address on your driver’s license must match the address you are claiming the HS exemption on.

How much is my homestead exemption in Texas?

Texas law requires school districts provide a $25,000 exemption for property tax. So if your home is appraised at $100,000 and you qualify for a homestead exemption, you pay school taxes as if your home was worth $75,000. Taxing units also have the option to offer a separate exemption, which will vary based on where you live. For example, Williamson County offers a $3000 exemption for the special tax collected to farm-to-market roads. With your HS exemption, your county cannot raise the appraised value of your home by more than 10% each year, even if the actual value is greater. With the current rate of appreciation for many homeowners, this has saved many people a lot of money over the past few years!

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What other exemptions are available in Texas?

The most common other exemptions claimed are the Senior Exemption (Over 65), Disabled Exemption and Veteran’s Exemption. Both the Senior Exemption and Disabled Exemption requires school districts to offer an additional $10,000 HS but one cannot qualify for both. When you turn 65, you may also qualify for a “tax ceiling” on your school taxes; that is, the school taxes on your home cannot increase as long as you own and live in that home. The Veteran’s Exemption is available to disable veterans and the surviving dependents and entitles a disabled vet an exemption equal to his service-connected disability, up to 100%. Here is a list of most of HS exemptions.

How do I apply for my homestead exemption?

You can apply for FREE for your HS exemption by completing and turning in the correct form to your local county tax office. For Williamson County, you can also apply online. When you purchase a home, you will likely receive many official looking pieces in the mail offering services to file your HS exemption for you for a fee. THIS IS A SCAM. Please save yourself some money by filling out and mailing in the form yourself! You can apply for your HS exemption from January 1 – April 30 in the year after you purchased your home.

  • Homestead Exemption Form for Williamson County (FORM) or (Fill it out ONLINE). Mailing Address: 625 FM 1460, Georgetown, TX 78626-8050
  • Homestead Exemption Form for Travis County (FORM). Mailing Address: P.O. BOX 149012, Austin, TX 78714-9012

If you have questions about your homestead exemption, property taxes or any other real estate question, contact us and we’ll get back to you right away. I hope you have found all of this information helpful!

 

Homestead Exemptions: What You Need to Know

Taxes. Nobody likes them; everybody pays them. I’m sure when you considered buying a home you heard about the potential tax savings. Now you own a home and pay your own property taxes. You want to pay as little as you have to, because who would want to pay more? The good news is that you can reduce your property taxes by claiming a homestead exemption!

What is a homestead exemption?

A homestead exemption (HS) removes a slice of your home’s value from being taxed. A homestead is a separate structure, condominium or manufactured home on owned or leased land up to 20 acres. To qualify for a homestead exemption, you must:
  • Own the property
  • Use it as your primary residence as of January 1 of the year in which you are applying
  • The address on your drivers license must match the address you are claiming the HS exemption on.

How much is my homestead exemption?

Texas law requires school districts provide a $25,000 exemption for property tax. So if your home is appraised at $100,000 and you qualify for a homestead exemption, you pay school taxes as if your home was worth $75,000. Taxing units also have the option to offer a separate exemption, which will vary based on where you live. Travis County offers a 20% exemption and Williamson County offers a $3000 exemption for the special tax collected to farm-to-market roads. With your HS exemption, your county cannot raise the appraised value of your home by more than 10% each year, even if the actual value is greater. With the current rate of appreciation for many homeowners, this has saved many people a lot of money over the past few years!

What other exemptions are available?

The most common other exemptions claimed are the Senior Exemption (Over 65), Disabled Exemption and Veteran’s Exemption. Both the Senior Exemption and Disabled Exemption requires school districts to offer an additional $10,000 HS but one cannot qualify for both. When you turn 65, you may also qualify for a “tax ceiling” on your school taxes; that is, the school taxes on your home cannot increase as long as you own and live in that home. The Veteran’s Exemption is available to disable veterans and the surviving dependents and entitles a disabled vet an exemption equal to his service-connected disability, up to 100%. Here is a list of most of HS exemptions.

How do I apply for my homestead exemption?

