Finding a perfect house is hard for anyone, but it can be an even bigger challenge if you need a home that suits your accessibility needs. Unfortunately, there might not be many homes on the market that will meet all of your requirements. As you begin your search, you will likely find that many homes need a little work in order to fulfill your needs. Disability Advocacy Service encourages you to find out which features to look for in a new home, and discover the factors you may want to consider when thinking about modifications that can be made to existing homes.
Get Help with Your Search
If you have a list of specific needs, keep in mind that it will take more time to find a home that works for you. If you’re also a first-time homebuyer, the process of getting your first home might be even more overwhelming. Hiring an estate agent with experience in accessible homes can ease the process of finding a home that suits your individual needs. The right agent has the skills, know-how, and experience to find you a home that’s accessible or that can be modified for accessibility.
If this is your first time buying a house, you will also want to ensure that your paperwork is in order for your lender and that you know your credit score. You will also want to consider how much money you can afford to spend, which will ultimately affect what listings you look at.
Check Out Assistance Programs
If you are living with a disability, you may qualify for any number of loans or government grants to help you achieve home ownership. Most assistance programs will not cover the entire cost of buying or remodeling a home, but if you’re qualified, they can reduce your financial burden.
Know What Features to Look For
In many cases, a home might fit your needs even if it is not designed specifically as an accessible home. With the right features, however, many different homes can be suitable. As you search for accessible housing, you may consider looking at open concept homes, which provide more space for moving freely. Other features to look for include large bathrooms, wide hallways, hard floors, and plenty of storage that’s lower to the ground. Even small features, such as lever-style door knobs or sink handles, can be good to have.
Consider Home Modifications
A home might not always be move-in ready, but there are many ways to modify an existing home so it suits your needs. For example, you may need your kitchen or bathroom remodeled for accessibility. If you’re planning on doing this work, it’s crucial that you work with a licensed and insured contractor who has experience and a reputation for quality. Also, doorways can be widened and wheelchair ramps can be added to provide better access. When a house doesn’t already have accessibility features, it just takes more imagination to picture how it will work for your needs. These remodeling ideas from Achieve Homes can help you get started.
Other changes you may not have considered don’t have to be quite as extensive as a wheelchair ramp. Added lighting throughout the house can be a huge help. In the bathroom, grab bars that help you get in and out of the tub may enhance your home’s usability without going through the expense of a full remodel.
A Note on As-Is Homes
When broadening your view of homes that could fit your needs, it can be tempting to consider an as-is home. A home that’s sold as-is means that the seller doesn’t plan to make any repairs regardless of defects, and these homes are typically sold for considerably less than comparable homes. While choosing an as-is home can save you money upfront, there could be underlying issues that make this a money pit, especially if you’ll be covering the costs. Your estate agent will be able to guide you through this big decision, but having a home inspection can also be a great way to determine any red flags that make it clear a certain property is a bad purchase.
Finding an accessible home might seem impossible at first, but there are a variety of tools at your disposal. Knowing exactly what you need in a house and looking beyond existing features to see a home’s potential can help you track down the home of your dreams.