Exemptions for Florida (Broward) Residential Real Estate 2019

It is time to, “File Now for the 2019 Senior Exemption”

Property owners who are 65 years or older may qualify for an additional exemption on their Homesteaded property. This additional exemption – which applies only to the county’s portion of the taxes and city taxes for residents of cities that have adopted this exemption – saves the average Broward senior nearly $300 each year in taxes.

To qualify for this valuable tax-saving exemption, an applicant must be 65 or older as of January 1, 2019 AND have a combined HOUSEHOLD adjusted gross income for 2018 not exceeding $30,174. If you believe you qualify for this exemption, please click on this link for steps to ensure proper filing:

Residents who received the Additional Senior Exemption in 2018 will receive a renewal card in the mail. If you still meet the income requirement, simply sign the renewal card and return it to The Property Appraiser’s office by May 1 so they can ensure you receive this exemption for 2019. Take comfort that there is no personal information listed on the renewal postcard. For questions regarding property tax exemptions, please call (954)357-6830.

2019 Homestead Exemption/Save Our Homes Cap Set by the State

The Florida Department of Revenue has set the 2019 Save Our Homes cap at 1.9%. This cap limits increases to the Assessed/Save Our Homes Value for properties receiving Homestead Exemption to no more than 3% per year or the increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) regardless of increases to the just value of the property. This cap results in considerable savings over time for properties with Homestead Exemption. It is important to remember this is not a cap on the actual taxes, but rather a cap on the assessed value of the property.

Important: The Save Our Homes cap begins the year after you receive Homestead Exemption and automatically renews each year. This cap does not cover new construction or construction that was not taxed before the “Save Our Homes” limit applied to a particular property.

Many owners will face a significant increase in property taxes when they purchase a property as the previous owners’ exemptions will be removed and the Save Our Homes (SOH) value reset. Florida law requires the SOH value be brought up to the just value of the property when Homestead Exemption is added or removed from the property. For this reason, The Property Appraiser’s Office offers a New Homebuyer’s Tax Estimator on their website at www.bcpa.net This estimator allows prospective buyers the ability to plan ahead when purchasing a new home.  This is an excellent tool for people who are unfamiliar with the Homebuying process.

The absolute filing deadline for any 2019 exemption is September 18, 2019.

At Khani & Auerbach, we are dedicated to providing as much information to assist you with your real estate needs. Please be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn for additional useful information.

The Appraisal – Owners and Real Estate Appraisers

The Appraisal

No, this is not the title to my next major motion picture, however, it is a topic of much concern to the real estate industry.  In addition to being a required element in a real estate transaction with loan, it oftentimes is the factor that makes or breaks the transactions.

Back in 2006, at the height of the real estate market in the United States, real estate appraisals were footloose and fancy-free.  Everyone had their appraisers provide high appraisals and the home values became, in the words of Dr. Phil, “Out of Control!”   Once the real estate market dove deep and the Great Recession set in, the government and the lenders made a concerted effort to keep appraisers more honest and the opinions tied to reality.  It was only after the real estate crash that owners and appraisers did not see values the same way again.

Now, in 2014, several years after the initial crisis, appraisals continue to be just as important as they were before, but now the discrepancy between appraisers’ and home owners’ opinions of home values has begun narrowing. According to Quicken Loan’s Home Price Perception Index, in November, appraisers valued homes 1.56 percent higher than home owners, according to Quicken Loans’ Home Price Perception Index.

“Mortgage financing often hinges on whether the appraised value coincides with the home values agreed upon by the home buyer and seller in the case of a home purchase, and the home owner’s estimated value in the case of a refinance,” says Quicken Loans Chief Economist Bob Walters. “It is reassuring to see the gap between appraiser opinions and home owner opinions narrow, and if we had to choose a side of the fence, it makes for a much smoother mortgage process if appraisers are valuing homes above home owners’ estimates like we’re seeing, as compared to the opposite.”

Quicken Loans recently analyzed metro areas over the past three quarters and found that appraiser opinions were higher than home-owner estimates. Even within the various metro areas, the difference varies widely. For example, in San Jose, California, appraisers valued homes 6 percent higher than home owners on average, while in San Francisco, appraisers valued homes 4.35 percent higher. In Dallas, Texas, there was a 4.22 percent difference.

There were differences that resulted in lower opinions.  For example, in Kansas City, Missouri, appraisers’ opinions were found to be 2.53 percent lower than home owners’.

Nationwide, however, real estate professionals are reporting much fewer appraisal issues as the deal breaker.  These indicators are what gives buyers, investors and sellers the confidence they need to put their toes back into the water!

Khila L. Khani, Esq.