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Looking for a new home takes a lot of time, money, and effort. You might spend hours and hard-earned dollars on inspections and travel costs only to come up short, which can lead to frustration pretty quickly. When you’re looking for an accessible home, it’s crucial to know exactly what your specific needs are and to be familiar with the key elements that go into building such a space. Do some research on design principles to find out more about what goes into these types of modifications; this will allow you to remain knowledgeable when it comes to figuring out a budget and the types of questions you’ll need to ask the builder or seller. Don’t forget to look for financial assistance in the form of a loan or grant.
There’s a lot to consider, but fortunately, the process doesn’t have to be a stressful one. With a little patience and some planning, you can narrow down your options and put in an offer in no time. The key is to remember that even if a home doesn’t have all the things you need, modifications can be done that will change the layout and make it easier for you or a disabled loved one to move around safely.
Keep reading for some wonderful tips on how to find the right accessible home.
See if you qualify for a mortgage
When determining your finances, you should find out if you can secure a mortgage for your future home. If you’re a veteran, you may qualify for a VA loan, which makes the homebuying process easier for service members of all abilities by offering lower interest rates, a waived down payment, and no mortgage insurance premiums. You can learn more about VA loan requirements, rates, and benefits by reading through PennyMac’s comprehensive guide.
If you’re not a vet, you’ll need to check your credit score to determine if you qualify for a mortgage by requesting a credit report. If your score is high, you’ll have a better chance at obtaining a mortgage. If it’s low, MoneyTalksNews advises working to raise it by paying your credit card bills on time, working with your lenders to negotiate outstanding debt, and having the patience for the process.
Do a little research
Becoming knowledgeable about the process of building an accessible home or apartment will help you find the right place for your needs. An accessible design usually involves a single-floor layout where a home is concerned, but also extends to countertops, doorways, and cabinets that are easy to maneuver around, reach, and open. In apartment buildings with more than four units, there are certain requirements builders must follow, including having:
- An accessible building entrance on an accessible route.
- Accessible common and public-use areas.
- Doors that can be used by a person in a wheelchair.
- An accessible route into and through the dwelling unit.
- Light switches, electrical outlets, thermostats, and other environmental controls in accessible locations.
- Reinforced walls in bathrooms for later installation of grab bars.
- Usable kitchens and bathrooms.
When considering a new home, it’s important to keep in mind the number of years you’ll be living there. You may have very different needs in five or ten years, so it will benefit you to look into the future and think about what might change. This will allow you to remain safe and comfortable in your house. Don’t forget to think about appliances that will make life easier. Vacuuming and other chores can be difficult for individuals with disabilities to complete, but the right tools will make all the difference.
Get familiar with building standards
Should you need to make some modifications on your home yourself, it’s a good idea to get familiar with building standards when it comes to accessibility; for instance, doorways need to be at least 36 inches wide for wheelchairs, but that could be a tight fit for some users. Expanding them out to about 42 inches will ensure your safety while allowing you to stay mobile. Many home modifications can be done on a budget, and some are DIY projects that can be handled over the course of a weekend. However, many require a professional contractor, especially where electrical and plumbing work are concerned.
Finding an accessible house doesn’t have to be a stressful undertaking. Write down all the things you know you need, then make another list of features you want. This will help you create a budget and stick to it while you’re house-hunting. Try to stay patient through the process, and before long, you’ll have the home of your dreams.
Guest Article provided by: Patrick Young, firstname.lastname@example.org