Who qualifies for homestead exemption? First, homestead exemption is something that you apply for before January 1st of any year which you wish to obtain homestead exemption. The application must be made on or before March 1st of a particular year. By way of example, if you bought a home December 23, 2011, and you moved into the home, then you could apply for a homestead exemption in 2012, and you have until March 1 of 2012. Now, in order to be qualified, besides owning and occupying the property, you must be a Florida resident.
You cannot be a resident of another state and have two homestead exemptions. And you have to put this on the application- that you don’t have homestead in any other state. In order to qualify for homestead exemption, you have to own the home prior to December 31st of the preceding year and you must be a resident of the state of Florida and occupy the property. You cannot have two homesteads, whether they be in Florida or another state. Our property appraiser, Mike Wells, researches this and will disqualify you for your homestead exemption if you have an exemption in another state and there are substantial penalties involved, also.
From time to time folks want to know, “Can I get a homestead on the property here and my wife get a homestead on a property up north?” I don’t suggest your trying to do that- it may fail. If you’re a husband and wife, then you’re considered a family unit, and they may not allow the above. You also would not want to have to defend your actions if they found out later on. You would need to discuss that with the property appraiser at the time you apply for homestead exemption, whether here in Pasco County, or with any property appraiser.
So, in order to get a homestead exemption, be sure you’re a resident in the state of Florida and you’ve owned the property prior to the year you apply. If you bought the property on January 2, 2012, you can’t get homestead exemption until 2013. One last note is that you can apply for homestead exemption as soon as you get the property, up until March 1 of the following year. If you have any questions, call me at (727) 847-2288. Thank you.