Searching For Accessibility Tips For A HouseHunt

Dated: February 19 2019

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Searching For Accessibility: Tips For A House-Hunt

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Photo via Pixabay by Stevepb

Finding an accessible home when you’re living with a disability can be a challenge, simply because there are so many details to consider. You may have many different specific needs that require a home that will work for you, or you might be on a tight budget, which can make house-hunting a frustrating process. It’s important to think about your needs before making any decisions, and to write down a list of the things you can’t live without in a home. This will help you narrow down your choices and will make the search a lot easier.

Also, don’t just think about your current needs but also think about your needs five or 10 years from now. If you are living with a disease that is degenerative, your home’s features may need to be able to adapt along with you. Mobility issues will often require an open floor plan that will prevent falls or problems with equipment. Thinking about these things now will not only give you peace of mind, it may also help you save money in the long run.

Keep reading to find out more about searching for an accessible home.

Consider location

The location of your new home should be in an area you’re familiar with, if possible, and one that is close to the places you visit most, such as your doctor’s office or your favorite grocery store. Before making a decision, visit the neighborhood to get a feel for what the community is like, and check out the listing prices of various homes in the area. This will help you figure out what you’ll be looking at should you find a place you like in the neighborhood.

Think about mobility

Accessible homes need to work hard for their owners to keep them safe and comfortable, and one key area of concern is mobility. If you require equipment like a wheelchair or walker to move around the house, you may need the wide spaces that come with an open floor plan, or lowered countertops and sinks in the kitchen. Being able to navigate your home safely is critical when it comes to aging-in-place.

It’s not a guarantee you’ll find a home that fits all the needs on your checklist, but if a home has the right bones to handle accommodations, you can make those prior to moving in or as time and funding allow.

Look for financial aid

If you find a home that could work but that needs modifications, there are ways to get the funding if you qualify. Many states have programs that help disabled individuals make changes to their homes for safety and comfort, so look online to find out what you might be eligible for. Grants and special loans can help you get the most out of your home without becoming house poor; just make sure you read the fine print carefully before committing to anything.

Think about your safety

Your safety is a priority, so you’ll want to consider ways to make sure your new home is secure. You might think about investing in a set of motion-sensor lights for the exterior of your home, or a surveillance camera for the front porch that will help give you peace of mind. And of course, making sure the locks are changed after you move in is of the utmost importance. Even if it’s a newly-built home, there could be extra keys that were made for the realtor, so it’s best to err on the side of caution. Look online for top-rated locksmiths in your area, and set an appointment as soon as possible after you close on your home.

Searching for an accessible home can be time-consuming, so try to stay patient through the process. Utilize all the tools available to you online and do some research before making any decisions. With some careful preparation, you can find the perfect home for you.

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Renee Heintz

I am a full-time real estate agent at Century 21 Affiliated. I am licenced in both WI and MN, so I do business in La Crosse County and surrounding areas. I have been in the real estate business since....

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