Thursday, January 2, 2020

How to Acquire an Accessible Home

If you have a disability, searching for a home requires an extra layer of thought and consideration. Any house you purchase must either already be accessible for you or be easily modified to suit your needs. This can make the house-hunting process substantially more stressful.

However, if you know what to look for and empower yourself with knowledge from the start, you’ll have a much easier time. Here’s a look at a few of the things you should keep in mind while searching for an accessible home.

Accessibility Basics

Your specific accessibility needs matter most, but there are a few general features to look for in an accessible home. For example, you should try to value ranch and other single-level homes over those with multiple floors. Try to avoid homes that have elevation changes between rooms on a single level, such as those with sunken living rooms.

Other small things, such as levers on doors and cabinetry, will make life substantially easier for you. You may not be able to find all these things in a house but keep them in mind. You can always make upgrades later on, but the more accessible your home is from the start, the better.

Upfront Costs

Buying a home is expensive, no matter what. Your first step should be taking a good look at your funds to figure out what you can afford. There are plenty of online calculators that can give you a sense of how much house you can purchase, as well as what kinds of loans you can take out.

There may also be resources available that can lessen your financial burden. For example, PennyMac VA loans allow veterans to purchase homes with a small (or even no) down payment without taking on mortgage insurance charges. Moreover, these loans tend to have more favorable rates than conventional loans. There are plenty of other loan and grant programs that may be available to you as well, so research your options and see what makes the most sense for your situation.

The cost of the house itself isn’t the only thing to consider. You should also budget in additional costs, such as the home inspection or hiring movers. Don’t skimp out on these. An inspector is vital, as they will ensure your home is fit for the necessary renovations. Movers make a big difference as well, saving you tons of stress. If you’re moving long distance, consider a hybrid moving service, which splits the cost between the movers that load the van, the driver, and the unloading movers in the new location.

Long-Term Costs

In addition to the money you should expect to pay when you move in, you should also consider long-term costs. If you have a degenerative disability, or you expect to live in your new home for a long time, there’s a good chance you’ll need to add more accessibility features as time goes on.

There are plenty of ways you can upgrade your home to make it more accessible, from hardware changes and simple ramp installations to shower conversions and stair lifts. These costs can surprise you if you don’t plan ahead for them.

Before you purchase a house, give serious consideration to what kinds of upgrades and renovations it may need over time. It may be tempting to go with the first house you see regardless of what it might need down the line, but if you take your time to find a house that already features most of what you need, you’ll be better off in the long run.

Thank You,   Patrick Young (Author)