House Hunting Tips To Help You Find The Accessible Home Of Your Dreams

Dated: 03/12/2019

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Whether you're looking for an apartment to rent or a home of your own, hunting for a place to hang your hat is significantly more difficult when you have a disability. Only a small portion of homes in the U.S. are currently livable for people who have moderate mobility limits. Instead of settling for flawed living spaces that restrict your freedom, check out these tips for some house-hunting inspiration.

Know What to Look For

One Survey found that rental units may be your best bet if you're looking for wheelchair accessibility, so try to avoid basement suites or guest houses on owner-occupied properties. Also, apartment buildings built after 1991 must meet certain accessibility requirements, so focus your search on relatively newer rentals. If it does not, the ground floor apartments should be accessible. 

If you're ready to own a home, consider buying one that's easy to modify and have it remodeled-- this can actually be more affordable than buying an elusive move-in ready accessible home. Just make sure you factor modification costs into your home-buying budget. Your real estate agent should know which homes in the area are potentially modifiable. These tips by the Washington Post can help you find a great real estate agent to assist your housing search. 

Be Ready to Compromise

It may be impossible to find a home that meets your needs perfectly and still fits within your budget. Think about which accessibility requirements you must have immediately and which adaptations you can make at a later date. Some basic elements you may want to look for include a step-in shower, a spacious bathroom, a step-free entrance, non-slip floors, and wide doorways. Make a list of these essential requirements before you begin your search. You can share this list with your real estate agent so they know exactly what kind of home you need. 

Get Your Home Move-in Ready

When you finally find a home that meets your needs, there are still a couple of things left to do to ensure your space is comfortable and secure. Start by having your locks changed to make sure the home is safe --you never know how many previous owners still have copies of your house keys. Use Home Advisor's search tool to find locksmiths in your area when you're ready to bring in a pro.

Also, consider hiring professionals when it comes to moving and packing. This will ensure your goods are kept safe and arrive unharmed plus, you won't have to wrangle friends and family into helping with your relocation. This will make it easier when you ask for help with unpacking and furniture arrangement. 

Plan Your Custom Modifications

Adding some simple accessibility features to your home can make you feel much more independent as you tackle your daily living tasks. For example, some great kitchen modification ideas include replacing your refrigerator with one that the freezer on the bottom and adding a tall, swivel faucet that allows you to easily fill pots from the counter. You may also want to install grab-bars in your bathroom and special closet bars to lower your clothes in your bedroom closet. Even something as simple as investing in a supportive mattress can make your life easier--opt for a high bed frame and avoid memory foam toppers that can make you feel stuck. 

Thanks to technological advancements and increasing disability awareness, it's becoming easier to enjoy a high quality of life despite any limitations you may be faced with. Don't settle for a home that doesn't  meet your needs. Keep learning about inventive ideas you can implement in your own home and take advantage of financial aid programs to fund your modifications. You deserve to live in a home you feel in control! 


Article courtesy Natalie Jones  

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Michele Steeber - DRE #01031312

Michele has been a licensed Real Estate Agent since 1989. Michele is a seasoned Realtor who has sold over $100 million dollars worth of real estate. She has helped buyers, sellers, investors and shor....

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