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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.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


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."

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.


(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.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006

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.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
As in The Homesteader, the "successful marriage" in these works symbolizes not only individual fulfillment but also the possibility of "society's reform" (11).
Social media platforms are always changing, but these three networking sites have proven popular with farmers and homesteaders.
It is important to remember while supplementation is not only beneficial for a pig's diet, can enhance meat flavor, and potentially help farmers and homesteaders lower their overall costs, supplementation should consist of no greater than 10 percent of a pig's overall diet.
This way the solution is what is right for them." Customers with small projects or contractors of large projects are all treated fairly by Homesteader's.
Some 12-gauge models can also be fitted with rifled barrels, allowing the homesteader to use them with slugs to increase the bullet's stability and accuracy.
In each story, the imperious father-in-law, a well-known Methodist minister, disapproves of the homesteader's ideals, and the minister's interference eventually destroys the marriage.
A good dog or two will alert the bear that he's ventured too far onto human territory, and will also alert the homesteader that there's a creature afoot.
You don't have to have a large piece of property to be a homesteader. A windowsill, side yard, deck or small porch can house plants.
DEFINITION OF A HOMESTEAD/HOMESTEADER: An appreciation for simple living and growing your own food is part of being a modern-day homesteader. It has given back to me much more than I could have ever imagined.
Because we have been so inspired by homesteaders across the generations, we decided to celebrate their legacy in 2012 by seeking nominations for GRIT'S Homesteader of the Year award.
OFTEN TIMES, SOLAR POWER is viewed as a desired, yet unaffordable option to the farmer and homesteader. While a full solar system may not be in the budget for every farmer, there are still numerous ways that solar can be an asset to your farm without breaking a budget!
The act, which offered 160 acres of land to any qualified homesteader who paid a modest filing fee, built a home, planted at least 10 acres of crops and remained on his or her claim for at least five years, has been called the most important act ever passed for the benefit of the American people.