Three Steps to Finding an Accessible Home

Neda Nourani

05/7/20

Written by Patrick Young from Able USA

Home buying is both an exciting and challenging adventure. Purchasing a home that needs to be modified for accessibility in order to accommodate a disability can present additional challenges. To simplify the house hunt and keep the challenges to a minimum, it’s important to prepare yourself for what is to come and for what may come. Let’s discuss how to make this process easier and how to prepare for the big move.

1. Examining the Costs
A home needing modifications or coming with existing modifications can cost more. You need to be prepared for the potential expenses and have a realistic view of what a new home will cost. Start by looking online for a precursory estimate of your current home to see what it could sell for and get an idea of how much you will be working with to reinvest in a home that meets your accessibility needs. Then you can check local home prices to gage how much homes are selling for in your desired location. In Encinitas, homes have been selling for $1.23M on average. To learn more about your area’s real estate market and available accessible homes, make an appointment with a local realtor.

2. Modifications
Many homes are not set up for accessibility and will require modifications as an after-purchase expense. The purpose of these changes is to increase safety and comfort while allowing you or your loved one to fulfill day-to-day tasks. In short, modifications can transform a house into a space that facilitates autonomous living. Some modifications that may need to be made after a home purchase are:
Shower/bath accessibility
​​​​​​​Ramps installed on the exterior of the home
Railings and grab bars (the average cost of installation is $140)
​​​​​​​Lowered counters
Lowered thermostats and light switches
Non-carpet flooring​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

​​​​​​​If the modifications you need in your new home are outside of your budget, then here are some sources of funds that may be applicable to help offset costs:
​​​​​​​•
A mortgage that includes the modification costs
Grants from AmeriCorps
American Red Cross
The US Department of Veterans Affairs
ACLP
Other nonprofits and associations

3. The Big Move
​​​​​​​It’s important to plan the move ahead of time so that all goes flawlessly. An unplanned move can be just as taxing, if not more, than trying to find the right home. If you’re planning a long-distance move, you can save by going with a hybrid move. A hybrid move will help to save you money by separating your move across three services. The first are local movers who load your belongings. The second are drivers who transport your belongings to the new home. The third set then unloads your belongings into your new home.

If you are in the market to purchase a new accessible home, then it’s time to plan. Determine the potential sale price of your current home and the potential purchase price of a new home by using an online estimator to get an idea of what you are working with. Also, figure out which modifications you will need, and reach out to organizations that may be able to assist with the costs. Finally, plan ahead for the big move and save money by choosing a hybrid move. In no time, you will be in a home that suits your needs.

Image via Pexels​​​​​​​

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