Real Estate

Have you filed for Homestead Exemption

Deadline is March 15th for 2015. Call the assessor today if you haven’t done this or it won’t go into effect until 2014. IT IS FREE.

In Oklahoma you have the right to homestead your personal residence. I am always amazed at how many people do not homestead their property. It is very simple and free. The following is from a letter I send to my clients who have purchased a home from me during the previous year. I hope that some of you will also find it useful.

You have until March 15, 2015 to claim it for this year. There is no need to do anything after filling out the form unless your income drastically decreases or you become over 65 years and qualify for the senior freeze.

 

The following  are three principal reasons for the creation of homestead law

1. to protect the family unit from forced eviction from its home through the enforcement of general creditors’ claims

2.  to provide protection to the widow after the death of her husband and

3.  to protect the wife from ill deeds of the husband.

Currently, such homestead rights are equally available to either a single man or woman or to a husband or wife.”— Oklahoma Bar Association.

In addition, it saves you a $1000 assessed value on your property which lowers your property taxes approximately a $100 to $125 a year.  Due to income guidelines you may qualify for a double homestead and save even more.

The only qualifications for filing homestead exemption is that you must be the homeowner who resides in the property on January 1. The deed must be executed on or before January 1 and filed with the County Clerks Office on or before February 1 and you must be a resident of Oklahoma.If you have been granted a homestead exemption and continue to occupy the homestead property you shall not be required to re-apply for homestead exemption. However, if you change your deed or move you will need to re-file.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at 405-213-2992 or visit my website at http://www.sandiwalker.com

Also if you or someone you know is looking to make a move in the Moor, Mustang, Oklahoma City area, please have them call me.

Real Estate

Homestead and SQ 758

This blog is not a debate about whether this is a good piece of legislation or bad, but rather what it means to Oklahomans, including our military.

The taxes that a person pays on a property are determined by the taxable value multiplied by the millage rate. SQ758 does not dictate the millage rate one way or other.  So it is only half of the equation.

State question 758 won by 67.7% (Huffingtonpost.com) of the vote to change the current cap from 5% to 3% increase of  taxable property values, but only on homesteaded properties and agricultural properties.

If the property is not homesteaded then the 5% cap applies.

There is a difference between a tax value and a market value. You pay taxes on the tax value not necessarily the market value.

When a property is sold the value of the property is reassessed to the current market value. Properties that were purchased many years ago may have a different tax value than a market value and would thereby see the taxable values rising at either the 3 or 5% rate until they reach the market value. Property that is currently at market value could also increase by these same measures if the assessor showed this amount of increase. We are currently not seeing this amount of increase. This bill affects people who have owned property for a long period of time more than it affects people who have recently purchased property. 

All owner occupied properties are eligible for homestead provided the owner is a resident of Oklahoma and the owner has occupied the house as of Jan 1 for the year homesteaded.

Military members do not always claim the state they live in as their place of residence.  Sometimes a non-resident military member and their resident of Oklahoma spouse are on the deed.  In speaking to David Tinsley, Cleveland county assessor, this morning, he stated that by homesteading ones property the person does become a resident of Oklahoma.  In this scenario, the non-resident military member would become a resident of Oklahoma. This could have tax implications for some of our military. So our military will need to decide if the benefits of homesteading their domicile out weigh the tax benefits they receive from being an out-of-state resident.

The other times that homes are not homesteaded are rental property and people who most likely don’t know to fill out the form.

If you are not sure if your property is homesteaded, go to the county assessor’s website-put your address in and check to see if there is an exemption.  I am not an accountant or a lawyer and this blog is not to give legal or tax counsel, if you need more information, please contact  an attorney or CPA.

There are other reasons that you should homestead that I will discuss in a future blog.

If you have real estate questions, please feel free to contact me at 405-213-2992 or visit my website at www.sandiwalker.com