Accessible housing allows individuals with disabilities to maintain their independence and comfortable quality of life. Given the fact that nearly one in five Americans live with a disability, it should come as no surprise that the demand for accessible housing is huge. If you are looking for a property in this market, be prepared to put in some time and effort to find the perfect space to suit your needs. With some advanced preparation, you should be able to find your dream home. Find out how to go about it below.
Figure out what you can afford
Before you start browsing through real estate listings, get an idea of what you can afford. You can then set a budget and search specifically within that price range, ensuring you don’t spend more than is realistic. You can use online real estate market information tools like Redfin to determine the costs of different properties in specific cities and neighborhoods. This will allow you to choose a geographically affordable area. For example, the average sale price of a house in Bel-Air is $380,000.
You can also use such online tools to get an idea of how much your current property will sell for. Check out the selling price of similar houses in your neighborhood, taking into account key features like number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and square footage. Keep in mind that the money you make from selling your home will likely be used to make a down payment on your new property. This will ideally be about 20 percent of the new property’s value. You want to make sure that your profit is big enough to cover this lump sum payment. A larger down payment can often secure you a lower interest rate.
Determine your needs in advance
Finding the perfect accessible housing depends on your unique needs. For example, if you are in a wheelchair, you probably want a single-level home. The doorways and hallways should be wide enough to accommodate your mobility device, and there should be ramps in place as needed—for instance to get in the front door. Alternatively, if you have vision problems and require a guide dog, it may be more important to you that your new home is pet-friendly, for example with a fenced-in yard where your furry friend can get exercise.
It may be that you find a property that meets many of your needs but isn’t a perfect match. In this case, home renovations can be undertaken to make it more suitable. For example, you can add ramps to accommodate a wheelchair. If you decide to go this route, factor in the cost of home renovations on top of whatever you pay for the property itself. Get an estimate before buying, as costs for renovations can be significant. For example, the cost to remodel a bathroom typically starts at $5,000. You may be able to spare costs by upgrading your mobility gear, for example by getting a stair-climbing wheelchair.
Once your accessible home is ready for you, you still need to undertake the actual move. When choosing movers, look at customer reviews, evaluating factors like trustworthiness, punctuality, and reliability. Alleviate stress and save money by opting for a hybrid move. This means that instead of hiring traditional movers who handle the entire job from start to finish, the job is divided among three professionals. Local movers remove items from your current home, a transport company moves your items to the new home, and local movers at the new home unload it there. This approach is ideal for cost-efficient, long-distance moving.
Follow these step-by-step guidelines and you should be able to find an affordable, accessible house that you love. Once the job is done, relax and enjoy your new home.
by Patrick Young