Buy The Perfect Accessible Home With This Guide

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What do you look for in an accessible home? Many homebuyers have considered this question over the years as accessible design and building standards evolve, and the answer is multi-faceted. Some people need to consider accessibility for current disabilities, while others are planning ahead with the intention of aging in place. 

Depending on your current needs and timeframe, you’ll want to think about which modifications you can afford to make on your own and which you’ll need to hire a contractor for. It’s also important to know which aspects of your home you need accessible right away to make daily life easier if you find a great house that’s less than perfect. Here are a few suggestions from Frog Reviews and Ramblings to help you get the right house and the right features for your needs. 

Make a List

When you’re ready to look for the perfect home, you’ll want to sit down and make a list of all the features that are essential and which ones you’d like to have but can live without. Think about the biggest needs first, such as wide doorways, step-free thresholds, or lower countertops. Don’t forget about the outside of the home. Accessible parking and low-slope driveway or ramps are a couple of must-haves for many individuals. Think about which modifications you might be able to make yourself, such as painting contrast walls or adding lighting to assist with low vision, installing grab bars in the bathrooms, or trading out the bathtub for a step-less shower. If possible, work the potential cost of these changes into your budget.

Understand What You’re Getting

There are many ways to buy a house these days, so once you’ve found a place you love, think about the buying process and what you’re willing to do to secure the property. Buyers on a budget are often drawn to homes that are being sold as part of a foreclosure, or homes that are on the market “as-is”. While these can provide a measure of savings, it’s essential to read up on the details and understand what they mean. Buying a home as-is means you’ll likely be giving up many of the standards that are typically in a real estate contract, such as an inspection or a request for the seller to make certain repairs. For this type of sale, you’ll need to consult with a lawyer and look for any red flags that might show up in the land records. If you know what you’re looking for, you can also inspect the property yourself.

Look for Funding

If you’re on a tight budget, don’t forget to look for grants, loans, or federal aid that might help you pay for home modifications. There are often several available in different states, and while they may vary according to your location, age, and manner of disability, they can be extremely helpful in paying for major safety changes to a home. 

When looking at traditional funding for your home purchase, it’s important to understand your loan to value ratio, or LTV ratio. This ratio represents the cost of the new mortgage divided by the home’s appraisal value. For example, if you need a loan of $90,000 for a home that is appraised at $100,000, then your LTV is 90%. The higher your ratio, the riskier the loan is for your lender. Look for ways to lower your LTV ratio, like selling a property or pulling from savings to get a larger down payment.

Make the Move a Breeze

One of the most stressful and exciting aspects of buying a new home is the move, so it’s crucial to create a plan for the big day to help it go smoothly. Look for a moving company that will cater to your specific needs, and ask friends or family members to help out with things like cleaning or keeping your pets safe and stress-free so you can focus on the job at hand. You might also use a few apps that will help the process along, such as one that will show you what your furniture will look like within the new floorplan.

Ensure Your Comfort

Once you’ve moved into your new home, it’s wise to begin regular maintenance practices right away so you get in the habit. Your HVAC system, for example, needs to be inspected annually to make sure it is working properly. Fortunately, you can find the closest HVAC service provider with a brief search online. This makes it easy to find a provider who can perform routine maintenance and make any necessary repairs. Keeping your HVAC system well-maintained will help you stay comfortable year round.

Buying an accessible home is a dream come true for many people, but the process can be overwhelming if you haven’t done your research first. Creating a solid plan for buying and moving will give you peace of mind and reduce stress so you can just enjoy your new home.

Guest Post by: Sara Bailey; The Widow

2 Responses so far.

  1. Debbie P says:

    My best friend has MS and I will be forwarding this article to her. Thank you.

  2. Adriane says:

    This was a big issue when I was caregiving my mom

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