So you bought a home is Texas... Now let me tell you how to put more BREAD in your wallet!! You might have heard of something called filing a homestead exemption. Some rules have changed as of September 1st, 2011. I'm about to tell you (in the next 226 words) what that means and how to do it!
Wikipedia defines the homestead exemption as "a legal regime designed to protect the value of the homes of residents from property taxes, creditors, and circumstances arising from the death of the homeowner spouse."
This definition is true...but money brings the LOUDEST bark! Basically, Homestead exemptions exempt part of your home's value from taxation; therefore, they lower your taxes. Texas only allows you to file a homestead exemption for one property - sorry if you own more than one home :(
So, how do you do it? First, you can only file for exemption between January 1st and April 30th. ALSO, you have to own your home as of January 1st of the year you're filing. Next, pay attention to these new rules (courtesy of the Harris County Appraisal District):
Effective September 1, 2011, in order to qualify for a residential homestead exemption you must provide HCAD with a copy of either your Texas driver's license or Texas ID Card.
The address on your driver's license or state ID card must match the physical address of the residence for which you are applying.
This address must also be the same as the address on your vehicle registration. Attach a copy of your vehicle registration receipt to your homestead application.
All three addresses must match (home, vehicle registration, and driver's license)!!!!
Feel free to email me at Randall@AgentRandall.com if you need help finding the correct Homestead application for your county. I'm all about helping you get more BREAD from your HOMESTEAD :)