Q:

Should you homestead your home?

A:

Quick Answer

Homesteading a property is worthwhile because it offers several advantages that protect the home's value over time, according to SFGate. For example, in some states, homesteading reduces property taxes, keeps the homeowner immune from forced sales and allows a homeowner's surviving spouse to retain the homestead in perpetuity.

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Should you homestead your home?
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Full Answer

One of the most commonly known benefits of homesteading is exemption from some of the property taxes payable on a home. One example is an exemption of the first $50,000 of the assessed value of a home. With this exemption, if a home is valued at $180,000, the homeowner only pays property taxes on the remaining $130,000, as SFGate explains.

Without a homestead in place, creditors for such debts as a car loan have the opportunity to force the sale of the home to satisfy the debt. However, a homestead protects the homeowner from all of those requests with the exception of forced sales as part of foreclosures and property tax default, according to SFGate.

Homestead rights transfer from a homeowner to a surviving spouse as long as that spouse occupies the property as a primary residence. However, if a mortgage balance remains outstanding, the surviving spouse must continue to make payments on the loan, as explained by SFGate.

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