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Filing for Homestead Exemption


If you bought a home this year in Florida, you will want to file for Homestead Exemption so that you can enjoy some savings on your property taxes. The Florida Homestead  Exemption reduces the taxable value of real property by up to $25,000 ($50,000 for a married couple). This could save you up to $750 annually. More importantly, your assessed value, which is used to calculate your property taxes, can not increase more than 3% annually after you are granted the exemption. It is an ad valorem tax exemption provided by Florida law for qualified residents who own and reside on the property as their primary residence.

Items you will need in order to file:

  1. Florida Voters Registration
  2. Florida Driver License
  3. Florida Registration for Car
  4. Recorded Warranty Deed for Property
  5. Current Electrical Receipt for service in your name prior to January 1
  6. Social Security Number (for all owners)

Items 1, 2, 3 and 4 must be obtained before January 1 of the year you file. You must reside in the property as of December 31st and must file for homestead exemption prior to February 28th. Bring all of the above for all owners appearing on the deed. If you do not vote, drive or own a car, a Declaration of Domicile can prove Florida residency. All applicants are required to sign the application for homestead exemption. 

Some Property Appraiser offices will mail all new homeowners an exemption packet approximately 6-8 weeks after their deed is recorded in the county records. This packet includes instructions on how to apply for homestead. There may be provisions available for late filing. Check with the Property Appraiser’s Office for additional details.

Special Notes:
If title to the property on which you are applying is held in a trust, a copy of the entire trust agreement must also be submitted.

If you are filing on a mobile home, proof of ownership is required for both the mobile home and the property. A "Real Property" application must also be completed.

If you bought a home and moved from another home that you had homesteaded in Florida within the last 2 years, you may be eligible for Portability. This may allow you to bring your "Save Our Homes" assessment savings that you built up on your previous property (also known as your Portability amount) with you to the new property. Portability is not automatic, however; you must apply for it. You will need to fill out a special form and submit it with your new Homestead exemption application. Remember, it is a separate application which must be filed in addition to the Homestead application and if you do not request Portability when applying for your new Homestead exemption, you may lose the savings you built up on your former homestead. 

*If you have further questions about where or how to file, you may contact your local Property Appraiser's office:

Orange County Property Appraiser’s Office
200 S Orange Ave # 17 | Orlando, FL 32801
407.836.5044 | www.ocpafl.org

Seminole County Property Appraiser’s Office
1101 E 1st St, Sanford | FL 32771
407.665.7506 | www.scpafl.org

Osceola County Property Appraiser’s Office
2505 E Irlo Bronson Memorial Hwy | Kissimmee, FL 34744
407.742.5000 | www.property-appraiser.org

Lake County Property Appraiser’s Office
320 W. Main St. Suite A | Tavares, FL 32778
352.253.2150 | www.lakecopropappr.com

This information provided by:

Vanessa Loomie