Here’s How Homestead and Portability Will Save You Money!

Last January we wrote a blog about the importance of filing for homestead and the tax benefits that you will enjoy in connection with homesteading. You can find that post here! Don’t forget the deadline to file is March 1st!

This year we want to build on that topic and talk about Portability and how in certain situations you can benefit from even more savings on your taxes.

Do you want to save thousands on a new home? Who doesn’t, right? Well here in Florida it’s possible with Portability – a really awesome and unique system we have here in the Sunshine State that allows you to “port” the savings accumulated on your old homestead property to your new one. Here’s what it is, what it does, and how you can get it to work for you!

What is Portability?

The Save Our Homes Amendment to the Florida constitution provides Florida homeowners with several benefits, one of which is a cap on how much the value of a homestead property can increase, which helps homeowners save on property taxes even when the market is booming and property values are skyrocketing. 

What happens if you want to move though? Moving to a bigger, more valuable property would mean giving up all the savings you’ve been accumulating thanks to your homestead exemption over the years. Here’s why Portability is super cool – Portability allows you to transfer the savings from your old property to your new one. Neat, right? In some cases, these savings can amount to thousands of dollars. 

I won’t get into the specifics of how the savings acquired from Portability are calculated here, but basically, if you’ve moved from a smaller home to a bigger one recently, odds are Portability can help you save money!

How Do I Get It?

Portability doesn’t kick in automatically, like a Homestead Exemption you need to apply for it. Also, it doesn’t apply to homes you’ve long since moved out of – you need to have sold your old house within two years of moving to the new property before you qualify, and your old residence must have been your primary homestead residence.You can apply for Portability at the same time you apply for Homestead on your new property, which makes things easy!

Who Decides If I Qualify?

Qualification is decided between your old property appraiser and your new one. If you qualify, your old property appraiser will notify your new one, and then Portability will kick in automatically. You won’t receive a notice if you qualify, but you will get a notice if you’re denied. In the event that you do get denied, you can contact your property appraiser for an explanation or to contest your denial.

For more information on Portability in your county, check out these links:

Orange County
Seminole County
Lake County
Volusia County

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