What is a Texas Homestead Exemption? How does it work? How can you file?

Understanding the Texas Homestead Exemption: A Guide for New Homebuyers


Welcome to Texas, a state known for its vast lands, vibrant culture, and, importantly for homeowners, beneficial property tax policies. As a professional realtor, I encounter many clients new to Texas or the home-buying process, curious about the benefits available to them. One significant advantage is the Texas Homestead Exemption, a provision designed to offer property tax relief to homeowners. This article aims to demystify the Homestead Exemption and explain the recent legislative changes that further benefit Texas homeowners.


 What Is a Homestead Exemption?


A Homestead Exemption removes part of your home’s value from taxation, thereby lowering your property taxes. For example, if your home is appraised at $200,000, and you qualify for a $25,000 exemption, you will only be taxed on a value of $175,000.


 Purpose of the Homestead Exemption


The primary goal of the Homestead Exemption is to provide homeowners with financial relief on their primary residence. This exemption not only helps in reducing the property tax burden but also offers protections against forced sale by creditors, emphasizing the importance of securing a family home.


 How to File for the Homestead Exemption

Filing for the Homestead Exemption in Texas is relatively straightforward. Here are the steps:


  1. Determine Eligibility: Your property must be your primary residence as of January 1 of the tax year. You cannot claim a homestead exemption on rental properties or a second home.
  2. Gather Required Documents: You’ll need proof of residence, such as a Texas driver’s license or ID card, that matches the address of the property for which you’re claiming the exemption.
  3. Complete the Application: Obtain the Application for Residential Homestead Exemption from your local county appraisal district’s website.
  4. Submit the Application: You can submit your application either by mail or in person at your local county appraisal district office. Some counties also offer online submission.


 When to File


The window for filing your Homestead Exemption application is from January 1 to April 30 of the tax year. Late applications may be accepted up to one year after the delinquency date for the taxes on the homestead.


 The 2023 Texas Bill: Lowering Home Appraised Values


A significant update in 2023 is the passing of a new Texas bill that allows homeowners to lower the appraised value of their home by up to $100,000 for property tax purposes. This legislation is a game-changer for many, aiming to make homeownership more accessible and affordable.


Explaining the New Bill to Homeowners


For homeowners, this means that if your home is appraised at $300,000, applying this new exemption could potentially reduce your home’s taxable value to $200,000, resulting in substantial property tax savings. This initiative reflects Texas’s commitment to supporting homeowners and making living in Texas more financially manageable.




The Homestead Exemption and the recent legislative changes are designed to ease the financial burden on Texas homeowners. By understanding and taking advantage of these benefits, you can significantly reduce your annual property tax bill. As a new homeowner in Texas or someone considering purchasing a home here, these provisions can provide meaningful savings and protection for your property.


For more detailed information or assistance with your Homestead Exemption application, consider consulting with a professional or reaching out to your local county appraisal district. Welcome to Texas, and here’s to enjoying the benefits of homeownership in the Lone Star State!


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