You can apply for FREE for your HS exemption by completing and turning in the correct form to your local county tax office. For Williamson County, you can also apply online. When you purchase a home, you will likely receive many official looking pieces in the mail offering services to file your HS exemption for you for a fee. THIS IS A SCAM. Please save yourself some money by filing out and mailing in the form yourself! You can apply for your HS exemption from January 1 – April 30 in the year after you purchased your home.

Anyways, I hope this REAL ANSWER has been helpful for you. Sign up in the right column to receive more REAL ANSWERS because someone you know needs accurate answers. You can also ask your own questions and see the REAL ANSWERS to other questions.

Homestead Exemption Form for Travis County (FORM)
Mailing Address: P.O. BOX 149012, Austin, TX 78714-9012
Homestead Exemption Form for Williamson County (FORM) or (Fill it out ONLINE)
Mailing Address: 625 FM 1460, Georgetown, TX 78626-8050
Homestead Exemption Form for Hayes County (FORM)
Mailing Address: 21001 IH 35 North, Kyle, Texas 78640
Homestead Exemption Form for Bastrop County (FORM)
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 578, Bastrop, TX 78602

Austin Market Update – July 2016

Rather watch than read? Click the Image for the video!
Rather watch than read? Click the Image for the video!

The Austin Board of Realtors just released the official numbers for the month of July and in the City of Austin, the average sales price hit $345,000 in July 2016, a 4.6 percent increase from last year, while the number of homes sold in July declined by 7.3 percent. Housing inventory rose slightly from 2.1 months in July 2015 to 2.4 months in July 2016 and homes spent four more days on the market than the previous year.

What do those numbers mean? Well, home values in Central Texas continue to increase, which is great news for homeowners, but I believe those rising prices are starting to have cooling effect on the number of homes sold because of affordability. Home buyers, especially first time home buyers are being pushed further and further from Central Austin because they can’t afford the high prices. This will effect demand in Austin which should slow rising home values in Austin.
If you want to know more about the market in Williamson County, check out this post. If you have any questions about real estate or are thinking of buying a home, drop me a note or call me and I’d be happy to help!

Knowing WHEN to Sell in 2014 – FREE Guide

Strategic Guide for Savvy Home Sellers

Home sellers who are considering selling their home in 2014 will have to make a few very important decisions. These decisions can affect how much money they will make, how easy or difficult the experience is and how quickly their new plans can become a reality. Arguably the most important and impactful decision sellers will make will be which agent they will chose to sell their home, but deciding when to put the home on the home on the market is a close second. My Strategic Guide for Savvy Home Sellers – Timing the Market looks specifically at when is the best time for savvy sellers to put their home up for sale. To make this decision, savvy sellers will look at supply and demand, pricing trends and buyer trends. With interest rates, buyer demand and the number of homes available for sale in 2014 all projecting to be very close to the levels of 2013, savvy sellers will lean heavily on how the market performed last year to come up with the best strategy. Click HERE for my FREE Guide…

Here are some of the questions answered:

  • When will homes sell the fastest?
  • When do home owners receive offers closest to their asking price?
  • When is the least or most competition for buyers?

Download the FREE Guide >>> Timing the Market in 2014

by Kyle Pfaffe, REALTOR®      e: KylePfaffe@kw.com      m: 512-636-9707      w: AustinHomes4You.com
   

Deadline for Filing for Your Homestead Exemption for Property Taxes!

The time has come to file for the Homestead Exemption for property taxes. If you have purchased your primary residence in 2013 (resided there as of 1/1/2014), then you can claim the homestead exemption on your property taxes. Homestead Exemption forms can be filed between January 1st and April 30th. In an effort to help make your life a little easier, I have provided the links or phone numbers to download or request the Homestead Exemption forms that apply to all homeowners. The Homestead Exemption forms for those over 65, the disabled, disabled veterans, and surviving spouses are also included.

What is a Homestead Exemption?

In short, a homestead exemption in Texas is an exemption that removes part of the value of your property from being taxed and thereby lowering your property taxes. For example, if your home has a tax appraised value of $100,000 and you qualify for an exemption of $20,000, you pay taxes on your home as if it is only work $80,000.

What Exemptions Are There?

Beyond the standard Homestead Exemption, there are also exemptions for the disabled, seniors over the age of 65, veterans and other local & county exemptions.

