Thanks for your question and good evening.In Texas you must be 18 years of age and an adult or has been emancipated by a court in order to enter into a contract for land or anything else.You can claim the homestead exemption from that age forward.There are also other potential exemptions for the elderly or disabled.Here is reference to the form you use to make such a claim to reduce your taxes by the amount of the exemptions..http://www.co.galveston.tx.us/tax_offices/documents/homesteadexemptionform.pdfLaw for reference.
§ 11.13. RESIDENCE HOMESTEAD. (a) A family or single adult is entitled to an exemption from taxation for the county purposes authorized in Article VIII, Section 1-a, of the Texas Constitution of $3,000 of the assessed value of his residence homestead. (b) An adult is entitled to exemption from taxation by a school district of $15,000 of the appraised value of the adult's residence homestead, except that $10,000 of the exemption does not apply to an entity operating under former Chapter 17, 18, 25, 26, 27, or 28, Education Code, as those chapters existed on May 1, 1995, as permitted by Section 11.301, Education Code. (c) In addition to the exemption provided by Subsection (b) of this section, an adult who is disabled or is 65 or older is entitled to an exemption from taxation by a school district of $10,000 of the appraised value of his residence homestead. (d) In addition to the exemptions provided by Subsections (b) and (c) of this section, an individual who is disabled or is 65 or older is entitled to an exemption from taxation by a taxing unit of a portion (the amount of which is fixed as provided by Subsection (e) of this section) of the appraised value of his residence homestead if the exemption is adopted either: (1) by the governing body of the taxing unit; or (2) by a favorable vote of a majority of the qualified voters of the taxing unit at an election called by the governing body of a taxing unit, and the governing body shall call the election on the petition of at least 20 percent of the number of qualified voters who voted in the preceding election of the taxing unit. (e) The amount of an exemption adopted as provided by Subsection (d) of this section is $3,000 of the appraised value of the residence homestead unless a larger amount is specified by: (1) the governing body authorizing the exemption if the exemption is authorized as provided by Subdivision (1) of Subsection (d) of this section; or (2) the petition for the election if the exemption is authorized as provided by Subdivision (2) of Subsection (d) of this section. (f) Once authorized, an exemption adopted as provided by Subsection (d) of this section may be repealed or decreased or increased in amount by the governing body of the taxing unit or by the procedure authorized by Subdivision (2) of Subsection (d) of this section. In the case of a decrease, the amount of the exemption may not be reduced to less than $3,000 of the market value. (g) If the residence homestead exemption provided by Subsection (d) of this section is adopted by a county that levies a tax for the county purposes authorized by Article VIII, Section 1-a, of the Texas Constitution, the residence homestead exemptions provided by Subsections (a) and (d) of this section may not be aggregated for the county tax purposes. An individual who is eligible for both exemptions is entitled to take only the exemption authorized as provided by Subsection (d) of this section for purposes of that county tax. (h) Joint, community, or successive owners may not each receive the same exemption provided by or pursuant to this section for the same residence homestead in the same year. An eligible disabled person who is 65 or older may not receive both a disabled and an elderly residence homestead exemption but may choose either. A person may not receive an exemption under this section for more than one residence homestead in the same year. (i) The assessor and collector for a taxing unit may disregard the exemptions authorized by Subsection (b), (c), (d), or (n) of this section and assess and collect a tax pledged for payment of debt without deducting the amount of the exemption if: (1) prior to adoption of the exemption, the unit pledged the taxes for the payment of a debt; and (2) granting the exemption would impair the obligation of the contract creating the debt. (j) For purposes of this section: (1) "Residence homestead" means a structure (including a mobile home) or a separately secured and occupied portion of a structure (together with the land, not to exceed 20 acres, and improvements used in the residential occupancy of the structure, if the structure and the land and improvements have identical ownership) that: (A) is owned by one or more individuals, either directly or through a beneficial interest in a qualifying trust; (B) is designed or adapted for human residence; (C) is used as a residence; and (D) is occupied as his principal residence by an owner or, for property owned through a beneficial interest in a qualifying trust, by a trustor of the trust who qualifies for the exemption. (2) "Trustor" means a person who transfers an interest in residential property to a qualifying trust, whether by deed or by will, or the person's spouse. (3) "Qualifying trust" means a trust: (A) in which the agreement, will, or court order creating the trust provides that the