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Property Tax Legislation - Getting Buyers to Buy

Realtors® around the state expect buyers and sellers’ pent-up demand to generate an increase in home sales following passage of Amendment 1, which allows buyers to take their Save Our Homes tax savings with them when they move.

“People who buy now are getting a great deal because home prices have fallen,” says 2007 FAR President and St. Petersburg Realtor Nancy Riley, who led the charge last year in support of Amendment 1. “These price reductions, combined with portability, will mean a great deal on the taxes owed on their new home.”

Some expect to see sales activity from first-time buyers thanks to a slight increase in the homestead exemption provided by Amendment 1, record-low mortgage rates, pent-up demand and a large selection of properties.

“Again, given the lower cost of housing and the increased homestead exemption, those who have been dreaming of buying their first home will find this the best market in many years,” Riley adds.

While demand builds, you should take the opportunity to contact clients who sold a home in 2007 and bought another property that qualifies as a homestead. The portability provision of Amendment 1 is retroactive to Jan. 1, 2007. Sellers may transfer their Save Our Homes credit (the difference between the assessed value of a homestead and the market or “just” value) provided:

1. The residence sold last year was homesteaded;

2. The new residence qualified for the homestead exemption as of Jan. 1, 2008;

3. The owner applies for the exemption and transfer with the county property appraiser by March 1, 2008. After that date, there is a $15 fee.

For specific questions about property tax reform, tell clients to contact their local property appraiser. [http://dor.myflorida.com/dor/property/appraisers.html] For a list of frequently asked questions about Amendment One, click here