Top Tips for Moving to a more Accessible Home

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Top Tips for moving to an accessible home when you're older

When you have accessibility needs, having a house that meets those needs is essential. Home is the place where you should feel the safest and most comfortable. If you are always having to navigate uncomfortable and potentially hazardous obstacles, your day-to-day experience can feel taxing.

If you’ve decided to move to a new residence, and are looking for a home that is suitable for your accessibility needs, explore these expert tips.

Create a list of all of your needs before starting the house hunting process.

Before browsing top real estate websites for your brand new home, it is wise to have a list of your accessibility needs in front of you. If you’re also moving with a spouse or partner, be sure to include all of their accessibility requirements on this same list.

“Divvy up your list into must-have and desired features.”

The most effective strategy to use is to divvy up your list into must-have and desired features. For example, if you are in a wheelchair, an item on your must-haves would be a wheelchair ramp entryway. In this same instance, the desired feature might be a chair lift for a two-story building. While it would be nice to have a chair lift in a two-story home, you can instead decide to purchase a single-floor house. However, having a wheelchair-accessible entryway is non-negotiable. Having this list will help you more easily make decisions when comparing homes.

Enlist the help of a realtor to find exactly what you want.

Browsing available homes online can be an incredibly time-consuming process for anyone. When you have specific accessibility requirements, the search can become even more of a challenge. This difficulty is amplified if you don’t feel confident in your tech abilities.

“Rather than browsing for hours on your own, enlist the expert help of a realtor.”

Rather than spending hours upon hours browsing for a home on your own, enlist the expert help of a realtor. Finding a realtor in your area will make your home search far easier, and will ensure that you quickly find an accessible home that fits your exact criteria. Often, realtors will have insight into the available features on homes that are about to be listed.

Buying a property “as is” can save for needed accessibility modifications.

When working with a realtor during the home buying process, you might consider a property that is listed in “as is” condition. Although the reasons for this listing status vary significantly, it essentially means that you are accepting the home in its current condition. Often this is due to pre-existing damage that needs to be fixed in one or more areas of the home.

“Do not cut corners when looking for a contractor.”

Despite the risk, buying a home “as is” can save you thousands on the purchase of a residential property. This can allow not only for the repairs that need to be completed but also for accessibility modifications. If customizing a newer home in excellent condition isn’t in your budget, this could be a fantastic solution. Before jumping into buying an “as is” property, you should consult with a number of professionals — including a home inspector and a lawyer — to ensure that you know exactly what you are getting into.

Find reliable contractors to make all needed accessibility upgrades.

Once you’ve closed on your new home, it is time to make any remaining accessibility modifications that you require. It’s sure great to save money wherever possible, but DO NOT not cut corners when looking for a contractor. All modifications — including the installation of handle rails, ramps, and non-slip surfaces — need to be performed by an experienced professional to ensure safety.

As you begin the search for your new accessible home, don’t forget to look for other features that are important to you. In order for your house to feel like home, be sure to choose a property that makes you feel comfortable, relaxed, and happy.

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