trustor of the trust or the beneficiary of the trust if created by court order has the right to use and occupy as the trustor's or beneficiary's principal residence residential property rent free and without charge except for taxes and other costs and expenses specified in the instrument or court order: (i) for life; (ii) for the lesser of life or a term of years; or (iii) until the date the trust is revoked or terminated by an instrument or court order that describes the property with sufficient certainty to identify it and is recorded in the real property records of the county in which the property is located; and (B) that acquires the property in an instrument of title or under a court order that: (i) describes the property with sufficient certainty to identify it and the interest acquired; (ii) is recorded in the real property records of the county in which the property is located; and (iii) in the case of a trust that is not created by court order, is executed by the trustor or the personal representative of the trustor. (k) A qualified residential structure does not lose its character as a residence homestead if a portion of the structure is rented to another or is used primarily for other purposes that are incompatible with the owner's residential use of the structure. However, the amount of any residence homestead exemption does not apply to the value of that portion of the structure that is used primarily for purposes that are incompatible with the owner's residential use. (l) A qualified residential structure does not lose its character as a residence homestead when the owner who qualifies for the exemption temporarily stops occupying it as a principal residence if that owner does not establish a different principal residence and the absence is: (1) for a period of less than two years and the owner intends to return and occupy the structure as the owner's principal residence; or (2) caused by the owner's: (A) military service outside of the United States as a member of the armed forces of the United States or of this state; or (B) residency in a facility that provides services related to health, infirmity, or aging. (m) In this section: (1) "Disabled" means under a disability for purposes of payment of disability insurance benefits under Federal Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance. (2) "School district" means a political subdivision organized to provide general elementary and secondary public education. "School district" does not include a junior college district or a political subdivision organized to provide special education services. (n) In addition to any other exemptions provided by this section, an individual is entitled to an exemption from taxation by a taxing unit of a percentage of the appraised value of his residence homestead if the exemption is adopted by the governing body of the taxing unit before July 1 in the manner provided by law for official action by the body. If the percentage set by the taxing unit produces an exemption in a tax year of less than $5,000 when applied to a particular residence homestead, the individual is entitled to an exemption of $5,000 of the appraised value. The percentage adopted by the taxing unit may not exceed 20 percent. (o) For purposes of this section, a residence homestead also may consist of an interest in real property created through ownership of stock in a corporation incorporated under the Cooperative Association Act (Article 1396-50.01, Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes) to provide dwelling places to its stockholders if: (1) the interests of the stockholders of the corporation are appraised separately as provided by Section 23.19 of this code in the tax year to which the exemption applies; (2) ownership of the stock entitles the owner to occupy a dwelling place owned by the corporation; (3) the dwelling place is a structure or a separately secured and occupied portion of a structure; and (4) the dwelling place is occupied as his principal residence by a stockholder who qualifies for the exemption. (p) Exemption under this section for a homestead described by Subsection (o) of this section extends only to the dwelling place occupied as a residence homestead and to a portion of the total common area used in the residential occupancy that is equal to the percentage of the total amount of the stock issued by the corporation that is owned by the homestead claimant. The size of a residence homestead under Subsection (o) of this section, including any relevant portion of common area, may not exceed 20 acres. (q) The surviving spouse of an individual who qualifies for an exemption under Subsection (d) for the residence homestead of a person 65 or older is entitled to an exemption for the same property from the same taxing unit in an amount equal to that of the exemption for which the deceased spouse qualified if: (1) the deceased spouse died in a year in which the deceased spouse qualified for the exemption; (2) the surviving spouse was 55 or older when the deceased spouse died; and (3) the property was the residence homestead of the surviving spouse when the deceased spouse died and remains the residence homestead of the surviving spouse. (r) An individual who receives an exemption under Subsection (d) is not entitled to an exemption under Subsection (q).
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