Real Estate Q&A: Portability Tax

Long time, no blogging!! What an awesome whirlwind the last few months have been for our business. Our top priority will always be YOU and the referrals you send our way so the blog may have taken a backseat but we are back with some great content planned for 2018!  

Today we are starting a new series called "Real Estate Q&A". It's as simple as it sounds...we will be answering our most commonly asked questions with an expert on the subject matter and delivering them to you monthly. If you have something you would like us to answer then please call or email us!

First up is something that we are asked about very often...How does portability of taxes work? Thankfully, Mark Sherman with LoanDepot has offered to educate us on this often forgotten tax exemption! So without further ado...Meet Mark!

Often times, my customers will ask me about Property Tax Portability when buying a new home. Well below are some of the more commonly asked questions. I hope will help answer some for you.

What is portability?

It’s the ability to transfer the SOH “Save Our Homes” Cap, which is the difference between your market or “Just” value and assessed value, from an existing homestead to a newly purchased homestead.

When did portability go into effect in Florida?

Portability became effective January 1, 2008, with the passage of Amendment 1.

How is it calculated?

If the just value of your new homestead property is more than the just value of your old homestead, you will be able to transfer your Cap up to the $500,000 limit.

(Just Value – Assessed Value = SOH Cap Value) 

So, for example;

Old Homestead:

Just Value: $225,000

Assessed Value: $190,000

SOH Cap Value: $35,000

New Homestead:

Just Value: $325,000

Transferred SOH Cap Value: $35,000

Cap Assessed Value: $280,000


If the Just Value of your new Homestead Property is less than the Just Value of your old Homestead, you can transfer a percentage of your Cap to the new Homestead up to the limit of $500,000.

(Old Just Value – New Value X 60% =  SOH Cap Value) 

So, for example;

Old Homestead:

Just Value: $225,000

Assessed Value: $190,000

SOH Cap Value: $35,000

New Homestead:

Just Value: $200,000

Transferred SOH Cap Value: $15,000

Cap Assessed Value: $185,000


How long do I have to use my portability benefit?

Once you have sold or abandoned your homestead property the law allows you to transfer your benefit for up to 2 consecutive property tax years.  The new homestead exemption must be established within 2 years (tax rolls) from the last year of the previous homestead exemption. 

How do I apply for portability?

When applying for your new homestead exemption you will need to complete a DR-501T (Transfer of Homestead Assessment Difference) form. If you have already applied for a 2017 homestead exemption in Duval or St. Johns County and had a 2015 or a 2016 Florida homestead, you will need to complete a DR-501T and returned it to us by the March 1st deadline. Please go to in Duval, where the form can be downloaded or in St. John’s County where it is completed online.

How many times can I use portability?

Portability can be used each time you move and establish a new homestead.

Do I have to sell my home before I can qualify for portability?

No, you can abandon or move from an existing homestead and continue to own the property. However, once that home is no longer your permanent residence the homestead exemption will be removed. You will need to apply for a homestead exemption on your new permanent residence and complete a DR-501T (Transfer of Homestead Assessment Difference) form by the March 1st deadline.

Do I have to purchase a new property to qualify for portability?

No, you can abandon or move from an existing homestead to another property already owned by you, for example, a second or vacation home. However, once the first home is no longer your permanent residence the homestead exemption will be removed. You will need to apply for a homestead exemption on your new permanent residence (the second or vacation home) and complete a DR-501T (Transfer of Homestead Assessment Difference) form by the March 1st deadline.

How will I know that I have received my portability?

The amount of your portability will be reflected on your Notice of Proposed Property Taxes that is mailed out in mid-August. If you do not qualify for portability, you will be notified by certified mail no later than July 1.

Are Portability Benefits Split Among Multiple Homestead Owners? 

Yes. For example, in the case of a divorce, the portability Benefit would be split 50/50 and again, must be applied within two (2) years of selling your previous homestead.


Mark Sherman

Mortgage Loan Officer

loanDepot, Jacksonville Beach


Thanksgiving | Tried-and-True

Hi Friends! F I N A L  C O U N T D O W N...T-7 days until Thanksgiving and we wanted to share two of our family's tried-and-true recipes that will definitely be on our table next week. Now get your stretchy pants ready and ENJOY!

Maw Maw’s Cranberry Sauce Take 2

Fun Fact: This recipe was adapted from my grandmother’s cranberry sauce recipe. As a little girl, I always loved being in the kitchen with her and being a little helper (now that I’m older I realize how in the way I probably was...such a saint that woman was)! Anyways, this is one of those simple recipes that I was able to do with little assistance. Now we’ve just adjusted it a little bit over the years to incorporate some of our favorite flavors.


