You may see the terms, single-family home, multi-family home, manufactured home, or even homestead when browsing online listings or beginning the hunt for a new home. While most people have heard of a few of these terms before, a Homestead is one of the lesser common terms used in today’s Real Estate market.

So, What’s a Homestead?

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homesteadA homestead is simply a house that is isolated from other residences, and often sits on a large chunk of land and features many smaller buildings such as barns or sheds. Oftentimes in today’s market it is referred to as a farm, ranch, or even a station as they sit on large lots of land. While many people may own a house, a homestead is different as it requires land and multiple adjacent buildings to the main home. Many homes of this style are passed down or owned by the same family for generations and generations, which means, should a homestead become available for purchase, it can be a rare occurrence.

Tax Benefits

Additionally, should a property be deemed as a homestead then it also qualifies for many different tax breaks. If a home isn’t already deemed as such, there are ways to try and get the property and home to qualify by contacting either your state’s tax office or secretary of state office.

Self-Sufficiency and Agriculture

Another factor that plays a large role is that the property is generally completely self-sufficient and provides the materials and nutrients needed for the family that occupies the home. This includes firewood for any wood burning fireplaces as well as fruits, vegetables, dairy and meats from livestock. The general purpose of a homestead is to have enough land and recourses to live “off the grid” and ensure you can provide for your family even while doing so.

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Losing a Homestead

There are ways to lose your homestead status and thus all the tax benefits that come with it, a few of the main ways this can happen is by renting out your home for extended periods of time or gain rights in other states such as holding an out of state driver’s license, registering to vote in a different state, filing for residency in a different state, etc.

For more information on Real Estate in Southwest Washington, including information on Homesteads such as where to find land and property that could help get started, please feel free to contact our office at any time.