Could Homestead Exemption Move Needle For First-Time Buyers?

As first-time and lower-income buyers are being squeezed out of bidding wars against cash-rich investors, the homestead exemption could help combat take over by Wall Street, columnist and investment professional Conor Sen argued in Bloomberg. FHFA is attempting to address this issue by awarding a higher percentage of federal-backed mortgages to low-income households or for homes in minority communities. But Sen suggested that goal, while admirable, might not actually lead to major change and suggested that relying on the homestead exemption might prove more fruitful. The homestead exemption is a legal exemption that can shield owners from property taxes, but only for people actually living in the home. Sen argues that local governments can help homebuyers by increasing the amount…