Accessible Homes: What To Look For During Your Search – contributor Patrick Young.
Photo via Pixabay by Jessebridgewater
Accessible homes can be many things, but for individuals living with a disability, certain boxes need to be checked off. When you’re searching for a new home, it’s important to have a clear picture in your mind of what you want and need. Think about the features that will not only make your life easier, but will also keep you safe and comfortable no matter how long you live there. Do you require widened doorways to ensure that your mobility equipment won’t have any issues? A one-level home without stairs? Consider your needs carefully before making any decisions.
It’s also important to think about what your needs will be in the future. If you are living with a disability or health issue that may worsen over time, your needs will likely change a bit, and making sure your home covers those needs now could save you a lot of money and time down the road.
When buying a home, you want to take the location into careful consideration. Not only do you need to ensure you’ll be near all the places you frequent — your doctor, your favorite grocery store, family members — but it’s also crucial to keep in mind how the neighborhood will affect resale value in the future. Take a look at the surrounding community and do some research to make sure the area is desirable before you begin the search for your home.
Think about your future needs
An accessible home can include many different features, so think about exactly what you want before you begin your search. Some homes will fit your needs better than others; for instance, a house that is made with wheelchairs in mind will have lowered countertops and an open floor plan that allows for ease of mobility. Or you may want a home that has a very small yard to take care of, as this will be advantageous to you in your senior years. Having a clear picture in your head of what your home should have will help you easily make a decision.
Look for easy modifications
Some homes will meet a few of your requirements, but not all. In these cases, it’s a good idea to consider easy modification possibilities that you can either do yourself or hire a contractor to finish. Remodeling an entire bathroom can be costly (it costs an average of $11,036 to remodel a bathroom in San Antonio), but some simple updates may suffice. Updating a bathroom for your safety might require a grab bar (installation typically costs around $60 per grab bar) or a walk-in shower, while the kitchen may only need easy-to-grasp levers or handles on the cabinets and drawers. Handling upgrades yourself may not be ideal, but if the home has everything else you want, it’s possible you could ask for a reduction in price for your efforts. Keep in mind that if you are a senior or have a disability, you may qualify for a grant to help pay for more extensive modifications.
Keep it safe
Safety is a major consideration in any home, but it’s especially important for someone with a disability when it comes to security and maintaining independence. You’ll want to ensure that everything is secure in order to prevent burglaries and trespassers, so it’s a good idea to hire a locksmith to change the locks on doors immediately, have the window locks checked and consider a surveillance or security system that will give you peace of mind. You might also want to invest in motion-sensor lights for the perimeter of your home to deter thieves.
Accessible homes are becoming more and more common these days as homeowners look for a place that will keep them comfortable and safe throughout their senior years, but it’s crucial to find the one that works best for your specific needs. Don’t be afraid to ask about price reductions or updates on the seller’s end that will make things easier for you. With a good plan, you can find the home you want in no time.