As most Floridians are aware, or should be aware, there could be changes in how the Homestead Exemption and others will function in the future in Florida. We will not know for sure until after the start of the year when voters have their say during an election in January.
However, I wondered, what are homeowners supposed to do at this point in time since we are not sure what rules will apply next year? I called the county property appraiser's office here in Pasco County today, and they told me that homeowners who plan to make their home their permanent residence, or homestead, should apply for the exemption just has they have in the past. That means that they must close on the purchase of their next home before the end of 2007 and then file for their exempetion(s) by March 1, 2008.
At that point, whatever exemptions are in effect will apply to those persons who applied and got their homestead exemption. If the new rules are voted down, then you will get the same exemptions as we have had over the past several years. If the voters approve new regulations, then your declaration of homestead should ensure that you get the advantage of those new benefits.
The main thing is to be sure you apply in time. You have nothing to lose by declaring your homestead with the county. If you do not, you could be making a very costly mistake.
For more information or questions about this topic you can call me at: 813-783-4444 or e-mail me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you go to my website you will also find a menu button for local county Property Appraisers. To get there just click on the following link: www.jelwell.century21bnr.com If you do find your county listed, just do a Google search for your county's appraisers website. All of the sites will have information concerning Homestead Exemptions and also contact numbers if you wish to speak with someone in the appraiser's office. I am sure they will be happy to answer any questions that you may have. I have always found them to be very helpful.
John Elwell - REALTOR
Bill Nye Realty, Inc.
Licensed in Florida