Searching for an Accessible Home? These Tips Can Help You Along the Way

Dated: October 14 2020

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Searching for an Accessible Home?

These Tips Can Help You Along the Way 

 

According to the Vermont Housing Finance Agency, less that 1 percent of houses in the U.S. can accommodate wheelchair users. In other words, searching for an accessible home can feel like looking for a needle in a haystack. Nonetheless, awareness for this issue is increasing, and it’s becoming a little easier to find accessible or adaptable homes each year. If you need to purchase a home that accommodates your disability or that allows you to age in place, consider these tips as you get started on your quest: 

 

Prepare for the Home Purchase  

 

There are necessary steps to take before you get too deep into the house-hunting process, especially if it’s your first time buying a house. For instance, you will need to check your credit score and figure out how to improve it if necessary, since it will play a major role in the type of mortgage you qualify for. You will also need to estimate how much house you can afford, get essential paperwork prepared for lenders, and hire a reputable realty team like House of Brokers that can guide you through the entire home buying process. 

 

Furthermore, there are a variety of financial assistance programs that can prove helpful when purchasing a house or paying for home modifications. Do your research to see if you are eligible for any of these programs. 

 

Plan to Use Professional Movers 

 

Moving homes can be taxing on your mind and body. Even if you have friends and family members who can help during the moving process, it’s still a good idea to hire a professional. That way, you will know that all of your items will arrive safely at your new home, and it relieves a lot of stress for you and anyone helping you. If you do choose to hire a company to handle the move, however, be sure to budget for it early on, and research moving services online to see which ones receive the best reviews. 

 

Search for Homes With Good Structure 

 

Because there are such few accessible options on the market, you will most likely need to find a home and make modifications to it. With that said, you don’t want to get a home that will require a lot of major modifications and improvements. Make sure any home you are considering has strong structural components, including the roof, foundation, walls, and ceiling. And look for a home that has wider doorways and hallways, as well as lower countertops and sinks, to accommodate wheelchairs.  

 

Research Home Modifications 

 

When it comes to home modifications, you need to know what you currently need and potential will need in the future. UDS Foundation notes there are a wide array of modifications to consider, and knowing what it will take for you to be safe and comfortable in your home will help you plan accordingly.  

 

As previously mentioned, if you use a wheelchair and your home has standard-width doorways and hallways, you will need to bring a contractor in to increase the width. The same goes for the height of your countertops, sinks, and light switches, which should be lowered for easier access in a wheelchair. 

 

Other considerations include installing a zero-step entry, threshold ramps, a walk-in shower, grab bars, and many other additions. And if the home has high-pile carpet, you might consider replacing it with hardwood, laminate, or tile flooring. These are just a few of many home modifications available; do your research to determine what is necessary for your situation.  

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