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Hi - my name is Kirk. Thanks for your post.
If your new home is going to be larger and more valuable, you're better off to claim homestead on it and not claim homestead on the smaller house.
Also, your best option would likely be to take your new home and the surrounding 1-2 acres and have the tax collector make that property your homestead property and then take the remaining property and the small house another parcel and tax it separately.
Under Texas law, your homestead can include up to 20 acres if the land is used as your yard.
So, you may want to claim as much of the property as you can around the new home as your "yard" and take the exemption of that. Then, you could take the other acreage and smaller house and pay regular taxes (non-homestead) on that.
So I'm currently only getting the exemption on a maximum of 20 acres?
Here's a good link from the Texas Comptroler's Office that outlines real property exemptions under Texas law: http://www.window.state.tx.us/taxinfo/proptax/tx96_295_00/home00.html
that is most likely what I've looked for and not found.
YES, Texas only allows a homestead claim for the house and UP TO 20 acres - - if it is used as your yard. Thus, you would likely need to consult with your local tax office to see what exactly your exemption is for currently. It may be that you don't even have the 20 acres exempt - - depending on how they have your land assessed.
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