Simple Tips for Your Accessible Home Search
22 November 2020
Whether you live with a disability or are planning to age in place, having an accessible home is critical to your quality of life. Not only do you need a home that allows you to live safely and comfortably now, but you must consider your potential needs and lifestyle in the future. For many people, this means finding a new home that can easily be adapted to their needs.
There are many factors to take into account when searching for an accessible home, and coming at it with a plan will help the process go much more smoothly. From finding a reputable estate team like Paul Hubbard Estate Agents to figuring out what adaptations you need, here are some practical ways that you can prepare for your accessible home search:
Work with an expert agency.
First of all, research estate agencies in your area. Working with an expert agent will make the entire home search and purchase process go much more smoothly. An agent will be able to factor in your needs and your budget to help you find the perfect home. Plus, they’ll be able to walk you through negotiations, purchasing, and closing, not to mention selling your current home if that’s what you want to do.
Ask your agent about purchasing a home “as-is,” which can help you save a significant amount of money upfront. Before signing the dotted line on an “as-is” home, however, consult an attorney, review the land records, and have the property thoroughly inspected.
List all of your needs.
Before going too deep into your home search, think about your specific needs. For example, do you use a wheelchair? Your home should allow you to move freely and safely in your wheelchair, as well as access everyday needs such as countertops and light switches. Are you anticipating your future needs and planning to age in place? This might involve choosing a home with a smaller yard (less upkeep) and minimal barriers inside, among many other considerations.
Establish your budget.
Knowing what you can spend is critical in the house-hunting process. After all, you need to know your overall limit, including the purchase price and any adaptations necessary. This will help you narrow down your choices, as well as know what kind of funding to pursue. Whether you live with a disability or are a senior, research financial assistance for purchasing a home and/or paying for adaptations.
Choose an easily-adaptable home.
Your chances are slim for finding a home on the market that is already completely accessible. Instead, look for a home that can be easily adapted to accommodate your needs. For instance, narrow your search to single-floor homes with an open floor plan, and try to find one that already has a zero-step entry and wheelchair-friendly floors. If you’re really fortunate, you may even be able to land a home with wider doorways and hallways that will accommodate a wheelchair. The fewer major home adaptations you have to make, the better.
Learn about adaptations.
As you’re thinking about your specific needs in a home, research all of the possible adaptations that can be made. For example, you might need to lower your light switches, countertops, sinks, and vanities for easier access to daily activities. You might need to put in threshold ramps, have your doorways and hallways widened, and/or have your floors replaced (high-pile carpet is not great for wheelchairs). You might need to install a step-in tub and add bathroom accessories like grab bars, a shower seat, and a toilet seat riser. There’s a wealth of adaptations that can be made to any home, so do your research as you’re preparing for your home search.
Everyone deserves a home that allows them to live safely and comfortably. Be sure to hire a reputable estate agency, write down your needs in a home, and set a budget to go by. Also, try to find a home that will require minimal work and research all of the possible adaptations that can improve your quality of life at home, now and in the future. The better you prepare now, the quicker you can move on to the next great chapter in your life.