For more information on exemptions…Click Here.

Here are the forms!
Travis County               Williamson County               Hays County

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me and I would be happy to help however I can!

by Kyle Pfaffe, REALTOR®      e: KylePfaffe@kw.com      m: 512-636-9707      w: AustinHomes4You.com

How to Protest Your Property Taxes for Travis County or Williamson County

Attention Home Owners! You should have received your tax-assessed valuation for 2013 in the mail from the county by now or should receive it shortly. Unfortunately, the county often does not get an accurate valuation of your house because they simply value your home according to the area. If you believe that the county has assessed your property at a value that is higher than it is worth, effectively increasing the property taxes you owe, you can protest it with the county appraisal district to have it corrected and we can help!Property Taxes

We can help you by pulling market comps for homes that were sold in your neighborhood during the correct time frame and give you advice on the best ways to protest your valuation to give you a better chance of lowering the taxes you owe! Drop me a note or call me at 512-636-9707 for help or to receive our tip sheet to protest your taxes.

Property Tax Protest in Travis County, CLICK HERE.

Property Tax Protest in Williamson County, CLICK HERE.

Here are some frequent questions:

How do I determine my home’s market value? You can contact your REALTOR who can provide you with market data for homes recently sold in your neighborhood, collect purchase prices from your neighbors who have recently bought homes in your neighborhood or you can contract a company who specializes in assisting with tax valuation protests.

Should I appeal my property valuation? If you believe that your home is actually worth more than the assessed value, then NO. If you believe that the property valuation given to you by your county appraisal district is too high, then YES!

When should I receive my property valuation? The county appraisal districts begin mailing out your valuations after April 15. Most homeowners will have received their valuations.

How long do you have to appeal? You have until May 31st or 30 days after you receive your valuation to appeal (whichever is later).

Why is tax-assessed value different from market value? Simply put, assessed value is what the county believes that your property is worth. They attempt to set values at market values, but generally make changes according to your area or neighborhood. They do not evaluate an individual market analysis of your home or account for differences in size, location, amenities, condition or other various factors. A market value takes into consideration all of those factors and is individualized for your home.
For a Tip and FAQs guide from Gracy Title >> Gracy Title Tax Appraisal Tip Sheet

by Kyle Pfaffe, REALTOR®      e: KylePfaffe@kw.com      m: 512-636-9707      w: AustinHomes4You.com

The Kyle Pfaffe Real Estate Team

Texas Down Payment Assistance Program

Texas HOMEbuyer Assistance Program

Receive up to $20,000 in Down-Payment Assistance when you buy a home in the Greater Austin area, but outside Austin city limits!

The Texas HOMEbuyer Assistance Program is a new program funded through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and offers Texans up to $20,000 in down payment and closing cost assistance! This is a great resource for low- to moderate-income households who want to buy a home and applicants do not have to be first time homebuyers. The program offers a 0% interest forgivable loan of up to $20,000, and does not require repayment if the buyer remains in the home throughout the term of the assistance (5-10 years). This assistance is offered to homebuyers in the counties of Bastrop, Blanco, Burnet, Caldwell, Hays, Travis (outside of Austin city limits only) and Williamson Counties.

Here is a summary of some of the requirements for this program:

Household Requirements:

  • Household must complete an eligible homebuyer education course
  • Homebuyer my occupy the home as his principle place of residence for the entire loan term
  • Household’s mortgage payment must be at least 25% of total household income
  • Household’s mortgage payment and monthly debt must be no more than 45% of total household income

Property Requirements:

  • Property must be a single family home, condo or new manufacture home
  • Property must be environmentally cleared by the TDHCA
  • Property value may not exceed 95% of the applicable FHA Mortgage limit

Lending Requirements:

  • Loan must have a fixed interest rate; no ARMs
  • No subprime loan products
  • The loan-to-value ratio must be at or below 100%

This is not an exclusive list of requirement for this program but will give you a good idea of whether or not you will likely qualify. If you have any questions, please give us a call or contact your lender. If you interested in buying a home and have questions about this program, how to buy or sell your home or other financing questions, PLEASE give us a call at 512-636-9707!

Kyle Pfaffe, REALTOR

www.AustinHomes4You.com