State & Federal Homestead Exemptions

homestead exemptions

Homestead exemptions are laws designed to protect the value of the homes of residents from property taxes, creditors, and circumstances arising from the death of the homeowner spouse. Laws are found in state statutes or constitutional provisions, and often vary from state to state in the United States. See a list of those variations below.

A homestead exemption can help reduce the taxes on your home. For example, if your home is valued at $100,000 and you qualify for a $20,000 exemption, you pay taxes on your home as if it was worth only $80,000.

What is a homestead?

Generally speaking, a homestead can be a separate structure, condominium or a manufactured home located on owned or leased land, as long as the individual living in the home owns it.

State and Federal Homestead Exemptions (as of 2012/2013)

Alabama $5,000; cannot exceed 160 acres (husband and wife may double)
Alaska $72,900 (joint owners may each claim a portion, but total can’t exceed $72,900)
Arizona $150,000; sale proceeds exempt 18 months after sale or until new home purchased, whichever occurs first (husband and wife may not double)
Arkansas For married person or head of family: unlimited exemption on real or personal property used as residence to ¼ acre in city, town, or village, or 80 acres elsewhere, (if property is between ¼ to 1 acre in city, town, or village, or 80-160 acres elsewhere); additional limit is $2,500; homestead may not exceed 1 acre in city, town, or village, or 160 acres elsewhere (husband and wife may not double)
California Real or personal property you occupy including mobile home, boat, stock cooperative, community apartment, planned development, or condo to $75,000 if single & not disabled; $100,000 for families if no other member has a homestead (if only one spouse files, may exempt one-half of amount if home held as community property and all of amount if home held as tenants in common); $175,000 if 65 or older, or physically or mentally disabled; $175,000 if 55 or older, single, & gross annual income under $15,000 or married & gross annual income under $20,000 & creditors seek to force the sale of your home; forced sale proceeds received exempt for 6 months after; separated but married debtor may claim homestead in community property still occupied by other spouse. (Husband & wife may not double)
Colorado $60,000; $90,000 if owner, spouse, or dependent is disabled or age 60 or older; sale proceeds exempt 2 years after received (husband & wife may double)
Connecticut $75,000 (husband and wife may double); applies only to claims arising after 1993, but to $125,000 in the case of a money judgment arising out of services provided at a hospital.
Delaware $100,00 in 2011, $125,000 in 2012; $125,000 for persons totally disabled from working or married persons where at least of the spouses is 65 years old or older (joint filers may not double)
District of Columbia Any property used as a residence or co-op that debtor or debtor’s dependent uses as a residence (This implies there is no limit)
Florida Real or personal property including mobile or modular home to unlimited value; cannot exceed half acre in municipality or 160 acres elsewhere; spouse or child of deceased owner may claim homestead exemption (husband and wife may double)
Georgia $21,500 ($43,000 if married, and the property is solely owned by one spouse); up to $5,000 of unused portion of homestead may be applied to any property
Hawaii $20,000; head of family or over 65 to $30,000; property cannot exceed 1 acre; sale proceeds exempt for 6 months after sale (husband and wife may not double)
Idaho $100,000; sale proceeds exempt for 6 months (husband and wife may not double)
Illinois $15,000 (husband and wife may double); sale proceeds exempt for 1 year
Indiana $17,600 (husband and wife may double); property held as tenancy by the entirety may be exempt against debts incurred by one spouse
Iowa Unlimited value; property cannot exceed ½ acre in town or city, 40 acres elsewhere (husband and wife may not double)
Kansas Unlimited value; property cannot exceed 1 acre in town or city, 160 acres on farm. If existing homestead land is annexed by city, homestead retains its prior protection despite annexation.
Kentucky $5,000; sale proceeds exempt
Louisiana $25,000 (if debt is result of catastrophic or terminal illness or injury, limit is full value of property as of 1 year before filing); cannot exceed 5 acres in city or town, 200 acres elsewhere (husband and wife may not double)
Maine $47,500; if debtor has minor dependents in residence, to $95,000; if debtor over age 60 or physically or mentally disabled, $95,000 (joint debtors in this category may double); proceeds of sale exempt for six months
Maryland $21,625 (husband and wife may not double), property held as tenancy by the entirety is exempt against debts owed by only one spouse
