The issue of homestead portability has come up a couple times recently so I thought I would take some time to address, in general, what it is.
One big advantage of home ownership is the decrease in tax liability once a home is owned by an owner occupant. These savings can be taken with a homeowner to a new home, provided homeowners are willing to “jump through a few hoops”. Jumping through these hoops can save homeowners hundreds or even thousands of dollars each year.
The Florida Department of Revenue indicates that homeowners that are currently receiving a Florida homestead exemption may be able to transfer, or “port” all or part of their homestead assessment to a new home. To receive this benefit, known as the Save Our Homes Portability Transfer, you must establish a homestead exemption for the new home within two years of January 1st of the year you abandoned the former homestead (not two years after the sale). Homeowners must file a DR-501T no later than March 1st.
Homestead portability can save homebuyers a ton of money and can encourage homeowners to maintain benefits of the Homestead Exemption even in times when upgrading or downsizing may be necessary or desirable. Consult your local tax office (or the link below) for exact details as I am not an attorney or a tax expert, I am just a real estate professional that enjoys seeing his customers saving their hard-earned dollars!