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)
Back to Blog
Inactive. Expired. Open. These three verbs when associated with municipal or county permits in a residential real estate transaction can send a buyer, seller, real estate agent or title company into a frenzy. But what is really the responsibility of parties in an AS IS residential real estate transaction with respect to permits?
Most people operate under the presumption that permits are a title issue or in other words covered under a title policy. This is simply untrue. Rather the opposite is true, inactive/open/expired permits are specifically excluded from title insurance policy jackets. So, any inactive/expired/open permits are not covered under your title policy should an issue arise and the title agent is not under any obligation to ensure that they are dealt with.
The standard FARBAR AS IS contract specifically places the onus on the buyer to make an inquiry as to whether there are any inactive/open/expired municipal or county permitsduring the inspection period. What does this mean? It means that if the buyer doesn't conduct a permit inquiry during the inspection period, any inactive/open/expired permits are not required to be closed to finalized the sale.
Moreover, if the buyer discovers inactive/open/expired permits, within the inspection period, the seller is only required to facilitate the closing of those permits and not required to spend any money in the process.
Permits, when not dealt with, however, in some situations amount to a greater problem such as a municipal or county code violation leading to monetary fines. So a prudent real estate attorney representing a buyer will ensure that the contract specifically includes language requiring any inactive/open/expired permits be closed at the seller's sole expense. Or a seller's attorney will leave the contract in its current form as it benefits the seller.
It is always important to have a real estate attorney with you every step of the way from negotiating a contract through closing to ensure you are completely protected. After all buying real estate will likely be the biggest and most important purchase of your life!