5 Tips for Finding Your Ideal Accessible Home

5 Tips for Finding Your Ideal Accessible Home


The U.S. Census estimates that 20% of Americans have a disability that could impact daily activities such as walking, climbing and seeing. Despite this, only a small minority of homes have purpose-made accommodations to improve accessibility.

The Coffey Group is dedicated to helping you find the right home to meet your dreams. Contact us for trustworthy expertise in pursuing your homeownership goals.

If you are shopping for a property and need some accessibility accommodations, the following five tips will help you with your search process.

1) Start With a List of Must-Haves

Whenever you shop for a home, it is a good idea to create a priority list of must-haves and nice-to-haves. Naturally, this extends to accessibility accommodations. The chances are that there are some essentials. For example, if you use a wheelchair, you must have a zero-step entrance and sufficiently wide doors. Other features may be just helpful such as door handles rather than knobs. The following are some examples of accommodations:

  • Assigned or off-street parking

  • Ground-floor access

  • Wider doorways and halls

  • Grab handles in the bathrooms

  • No steps between rooms

2) Work With a Real Estate Agent That Understands Your Needs

Searching for a home is a complex process, no matter what your requirements are. It is always helpful to have someone in your corner who understands your needs. To help with your search, find a real estate agent like Brandy Coffey who knows the area and has experience working with home buyers that require accessibility accommodations.

3) Remember That Homes Can Be Modified

Unfortunately, HUD User reports only about 1% of homes in the U.S. are fully wheelchair accessible. The prevalence of other accommodations varies. However, the adoption of accessible design leaves a lot to be desired. In other words, you may need to consider modification rather than buying a home that is ready for you right away.

Some accommodations may be possible through renovations. Ramps are typically simple to add, for instance, as are offset hinges. To be cost effective, some priority features may need to be built into the home already. You can sometimes receive grants to help pay for your modifications, but much of the time, you’ll need to come up with the funds yourself.

4) Make Sure You Are Ready Financially

Financing is a big part of the home buying process. Before you start shopping for a home, it is a good idea to speak with a lender and get prequalified for a loan. Keep in mind that many loan types only cover the cost of the home, not any renovations. It is a good idea to discuss your plan and options with the lender before you make an offer.

If you have less-than-ideal credit, spend some time improving it. Explore options for financial relief that can help with your current debt load. In some cases, people with disabilities may have special protections and options for dealing with debt. You may also be able to seek a settlement with your current lenders. This can get you started on improving your credit and saving for a down payment.

5) Create a Plan and Budget Before Making an Offer

You will have the best home buying experience if you go into the process with a good plan. Create a clear budget beforehand that includes any modifications you may need to make. As mentioned above, you should make sure that this budget is realistic for the amount that you can likely borrow. Lenders may have some special programs and assistance for persons with disabilities.

Additionally, know what you can modify and what you can’t. Speaking with a disability renovation specialist will help you to create a plan for which homes you can buy and modify.

Start Your Accessible Home Search Today

Get started on your search for an accessible home today. With the right help and a little planning, you can set yourself on the path to finding your perfect home.

Article By: Patrick Young

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