A homestead is a document that is signed by the homeowner and recorded at the Registry of Deeds. After it is recorded, it protects the equity in your home up to $500,000.00. This document should be filed after you take title (buy) the property. A new homestead should be filed after any transfer of title to the property. It is not necessary to file a new one after refinance. You may be interested in reading more information here.