1 bag Fresh Cranberries

1 Orange (zest half and use all of the juice)

1 cup Water

¾ cup Sugar (can always go up to 1 cup if the cranberries are too tart)

1 Cinnamon Stick

Sprinkle of Nutmeg


  • In a medium saucepan, mix together cranberries, orange zest and juice, water, sugar, a sprinkle of nutmeg and the cinnamon stick.
  • Bring to a boil – should take about 5 minutes before the cranberry skins begin to pop.
  • Let shimmer for 15 minutes or until desired thickness.
  • Remove from heat and cinnamon stick. Serve or store in the fridge until Turkey Day!


Praise Yo’ Momma Mac & Cheese

Fun Fact: This recipe has been enjoyed more times than my waistline would care to admit. The basis of the name is that this Mac & Cheese was originally called Smack Yo’ Momma because it tastes so good you’ll want to smack yo’ momma…lol! I have never wanted to “smack my momma” after she cooked something so tasty so I changed the name to “Praise yo’ Momma”. I don’t care what you call it though – just get it in your belly!!


2 cups Shredded Mild Cheddar

2 cups Shredded Colby Jack Blend

1 cup Medium Cheddar

1 small box of Velveeta

1 box Elbow Macaroni or noodle of choice (Cavatappi is my favorite)

4 Eggs

3 cups Whole Milk

1 cup Heavy Cream

½ stick Butter

Salt and Pepper to taste


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 13x9 pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Boil noodles as per box instructions until just undercooked. Quick rinse, drain and set aside.
  • Mix eggs, milk, cream, salt and pepper, whisk until well blended. Pour ½ of milk mixture in bottom of the pan. Add a layer of noodles then salt and pepper. Take shredded cheeses and combine in a bowl, give a quick toss. Top noodles with cheese mixture then place sliced Velveeta over the mixture. Be sure to work the cheese into the noodles and salt and pepper after each layer.
  • When you get to the top, layer the last of the cheese heavy on top. Take the rest of the milk mixture and pour over the noodles and cheese. Use a knife to poke holes so the milk mixture can get through to the bottom.
  • Next up…the butter. Melt the butter and pour over the whole thing. And don’t forget to salt and pepper!
  • Cover tightly with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove foil and cook an additional 5-10 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand for 15 minutes before serving. Stick a fork in it and you're done!

Cheers to Good Friends. Good Food. And Good Wine! Wishing you and yours for a fantastic Thanksgiving and be sure to let us know if you try either of these recipes out! Love, Sally + Amanda

Local Market Recap | October 2017 Edition

Can we collectively agree that this year has flown by?! October was an awesome month for our crew for many reasons but one reason in particular is that Sally was ranked NUMBER 26 by the Jacksonville Business Journal for “Value in Sales” out of all Jacksonville Residential Realtors. I may be biased and think she is #1 but to be that high on the list out of over 5,000 Realtors in Jacksonville is pretty awesome – definition of a GIRL BOSS! So freaking proud to work by your side everyday Momma :)

Anyways, without any further ado, I bring you the October Market Update for our area!

October was a great month for NE Florida! Comparing August and September to this past month, we see the steady incline that we’ve been waiting for now that the topic is not “Which hurricane is heading our way this week?”. The Ponte Vedra Beach and Nocatee areas are seeing the highest number of new listings, average list price, homes sold and average price sold in 3 months. This trend doesn’t seem to be slowing down either. This is proving yet again that NOW is an amazing time to BUY or SELL! The Jacksonville Beach, Neptune Beach and Atlantic Beach areas continue to show a tremendous amount of activity, as well. It shows a steady increase in average list prices and a decrease in Days on the Market which are two great indictors of a hot market.

As previously explained, this is just a snapshot of just some of the many areas of town we cover. If you would like to have a personalized neighborhood report or have any other questions then we would be happy to provide that to you! Comment below or email with any questions or specific requests. Have a great week!

The 3 Easiest Ways to Fall Forward : Decorating

And just like that we are out with Summer and on to Fall! Cue pumpkin everything, Christmas decorations being put in stores and cranking the AC down to 65 so you can begin wearing the large investment of boots and coats that you bought for our 2 days of Winter! All kidding aside, we are officially welcoming Fall and want to help you transition your home décor the easiest and least expensive way possible! Not all great ideas have to cost a lot or take a lot of effort to pull together!

Here are three simple ways to Fall Forward:

Pick a Color Scheme – Start by picking two or three colors and carry them throughout the whole house (including the front porch!) and it creates an overall cohesive appearance no matter what the season. I typically gravitate to white and metallics with subtle touches of muted orange or dusty green.

