Jordana Sarrell, Esq., LL.M.
HOMESTEAD APPS DUE 2/1/2021
Did You Know? When you make property your permanent residence, you may be eligible to receive an exemption that keeps you from paying tax on a certain portion of your property’s assessed value. If your home is worth at least $75,000, the exemption would decrease the property’s taxable value by $50,000!
The homestead exemption qualifies the home for the Save Our Homes assessment limitation. This “cap” limits any increase to the assessed value of a homestead exempt property to a maximum of 3% or the annual change in the Consumer Price Index, whichever is less, per year. If eligible, this assessment limitation is now transferable to a new homestead in Florida if you move.
When to Apply? The deadline for filing is March 1. In order toqualify for the homestead exemption, you must be living in the property as your primary residence as of January 1 of 2021.
Below is a list of what is generally required, however, check with the property appraiser’s office before the file:
• Proof of Residence
• Property Tax Bill – if you have received one
• Florida Driver’s License or Florida Photo Identification Card
• Copy of Florida Vehicle Registration
• Social Security Number Not a U.S. Citizen? Bring your Resident Alien Card (Green Card) and your Social Security Number.
Do not forget to gather all the appropriate documents and information you need to file whether you do it in person at the tax collector's office or online - for Palm Beach County you can click this link:
*Tip Always check with the county property appraiser’s office to confirm the necessary documentation required to file.
Don't forget that if you sold your old homestead and purchased a new one you may be eligible for Portability!Portability allows Florida residents with a previous Homestead Exemption to transfer part of their tax savings to their new residential property in Florida so long as the sale and purchase fall within a two-year window. The “Save Our Homes” (SOH) amendment to the Florida Constitution, codified at Sec. 193.155, F.S. includes a provision added in 2008 allowing homestead owners to transfer the accumulated difference between assessed value and the just or market value to a new homestead. If just value of the new homestead is more than the previous home's just value, entire benefit can be transferred, subject to a $500,000 limit. If just value of the new homestead is less than the previous home's just value, a percentage of the accumulated SOH benefit can be transferred (up to $500,000 limit)
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HURRICANE IRMA: DAMAGE & PENDING CONTRACTS:
Many properties under contract during Hurricane Irma are now faced with the question of repairs and lender requirements to move forward to the closing date.
Lenders are requiring re-inspections and appraisals of properties under contract prior to closing the loan. What happens if the storm caused damage to the property? Standard M in the FAR/BAR contracts address this issue by providing two options:
1. 1.5% COST CAP: The cost of restoration should be obtained by a licensed professional. If the restoration cost is 1.5% (or less) of the purchase price, the parties proceed to closing with the cost of restoration being the obligation of the seller. BUT what if restoration cannot be completed prior to closing? Then the contract directs 125% of the restoration cost be escrowed at closing and used to complete the restoration.
2. IN EXCESS OF 1.5% COST CAP: If the cost to repair exceeds 1.5% the buyer has the option of (1) taking the property AS IS and receiving 1.5% credit on the purchase price OR (2) canceling the contract and receiving a refund of their deposit.
Sellers and Buyers should take note that the replacement of trees is specifically excluded (but cost of pruning and removal is included).