This week, we welcome guest blogger, Patrick Young from Able USA as he brings us some insight on finding an accessible home! It is our pleasure to welcome guest bloggers who bring us great content for our clients and Community! So, thanks Patrick and without further ado, here's"The Key To Finding The Right Accessible Home".
Searching for a new home
is always stressful, and it becomes even more complicated when you’re looking for a very specific kind of house. When you’re looking for the accessible abode of your dreams, it pays to know what’s absolutely necessary and how you can get what you need. Rockstar Real Estate & Media Group wants to help. Read on as we explore house hunting with accessibility in mind.
What to Expect From an Accessible Home
Before you start your search, it’s best to do your research about what an accessible home should have. In general, these homes should have wide doorways that would allow access by wheelchair users. The home should only be on one level and bathrooms should have handrails.
Of course, if you have specific needs, you’ll have to add them to your must-have list. For example, a home that’s ideal for someone who’s visually impaired would take advantage of lighting and color contrast techniques.
Thankfully, many changes can be incorporated into a home that has a generally appropriate design. For instance, if you stumble onto that one level home in the right neighborhood, you can add grab bars yourself, and doors can be widened with offset hinges.
If you don’t want to mess with those projects, they are well within the capabilities of a professional handyman. Bob Vila notes a pro will generally cost between $60 and $70 per hour, or as much as $125 per hour if employed through a company.
How to Find an Accessible Home
Since you’re looking for more than your average home, it’s particularly important to have the professionals in your corner. A professional real estate agent knows the local market inside and out, and can help guide you toward homes you might not otherwise know about.
When you’re looking for a real estate agent, narrow your search to those who have experience in finding accessible homes. While there’s no specific certification for that expertise, you can ask pointed questions about the agent’s history. Find out things like how they would go about locating a house that meets your needs. This can include how they’d go about finding a non-accessible home that can be easily modified if you decide to go that route.
Create an Attractive Accessible Home
Sometimes accessible homes are hard to find and so you have to modify a general property and make it your own. According to HGTV, this is an opportunity to truly personalize your home as even accessible homes can be a bit generic feeling.
One option, for instance, is to install a ramp that blends with your surrounding landscape. Adding some shrubbery, using complimentary colors, and incorporating the porch design are great ways to create a seamless and attractive entrance to your home. You can even hire a landscape architect to help with the project; this typically costs between $1,535 and $4,252.
This price will vary depending on what selections you make, the size of the project and where you live. To keep your budget in check, This Old House says to get quotes from multiple contractors so you know how much you’ll need to spend on the overall project.
Get Financial Assistance
Whether you’ve been able to find your ideal accessible home or you’ve decided to remodel a non-accessible one, keep in mind that there are financial assistance programs available to you. In fact, you actually have several grant and loan options to explore. From VA loans to HUD loans and various grant programs, it’s worth checking to see what you might qualify to receive.
Remember to Transition Your Details
All too often, something falls through the cracks in the midst of a move. Once you find the right home and are caught up in making your plans, remember to notify all the appropriate companies and organizations with your change of address. This should include your utilities providers, government entities, service providers like accountants and attorneys, and so forth. Your workplace also needs to know, and if you are a business owner changing states, remember your LLC.
When it comes to finding an accessible home, it’s best to know your must-have features and lean on the experience of Rockstar Real Estate & Media Group for aid. And don’t give up if you can’t find a turnkey accessible home. Instead, consider using the financial aid programs available to you to make modifications to a more traditionally-built property.
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.