Texas Homestead Laws

Understanding what they mean for Austin newcomers




To qualify for the Texas homestead exemption, homeowners must move into the property by January 1 of that year.

Before settling on the home of your dreams, it’s important for future homeowners to understand a few basics about Texas homestead real estate laws. A homestead is defined in Texas as the place of residence for a family or individual and is secure from forced sale by general creditors.

The Texas Constitution guarantees the only way a person can lose his or her homestead rights is by death, abandonment, sale of property, or foreclosure of a lien against the homestead. Texas has two types of homesteads: urban and rural. In most cases, Texas homeowners file for homestead exemption as a way to help lower their taxes. To qualify for homestead exemption, homeowners must move into the property by January 1 of that year. If a buyer purchases his or her home on January 2, application for the homestead exemption must wait until the following year.

Once filed, a Texas homestead exemption is valid as long as the homeowner lives on the property and is using it as the primary residence. If the homeowner moves out of the property and rents it, then the exemption goes away. Also, homestead law states that if a property is purchased with a pre-existing homestead exemption, the homestead exemption transfers to the new owner.

Did you like what you read here? Order your FREE copy of Austin Relocation Guide!

 

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Content

Austin Starter Homes Rank as the Largest in the Nation

Everything is bigger in Texas, including starter homes. Newcomers to Austin enjoy spacious homes, with Austin ranking #1 for home size in the nation.

Austin, Texas on the Friendliest Cities List

For those looking to visit or relocate here, take comfort in knowing that you’ll have a pleasant experience in the Heart of Texas.

Austin Area Makes Fastest-Growing Lists for both Small Towns and Large Cities

The Austin-Round Rock metro area makes the top 10 list for fastest growing small towns and big cities this year.

Add your comment: