How to Find and Modify an Accessible Home
Are you looking for an accessible home? Between choosing a location, building a budget, navigating the mortgage application process, and touring properties, house-hunting is hard enough as it is. Throw a disability into the mix and it can take ages to find the perfect home for your needs. You can save a lot of time and frustration by looking for a home with a few essential features and making custom modifications yourself.
It’s also worthwhile to work with a local real estate team like Beachfront Properties. A great realtor will help you find a home in your area that most closely aligns with your accessibility needs. Here are some other tips to help you find — and modify — the home of your dreams.
Be Prepared to Make Modifications
According to Apartment List, the U.S. is home to over 15.2 million households with a physical disability, but only 6.6 million accessible homes. There’s a chance that you won’t be able to find the perfect accessible home to meet your needs — and that’s okay! As long as you find a home that fulfills your fundamental requirements, you can make modifications to better suit your needs and preferences.
Planning for common home modifications will ensure you leave enough room in your home buying budget (the median price for homes selling in Delray Beach is around $268,000) to cover these upgrades after your big purchase. For example, you might want to replace stairs with wheelchair ramps, install handrails, swap door knobs with lever-style handles, and lower light switches and outlets. Larger renovation projects may involve removing walls, widening doorways, and entire bathroom or kitchen conversions.
Plan for a Ramp
Adding an entrance ramp might be the only major modification you need to make to your new home. While you’re house hunting, look for homes that would accommodate this update, and remember to check local building codes before breaking ground. As Lowes explains, you will also need to consider space limitations that will affect your ramp design. You may have to design your ramp around trees, walkways, buildings, and other obstacles.
Look for Abundant Natural Light
Natural light is one of the most overlooked features that can make homes more accessible. Well-lit homes are easier and safer to navigate and can be especially useful for people with vision impairments. Beyond this, natural light is essential for your mental health and physical well-being if you spend a lot of time indoors. Enlarging your windows or adding skylights can be costly, so try to find a home that already has plenty of natural light.
Sick to Wheelchair-Friendly Areas
Another important thing to consider is the accessibility of the surrounding area. Make sure the home’s outdoor space will accommodate the activities you enjoy, such as gardening or sunbathing. Evaluate the sidewalks around the home, checking that they’re wide enough, feature functional curb ramps, and free from potential hazards like cracks or roots growing out of the concrete. Remember to research the safety of the neighborhood — this is also something your real estate agent can help you with.
If you have a disability, finding an accommodating home can take some time. Be prepared to look at several homes before you come across one that will meet your needs. And remember to budget for accessibility modifications! Updating your new home with the features that matter to you is the best way to achieve the home of your dreams.
Ready to find your perfect property in Delray Beach or Boca Raton? Contact Beachfront Properties today! Visit the website and send a message to get in touch.