Planning to build a home? Many people have asked me whether or not money used to buy a lot where they intend to build a residence is protected. Or, is money paid in advance to a contractor to build a homestead protected under Florida’s homestead provisions exempting homestead property from creditors. The short answer is “no.
Your investment is a homestead property is protected only after you actually move into the property as your primary residence, and after the property has been issued a certificate of occupancy. Money spent to purchase a lot where you intend to build and live is “investment property” and not “homestead” until it actually is used and occupied as homestead. Until occupancy, the land or money spent to design and build a house is unprotected from your creditors.