What to Do When You’re Looking for an Accessible Home
Contributing post written by: Patrick Young
Image via Pexels.
Living with a disability not only affects how we operate in public places, but it also has a significant impact on how we go about our daily tasks in our own homes. Elements of a home meant to help us do tasks more easily and safely, such as doorknobs and stairs, can prove dangerous when limited mobility or other types of disabilities are in the picture.
Obviously, your home should be a place that provides you comfort and safety, and you should be able to perform all the daily tasks necessary to live a high quality of life. If you have a disability and your current home is not meeting your needs, Alaine Bradbury offers the following options, along with advice on how to proceed with finding a home that enables you to live a happy, healthy day-to-day life.
Consider buying a new home as an option.
Modifications can go a long way in transforming a non-accessible home into an accessible home. However, some homes are just too far from being accessible that it is either impossible to convert them or it will cost too much money to do so. For example, a home with a lot of stairs, high counters, narrow doorways, and shag carpet will be difficult to live in if you use a wheelchair.
Sometimes, the best option is to sell your current home and find a new one. If you go this route, it’s essential that you get a feel for what you could sell the home for before you put it on the market. A home-worth tool can help you with this, as well as provide you with an estimated market value of any homes you are considering. Eventually, you will need an actual home appraisal, but these tools can help you start the process.
Once you determine a ballpark budget for your new home, factor in the area in which you want to live. Then, look into the local market to see how much homes are selling for in certain neighborhoods, as well as what homes have the potential to be made accessible. Once you know how much you can afford to spend on a home, you’ll want to consult with a knowledgeable estate agent like Alaine Bradbury. These agents have expertise in the Memphis real estate market and can help coordinate the purchase of your home.
When you find the right home for your needs, the next step is shopping for mortgages. If you’re a borrower with a good credit history, a conventional home mortgage can offer fixed or adjustable rates and a variety of down payment options. To learn more about how much interest you may be required to pay, review current rates before shopping for a loan.
Look for good bones.
There are very few accessible homes on the market, which means you will likely need to find one that can be modified. Technically, you can modify almost any home, but there comes a point where so much time and money is spent that it’s not worth it. For example, an as-is home might have a very alluring price tag, but the money required to bring it up to snuff could be more than you are willing or even able to spend. Not to mention that as-is properties can often have significant defects, hence the lower price. Look for a home that can facilitate modifications relatively easily. For example, single-floor homes with open layouts are ideal. However, even two-story homes can work if the interior is fairly open.
Hire a moving company.
When you’ve found your new home, you will need to move all your things in. Hiring movers is typically the best way to go because it will save you a lot of time and stress. Consider opting for storage containers since you can pack them at your own pace. And when you’ve packed up all your belongings, all you have to do is call a transport company, who will then move the container to the new home.
Consider any modifications you need.
There are many modifications that can make your home living experience safer and more convenient when you have a disability. Here are a few of the most common ones:
● Installing exterior and threshold ramps
● Installing handrails at access points
● Installing grab bars in the bathroom
● Installing step-in bathtubs
● Installing a stairlift
● Replacing door knobs with push/pull bars
● Replacing high-pile carpet with low-pile carpet, vinyl, or hardwood flooring
● Widening doorways and hallways
Everyone should be able to live safely and comfortably in their own home. If your current home is not meeting your needs, consider purchasing a new one. Research potentially accessible homes in the area you’re considering to get a feel for prices, and look for one that can be modified fairly easily. Also, look to a professional moving company to do the heavy lifting. Finally, factor in all the modifications you might need to make before closing on your new home.
If you’re on the hunt for a new property in Manchester, turn to expert estate agent Alaine Bradbury to help you find your perfect new home.
About our guest contributor Patrick Young:
Patrick Young is an educator and activist. He believes people with disabilities must live within a unique set of circumstances--the outside world often either underestimates them or ignores their needs altogether. He created Able USA to offer helpful resources to people with disabilities and to provide advice on navigating various aspects of life as a person with disabilities.
To read more from Patrick please visit: https://ableusa.info