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Incorporate Natural Elements – Use what Mother Nature (or ACE Hardware) has given us as your décor! On your front porch, think about adding a bale of hay to use as a base or switching out your bright colored flowers in your entry way for mums or crotons, which are both readily available this time of the year. Mums come in a variety of different colors including white, purple and yellow to name a few. Crotons are great too because the leaves have all of the typical fall colors all in on

{Tip: If you haven’t already, invest in a good flower pot (or two, depending on the size of your porch) in a neutral color so you can easily transition it for each season. You can always find a great selection at HomeGoods or Marshalls for under $50.}

Adding natural elements to the inside of your home is easy too! Keep in mind not everything has to scream “Fall” or “Halloween” to be seasonal décor. Items like a palm cut from a tree outside, pinecones, acorns or antlers can all be incorporated to bring the outside in.

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PUMPKINS – You didn’t think we were going to have a conversation about decorating for Fall without pumpkins, did you?! So just like most of everything, pumpkins have come a long way! Gone are the days that you only have one color of pumpkin to pick from – enter my favorites all brought to you by Trader Joes, the local church pumpkin patch and grocery store.

Trader Joes has an excellent selection of Fairytale pumpkins (the technical name for the muted orange Cinderella looking pumpkins). The church pumpkin patch on San Pablo and Atlantic has a great variety of Jarrahdale (grey pumpkins), Fairytale (muted orange) and Ghost (white) pumpkins. All different sizes and colors. Then lastly, many of the local grocery stores are coming through for the win with mini white pumpkins that have overtaken my house this Fall.

{Tip: Remember when decorating a space to work in odd numbers. For example, space 5 mini white pumpkins evenly on your mantle or create a mini vignette with 3 items of different height on your coffee table…just remember to finish with odd number of items. I don’t know why…just looks better, trust us!}


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Whether it’s your front porch, mantle, the center of a dining table or a coffee table, Fall is always a great time to transition your home away from your summer décor but that doesn’t mean you have to change everything! Even just a few added touches will be enough to give you the warm and welcoming Autumn feeling. Leave us a comment below with your favorite Fall decorations. Happy Fall Ya'll!

Local Market Recap | September 2017 Edition

Happy October Everyone! As we venture into a new month, we feel it would be informative to our followers to share with you the current market conditions and give you a snapshot of how the market performed in the last 30 days. We will provide this snapshot the first week of every month so be sure to check back in so you are always “in the know”!

Overall, September proved to be a solid month for Ponte Vedra Beach and the surrounding Beaches given the circumstances (insert: Hurricane Irma and all the time it is taking to clean up our little town). We saw a slight decline in New and Sold Listings over the previous month which was to be expected with such a large storm near our area. According to Inventory Trends, the average list price of a home in the United States is $460,900 with the median at $274,300. Once again our market has proven to outperform the National average and continues to live up to its reputation according to Forbes report naming Jacksonville as one of the “10 Hottest Real Estate Markets to Watch in 2017”.

If you have any questions about the information above or would like specific information relating to your area of town then please email us at or comment below. Have a great week!

Drum Roll Please...We Started a Blog!!

Work with me for a second...imagine sitting at your desk, dining room table, back porch or wherever you feel most inspired. You've got a glass of liquid courage (a nice glass of Pinot Noir is my go to) and your computer. You've googled "How to write a successful blog", "How to write your first blog post" then finally "WHY IS BLOGGING IMPORTANT". These are all the things that have been swirling through my head the last few months. So here we are. The First Post. Here goes nothing :)

Allow me to introduce myself...Hi! I'm Amanda and my mom is Sally who is the mastermind of this great blogging idea (que large eye shock emoji). I am fortunate to work alongside of Sally to help her with all the in's and out's of her business. What's her business you ask? Well if you are reading this blog then you probably already know but for those of you that don't know us here is a quick recap…

Sally began her real estate career in 1991 and has continued to work full-time with Buyers and Sellers since. With over $300 million dollars of closed real estate, she has been a consistent Top Producer throughout the years. She is an expert in luxury real estate sales, waterfront properties, golf communities and executive relocations, she is someone you can count on from beginning to end. And let me tell you…she has the reputation to prove it! Her customers turn into friends and in this cutthroat industry she has managed to rise above to be one of the few agents that people look forward to doing deals with – that’s the kind of agent you want on your side!

So enough serious talk, how will we make this blog different from all the others? “We” being the key word because Sally along with other industry leaders will be contributing along the way. This will be a space that is not just filled with market updates of Ponte Vedra Beach and the Jacksonville Beaches but a place where we can share tips and tricks about decorating trends, easy DIY ideas to spruce up any area, home staging advice if you are looking to sell and an occasional recipe because what would a blog be without a good recipe! We will share information that is valuable to becoming a smart homeowner and be a resource, no matter what stage of homeownership you are in. If you have any suggestions then please let us know in the comments below!

I am excited to start this journey of blogging as intimidating as it may seem. We hope you enjoy everything that is to come. Have a great day!

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