Guest Article by Patrick Young from Ableusa for Angelo on Design
Finding the perfect home when you have specific accessibility requirements may seem like a tall order at first glance. In reality, however, it’s actually not much different from just about any house-hunting endeavor. With a narrower playing field, it may even be arguably easier. But, of course, there will still be no small measure of due diligence required, as well as some possible hits and misses along the way. It’s important, therefore, to have a real game plan as you start your search so you won’t be overwhelmed by the process. Here’s how.
Take Stock of Your Needs
Before anything else, it’s important to recognize that not all accessible homes are the same. After all, people have different abilities, and when it comes to choosing a home, your own capacity should be at the forefront. This is why it’s a very good idea to start by recognizing your own mobility limitations and then assessing the accessibility features you need in your home.
At the most basic level, perhaps you need a wheelchair to get around, which means you will need wider doorways and ramps, as well as sinks and counters that are lower in height. Or, maybe you want to reduce your risk of falls as a senior, so you want to ensure that rooms are free of trip hazards, have non-slip flooring, and are fitted with grab bars and handrails in the bathroom. Not only that, but it may be prudent to think further ahead and ensure there’s room for more modifications in the future to accommodate any changes in your condition.
Determine What You Can Afford
Now, regardless of what kind of home you’re in the market for — accessible or otherwise — it’s always wise to consider your purchasing power before anything else. This is to ensure that you can afford to buy a home at this stage in your life. Doing so entails taking stock of your financials, specifically your income, your debt-to-income ratio, and if you have enough for the down payment. You should also consider external parameters such as the housing market, mortgage options and terms available to you, and many others. For this reason, Moving.com explains that it’s a good idea to consider getting a mortgage pre-approval, as it gives you a clear picture of your inevitable investment right off the bat. It’s always a good idea to connect with an experienced and knowledgeable realtor when exploring purchasing a home.
Depending on your specific condition, you may actually be qualified for financial assistance that can help facilitate the purchase of an accessible home or even fund accessibility modifications to your current one. It’s definitely smart to know your options and your rights to help you overcome the challenges — financial, especially — of homeownership.
Keep an Open Mind
While being specific about your accessibility needs is a great thing, know that this may leave you with fewer options, making it very important to be very flexible during your search. As tempting as it might be to reject a home because it’s not completely what you had in mind, it’s still more than wise to take a moment to really see the big picture. A closer look might reveal the need for just a few key renovations to make it as safe and accessible as you might like, such as the relatively simple addition of concrete ramps or pathways.
An equally good idea is to research what additional modifications will cost you‚ as well as to factor in the home’s purchase value, in order for you to determine whether or not it’s a viable investment. For example, if you need to install a wheelchair ramp. The cost of a ramp will depend on the quality and any decorative style as well.
If you’re concerned about how these accessibility changes will affect the look and feel of your home, there are websites that can give you some points to make your space look incredible. Angelo on Design has several incredible interior design tips that can help you make the most of your incredible new space!
Suffice it to say, a fully accessible home is definitely a worthy investment. Not only is it a place to call your own and thrive in, but it’s ultimately one where you’re safest and most comfortable. So, don’t leave your search up to chance; Instead, let research and good planning take a step closer to your perfect home.
Photo via Pexels