Did you buy a new home somewhere in Texas in 2017?  Do you intend to declare that property as your Homestead?  If you answer YES to both questions, please keep reading . . .

Every year at this time, I send out a letter to all the buyers I've worked with in the past year.  Here's a copy of that letter - it tells you how to apply (after January 1, 2018) for your Homestead Exemption and save hundreds of dollars in subsequent years in property taxes. 

Dear Friends:

I send this letter every year to all the homebuyers with whom I’ve worked during the past 12 months.  It’s a reminder to apply for your Homestead Exemption on your new home on Main Street after January 1 and before April 30, 2018.  (If you apply any sooner, they’ll simply toss your application in the trash.)

Because there have been a lot of fraudulent Homestead filings over the years, Texas now has new requirements to file for your exemptions.  When you submit the enclosed application, you must attach a photocopy of your Texas driver’s license(s) showing the same address as the property you wish to homestead.  (Of course, if you haven’t already done so, NOW would be a great time to take care of getting the address updated on your license!)  Copies of the driver’s license(s) must be submitted for each person eligible for the exemption.

Some of you who receive this letter may qualify for other exemptions, so read through the list carefully.  After you submit the application, you’ll receive a postcard in the mail a few weeks later informing you of the approval of your application.  The good news - this is a one-time-only process – once you get the exemption(s), you don’t have to re-apply again every year.

I’ve attached a postage-paid pre-addressed envelope for your convenience.  No excuses for missing the deadline!  In fact, you’ll be hearing from me (via e-mail) a couple more times between now and next April, just to make sure you didn’t set this aside and forget about it.

One final note – have you registered to vote?  Or do you need to update the address for your voter registration?  If you need to do one of those things, here’s the best web site to take care of it:  https://webservices.sos.state.tx.us/vrapp/index.asp

All the best for the happiest of holidays – and thank you again for letting me be a part of your homebuying experience!

Best regards,

 

2018 Homestead Exemption Letter

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P.S. – remember, do NOT mail your Homestead Exemption application paperwork till AFTER January 1, 2018.  (You can mail the voter registration application any time you want, and you can apply for other exemptions such as Over 65 any time you want – the Homestead exemption is the only one with the fixed application window.  And the county central appraisal districts will NOT keep or sandbag your homestead-exemption application if you send it in early!)

P.P.S. – even if you “inherited” an existing Homestead exemption with the home you purchased, it will NOT automatically transfer to you in 2018!  You MUST apply for the exemption under your own name(s) after January 1, 2018.

The paragraph above is SOOOOO important I’m going to repeat it:

P.P.S. – even if you “inherited” an existing Homestead exemption with the home you purchased, it will NOT automatically transfer to you in 2018!  You MUST apply for the exemption under your own name(s) after January 1, 2018.