Steps to Find the Accessible Home of your Dreams

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Real Estate

4 Steps for Finding the Accessible Home of Your Dreams

Guest Article Written By Patrick Young of Able USA

Finding a dream home that’s also accessible might seem impossible, but you sometimes just have to get creative in your house-hunting endeavours. Many houses would make great accessible homes with a few minor fixes, while others may require a major overhaul. No matter what you choose, it’s important to understand your financing options before taking the leap. Below, learn what steps you should take to find a home that’s perfect for your needs.

Decide What Makes a Home Accessible for You
Accessibility means something different for everyone. Before searching for homes, make a list of the features that you need to have for accessibility. A house-hunting wish list can help you identify what you truly want in a home to suit your needs.
Many people living with mobility issues find that hardwood floors are a must-have feature, both for aesthetics and function. However, ceramic, laminate, and other hard materials are often great choices as well.
Open-concept kitchens and spacious bedrooms are other features that might suit your needs. A bathroom with a walk-in shower and water-resistance throughout the whole room, sometimes referred to as a wet bath, is another great feature. However, these rooms are harder to find in existing homes.
While it’s important to know what you want, you should also know which features simply won’t work for you. For example, a house located in a rural area away from necessary services might be a no-go. A home with difficult terrain in the lawn might be a challenge too if it would keep you from enjoying the outdoors at home. And don’t forget that other home-buying deal-breakers still apply when you’re looking for an accessible house.

Learn the Simple Renovations that Can Make a Home Perfect
Even though some accessibility features are harder to come by, having a wish list will help you identify which repairs or renovations you’re willing to make. Many renovations are surprisingly simple and can turn a decent home into the perfect place to accommodate your needs.
For example, putting in better door knobs or hinges is an inexpensive way to make doorways more accessible. Switching to lever-style faucet handles and rocker-style light switches may also help. Adding grab bars to strategic places in the bathroom will make the home safer and more accessible as well.
While you’ll need to spend a little money on each of these improvements, they are all relatively inexpensive projects. Minor improvements like these can make a big difference in a home’s accessibility.

Think About Major Renovations
Sometimes, a quick fix won’t be enough to make a home perfect. In such cases, you may need to expand your search to include homes that need major renovations. Swapping out the flooring, remodeling the bathroom, and lowering the kitchen counters can make a home truly accessible.
As you might expect, these projects are expensive, and if you do more than one renovation, the costs can really add up. For example, according to Fixr, the cost of putting in a curbless shower or bath alone is about $6,000.

Have a Sound Budget
Even though many renovations are expensive, they sometimes have to be made. It’s a good idea to know how much each project will cost so you can factor it into your house-buying budget.
Luckily, you can often get a loan to cover renovations when you apply for financing on your new home. Depending on the reason for your renovations, you may even be able to deduct some of your expenses at tax time.
When setting a budget, it also helps to study local market trends so you know what a fair asking price is for the homes you’re considering. Knowing what homes go for will help you negotiate with sellers and get a fair deal. In West Chester, homes have been fetching an average of $265,000 over the last month. 
Most home buyers have a hard time finding a move-in-ready home that’s already perfect as-is. But it can be even more challenging when you can’t compromise on accessibility features. Getting creative with renovations and knowing how to work remodels into your budget will help you create the perfect home.