In order to qualify for the homestead exemption you must use that residence as your primary residence which typically means you spend a least 6 months and 1 day there in any calendar year. The effect this will have on your property taxes will vary depending on the value of the property. The homestead exemption in Florida is $50,000 so if your property is valued for property tax purposes at $100,000 your taxes if homesteaded would be about 50% when compared to what they would be in you did not homestead the property.
If your property is valued at $250,000 the percentage of property tax increase would be much smaller. Remember also that in Florida the assessed valuation of a homesteaded property cannot be raised more than 3% a year and this is not true of a non-homesteaded property so this can also have a huge impact on future tax bills once we start seeing some meaningful appreciation which is still probably at least 2 to 3 years down the road in most areas of Florida.
Best of luck and if I can offer anything additional please feel free to contact me at your convenience..
Always at Your Service,
Tom Priester e-PRO
"Results Driven Real Estate"
Keller Williams Realty