Acquiring the Perfect Accessible Home for Your Needs

Finding a home that accommodates your disability might prove challenging, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. By doing your homework and making thoughtful decisions along the way, you can make the process faster and less stressful.

List Your Priorities

One of the first steps you should take to acquire an accessible home that meets your needs is writing down all of your needs in order of priority. There may be some features you must have, while others could be classified as preferences.

For instance, if you use a wheelchair, you might want to consider a single-floor home with lots of open space and wider doorways as a priority. Then again, if it’s possible to buy a wheelchair that is smaller than your current one, you might be able to get away with standard-width doorways.

Also, you could come across a home that already has certain features that accommodate you, such as lowered countertops, a stair-lift, or an elevator. But such homes are rare; thus, these features are typically best considered are preferences.

Dedicate Time to Research

Once you have an idea of what you need, spend time doing research on what homes are available in your area. When searching for “accessible” homes on listing sights, know that the classification can mean different things depending on where you live. For example, one accessible home include a number of handicap features in the living room, kitchen and bathroom, while another might simply be a single-floor home with a zero step entry.

Though it’s generally a favorable market for homebuyers across the country, average home prices vary depending on the city and neighborhood. Before settling on a location, research what homes cost to determine whether it’s a good fit for your budget.

Develop a Modification Budget

Along with budgeting for the purchase price of a home, you’ll need to determine how much you can spend on modifications. Remember that it’s rare to find a home that comes completely accessible for your specific needs. You will most likely need to make modifications, and you don’t want to be surprised or put in a bad financial situation by purchasing a home without being prepared to pay for renovations.

Disability remodeling averages between $2,500 and $5,500 in the U.S., but you shouldn’t rely on these numbers when creating your budget. Be sure to leave plenty of cushion for major renovations like knocking out walls, lowering countertops and sinks, adding a zero-step entry, and/or widening doorways. And don’t forget about accessories like grab bars, shower seats, and threshold ramps.

Hire a Good Agent and Contractor

Finally, the professionals you choose to work with will make a big difference throughout your home buying process. Hire a great real estate agent who has experience in accessible homes; this will take a lot of stress off of your shoulders and help you find the best home for your needs faster. And for any modifications and renovations needed, ask around for referrals to find a qualified contractor. Rather than going with the cheapest contractor you find, interview a few candidates before settling on one. Havinf qualift renovations and installations will make for a safer home and will likely save you money in the long run.

Few things are more important than having a home that allows you to live safely and comfortably. When searching for your accessible home, remember to make a list of all of your needs, research your local housing market and modification costs, create a detailed budget, and hire a qualified real estate agent and contractor. Taking these steps will make the entire process go more smoothly.

Patrick Young //