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The dwelling house and its adjoining land where a family resides. Technically, and pursuant to the modern homestead exemption laws, an artificial estate in land, created to protect the possession and enjoyment of the owner against the claims of creditors by preventing the sale of the property for payment of the owner's debts so long as the land is occupied as a home.

Laws exempting the homestead from liability for debts of the owner are strictly of U.S. origin. Under the English Common Law, a homestead right, a personal right to the peaceful, beneficial, and uninterrupted use of the home property free from the claims of creditors, did not exist. Homestead rights exist only through the constitutional and statutory provisions that create them. Nearly every state has enacted such provisions. The earliest ones were enacted in 1839 in the Republic of Texas.

Homestead exemption statutes have been passed to achieve the public policy objective of providing lodgings where the family can peacefully reside irrespective of financial adversities. These laws are predicated on the theory that preservation of the homestead is of greater significance than the payment of debts.

Property tax exemptions, for all or part of the tax, are also available in some states for homesteaded property. Statutory requirements prescribe what must be done to establish a homestead.

A probate homestead is one that the court sets apart out of the estate property for the use of a surviving spouse and the minor children or out of the real estate belonging to the deceased.

A homestead corporation is an enterprise organized for the purpose of acquiring lands in large tracts; paying off encumbrances, charges attached to and binding real property; improving and subdividing tracts into homestead lots or parcels; and distributing them among the shareholders and for the accumulation of a fund for such purposes.


1) n. the house and lot of a homeowner which the head of the household (usually either spouse) can declare in writing to be the principal dwelling of the family, record that declaration of homestead with the County Recorder or Recorder of Deeds and thereby exempt part of its value (based on state statutes) from judgment creditors. A similar exemption is available in bankruptcy without filing a declaration of homestead. 2) v. jargon for filing a declaration of homestead, as in "he homesteaded the property."


noun abode, acreage, acres, country house, domicile, dwelling, dwelling place, edifice, estate, farm, farm land, farmplace, farmstead, grounds, habitation, home, house, household, living quarters, lodging, lodging place, manor, messuage, place of residence, place of settlement, quarters, residence
Associated concepts: homestead laws
See also: abode, building, domicile, dwelling, habitation, home, house, household, land, property, structure


(US) a house and adjoining land designated by the owner as his fixed residence and exempt under the homestead laws from seizure and forced sale for debts.

HOMESTEAD. The place of the house or home place. Homestead farm does not necessarily include all the parcels of land owned by the grantor, though lying and occupied together. This depends upon the intention of the parties when the term is mentioned in a deed, and is to be gathered from the context. 7 N. H. Rep. 241; 15 John. R. 471. See Manor; Mansion.

References in periodicals archive ?
This is because the taxing authorities whose budgets are reduced because of the new tax breaks for homesteaders are likely to balance their budget by increasing their tax rate thereby placing a heavier tax burden on non-homesteaders.
On the other hand, however, The Homesteader carefully revises the Western as Micheaux filters elements of the genre through his own experience as an African American, through his understanding and response to hegemonic cultural beliefs of his day, through his reading of African American literature generally, and through his specific knowledge of the writing and philosophies of W.
Micheaux relies on the image of the solitary homesteader because it adheres most closely to Turnerian ideals of American exceptionalism and a nation mastered by the Western progress of individuals.
It starts with the problem of defining a homesteader.
Homesteaders are GeoCities members who have built personal Web Sites and published over 29 million personal Web pages.
GeoCities Homesteaders can now create Free GeoCities Networds to increase traffic to their Web sites.
Thank you, COUNTRYSIDE, for the articles on economics and the impact that national economics can have on homesteaders.
As part of the announcement, GeoCities has increased the disk space allocated to each Homesteader to 11 megabytes, up from 6 megabytes.
However, getting too involved with financial accounting--or at least "the math"--can be counter-productive for the homesteader.
The loop's lower section, the Mishe Mokwa Trail, was originally a goat track, employed by a homesteader to get his stock into the backcountry for grazing.
In addition, GeoCities today announced the launch of its Homesteader of the Year Awards which will honor GeoCities homesteader sites in 18 different categories.
Not to a homesteader, obviously, but apparently some others are getting the picture too.