Homestead: What Does It Even Mean?

You may have heard this term in real estate, but what does it mean?

​​​​​​Simply put, homestead is a program to reduce property taxes for owners who also occupy their homes. It reduces the taxable market value of the property (for properties valued under $413,800 only), which in turn may lower taxes and it is one of the qualifying factors for homeowners to receive the State of Minnesota Property Tax Refund.

You can qualify for this tax reduction if you own and occupy your house as your main place of residence. In fact, some relatives of the owner may qualify if they live in the owner’s house.  You may only have one homestead per married couple in the state of Minnesota. 

You should apply for homestead when you move into a house you own, and it is your main place of residence. Homesteads are administered by the county in which your property is located. Apply to your county assessor by December 31 to qualify for taxes payable the next year. And if you already have, no need to reapply each year. You are good until you move!

To qualify for a homestead, you must:

  • Own a property
  • Occupy the property as your sole or primary residence
  • Be a Minnesota resident

Qualifying property includes all property used as a residence, including:

  • Gardens
  • Garages
  • Outbuildings

Having a homestead classification may qualify your property for a Homestead Market Value Exclusion or one of the following: 

Homestead information by county:

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