Massachusetts Automatic homestead $125,000; declared homestead $500,000 for property you occupy or intend to occupy (including mobile home); (co-owners may not double)(special rules if over 62 or disabled, may double to $1,000,000)
Michigan $35,300, $52,925 if elderly or disabled; property cannot exceed 1 lot in town, village, city or 40 acres elsewhere; spouse or children of deceased owner may claim homestead exemption. Spouses or unmarried co-owners may not double.
Minnesota $390,000; if homestead is used for agricultural purposes, $975,000; cannot exceed ½ acre in city, 160 acres elsewhere (husband and wife may not double)
Mississippi $75,000; if over 60 and married or widowed may claim a former residence; property cannot exceed 160 acres; sale proceeds exempt. Mobile home (as personal property) to $30,000 (Mobile home does not qualify as homestead unless you own the land on which it is located)
Missouri $15,000; mobile home to $5,000 (joint owners may not double)
Montana $250,000; sale, condemnation, or insurance proceeds exempt for 18 months. Must record homestead declaration before filing for bankruptcy
Nebraska $60,000 for married debtor or head of household; cannot exceed 2 lots in city or village, 160 acres elsewhere; sale proceeds exempt 6 months after sale (husband and wife may not double)
Nevada Real property or mobile home to $550,000 (husband and wife may not double) Must record homestead declaration before filing for bankruptcy
New Hampshire Real property or manufactured housing (and the land it’s on if you own it) to $100,000
New Jersey None, but survivorship interest of a spouse in property held as tenancy by the entirety is exempt from creditors of a single spouse
New Mexico $60,000 (joint owners may double)
New York $150,000 for the counties of Kings, New York, Queens, Bronx, Richmond, Nassau, Suffolk, Rockland, Westchester, and Putnam; $125,000 for the counties of Dutchess, Albany, Columbia, Orange, Saratoga, and Ulster; $75,000 for the remaining counties in the state (husband and wife may double)
North Carolina $35,000 (husband and wife may double)($60,000 if 65 or older and spouse is deceased); up to $5,000 of unused portion of homestead may be a0plied to any property
North Dakota $100,000 (husband and wife may not double)
Ohio $125,000 per debtor (husband and wife may double).
Oklahoma Unlimited value; property cannot exceed 1 acre in city, town, or village, or 160 acres elsewhere; $5,000 limit if more than 25% of total sq. ft. area used for business purposes; okay to rent homestead as long as no other residence is acquired
Oregon $40,000 ($50,000 for joint owners); property cannot exceed 1 block in town or city or 160 acres elsewhere; sale proceeds exempt 1 year from sale, if you intend to purchase another home
Pennsylvania None; however, property held as tenancy by the entirety may be exempt against debts owed by only one spouse
Rhode Island $500,000 in land and buildings you occupy or intend to occupy as a principal residence (husband and wife may not double)
South Carolina $56,150 (joint owners to $112,275)
South Dakota Real property unlimited, mobile home (larger than 240 sq. ft. at its base and registered in state at least 6 months before filing) to unlimited value ; property cannot exceed 1 acre in town or 160 acres elsewhere; sale proceeds to $30,000 ($170,000 if over age 70 or widow or widower who hasn’t remarried) exempt for 1 year after sale (husband and wife may not double)
Tennessee $5,000; $7,500 for joint owners; $25,000 if at least one dependent is a minor child (if 62 or older, $12,500 if single; $20,000 if married; $25,000 if spouse is also 62 or older)
Texas Unlimited; property cannot exceed 10 acres in town, village, city or 100 acres (200 for families) elsewhere; sale proceeds exempt for 6 months after sale (renting okay if another home not acquired, Prop. 41.003) Must file homestead declaration , or court will file it for you and charge you for doing so.
Utah $20,000 if primary residence; $5,000 if not primary residence (joint owners may double)
Vermont $75,000; may also claim rents, issues, profits, and out buildings (husband and wife may double)
Virginia Must file homestead declaration before filing for bankruptcy, $5,000 plus $500 per dependent; rents and profits, sale proceeds exempt to $5,000 (husband and wife may double, unused portion of homestead may be applied to any personal property); if 65 or older, exemption is $10,000
Washington $125,000; unimproved property intended for residence to $15,000 (husband and wife may not double)
West Virginia $25,000; unused portion of homestead may be applied to any property (husband and wife may double)
Wisconsin $75,000; sale proceeds exempt for 2 years if you intend to purchase another home (husband and wife’s exemption may double)
Wyoming Real property or house trailer you occupy to $20,000 (joint owners may double)
FEDERAL The federal homestead exemption is currently $21,625. Note that any unused portion up to $10,825 may be applied to any property.

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