Glossary

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Homesteading
A homestead is defined as a person's residence along with the land on which it stands. This can include a separate structure, such as a house, a mobile home, or a condominium. The only requisite is that the property owner must own or lease the land and must declare that home as their principal residence. Homesteading means using the land and buildings owned for the owner's own needs. The owner must be an individual and not a corporation or business. The purpose of declaring a homestead, or "homesteading," is to request a homestead exemption in order to reduce the market value, and hence, the property taxes, for that residence. Homesteading protects spouses of deceased homeowners as well as the elderly. Homesteading is used to ensure that debtors cannot force a sale of a principal residence or land to repay debts owed. For some states, homesteading is automatic, but others require filing.