Homestead exemption is a privilege extended to homeowners who live in a particular state and maintain a primary residence. In Texas, exemption extends to condominium owners as well. Texas also extends additional exemptions to eligible senior citizens, veterans or their descendants and disabled residents. Applying for a homestead exemption for your condo involves providing some specific documents to prove ownership and residency in the state.
Homestead exemption is available to homeowners who occupy their detached home, condominium or mobile home on leased land in Texas. Homestead exemption can include up to 20 acres of land as long as it is used as a yard. As a homeowner you are allowed to claim one property for homestead exemption. If you temporarily move away from the house, but do not declare another primary residence, you won't lose your homestead exemption status in Texas.
Homestead exemption effectively lowers your property tax liability by excluding a portion of the home's value from property taxes. For example, if your home is worth $100,000 and you are eligible for an exemption of $10,000, your tax bill would be based on a home value of $90,000. In Texas, homestead status exempts a portion of your condo's value from school, county and optional special district taxes.
To declare homestead exemption for your condo, obtain the state's exemption form and submit it to your appraisal district office. The application requires you to live in the condo on Jan. 1 of the year you apply unless you're a senior citizen turning 65 years old. Additionally, the state requires a driver's license or state-issued personal identification certificate, vehicle registration or an affidavit stating you don't own an automobile, and a utility bill in your name for the property you want to exempt.
Homestead exemption in Texas exempts the first $15,000 of value on your condo from your tax bill. If you're a senior or disabled citizens 65 years or older, you can exclude an additional $10,000 from your condo's value. You might also be eligible for an optional district exemption of no less than $5,000 or up to 20 percent of your condo's value.
Monica Dillon has more than 10 years experience in real estate sales, marketing, investing and appraising. She specializes in energy efficiency building practices and renewable energy. Dillon has been syndicated by the National Newspaper Publisher's Association. Her work has also appeared in the "Journal Of Progressive Human Services."