What is a Homestead Exemption in Texas?

Homestead exemptions are granted by the county appraisal district where the property is located. The exemption reduces a homeowner’s property tax bill by removing part of the home’s value from taxation. All Texas homeowners are able to apply for a General Residence Homestead Exemption for their primary residence. Other exemptions are available to homeowners who are over 65, Veterans, or disabled and require the same application process. 

Who qualifies?

These requirements must be met to receive the exemption:

1. You may now apply as soon as you close on your home, which is new for 2022 and the result of legislative action for the State of Texas. Prior to 2022, a homeowner had to wait until the following year to apply. 

2. You must own your home and it must qualify as a residence on January 1st of the year for which you are applying. Over 65, veterans and disability exemptions have additional requirements. To be a qualifying residence, the home must be complete and habitable on January 1st. A new home under construction would not meet this standard and would not qualify until the following year. 

3. You may only claim one property in Texas at a time as homestead. 

4. Only individual homeowners (not corporations or other entities) may receive a homestead exemption. Family Trusts may qualify, check with the local appraisal district for requirements. 

5. A homestead can be a house, condominium, or manufactured home. It can include up to 20 acres if the land is also owned by the homeowner and used as a yard, or for another purpose related to the residential use of the home.

How do homeowners apply?

1. Complete the APPLICATION FOR RESIDENTIAL HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION (available on the websites of most county appraisal districts, or at the Texas Comptroller’s website at 


2. Include a copy of your DRIVER’S LICENSE or IDENTIFICATION CARD from the Texas Department of Public Safety at http://www.txdps.state.tx.us. The address MUST MATCH the homestead address. 

For more information, contact your local county appraisal district office, or visit 


Valuing Property

Each county’s appraisal district determines the value of all taxable property within the county. Before the appraisals begin, the district compiles a list of taxable property. The listing for each property contains a description and the name and address of the owner. The appraised home value for a homeowner who qualifies his or her homestead for exemptions in the preceding and current year may not increase more than 10 percent per year. Property Tax Code Section 23.23(a) sets a limit on the appraised value of a residence homestead, stating that its appraised value for the tax year may not exceed the lesser of: (1) the market value of the property; or (2)the sum of (A) 10 percent of the appraised value of the property for last year; (B) the appraised value of the property for last year; and (C) the market value of all new improvements to the property, excluding a replacement structure for one that was rendered uninhabitable or unusable by a casualty or by mold or water damage. The appraisal limitation first applies in the year after the homeowner qualifies for the homestead exemption.

How is your property valued?

The appraisal district must repeat its appraisal process for property at least once every three years. To save time and money, the appraisal district uses the mass appraisal to appraise large numbers of properties. In a mass appraisal, the district first collects detailed descriptions of each taxable property in the district. It then classifies properties according to a variety of factors, such as size, use, and construction type. Using data from recent property sales, the district appraises the value of typical properties in each class. Taking into account differences such as age or location, the district uses “typical” property values to appraise all the properties in each class.

The appraisal district may use three common methods to value property: the market, income, and cost approaches. The market approach is most often used and simply asks, “What are properties similar to this property selling for?” The value of your home is an estimate of the price your home would sell for on Jan. 1. The appraisal district compares your home to similar homes that have sold recently and 

determines your home’s value. Other methods are used to appraise types of properties that don’t often sell, such as utility companies and oil leases. The income approach asks, “What would an investor pay in anticipation of future income from the property?” The cost approach asks, “How much would it cost to replace the property with one of equal utility?” 

Area Appraisal Districts:

Bastrop County
212 Jackson Street
Bastrop, Texas 78602
(512) 303-1930

Burnet County
223 South Pierce Street
Burnet, Texas 78611
(512) 756-8291

Caldwell County
610 San Jacinto
Lockhart, TX 78644
(512) 398-5550

Hays County
21001 North IH 35
Kyle, TX 78640
(512) 268-2522

Llano County
103 E. Sandstone Street
Llano, TX 78643
(325) 247-3065

Travis County
8314 Cross Park Drive
Austin, Texas 78754
(512) 834-9317

Williamson County
625 FM 1460
Georgetown, TX 78626
(512) 930-3787

Texas Comptroller 

About the author

Darian Rausch is the Broker/Owner of Urban to Suburban Realty.

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