By Patrick Young
If you’re about to start searching for an accessible home, you might be wondering if you’ll ever be able to find the kind of property you need. Unfortunately, most houses are not built to be accessible for people with disabilities, and you may worry that your options will be limited. But if you do extensive research and prepare to invest in renovations, you’ll have an easier time finding your new home! These tips will guide you as you set a budget, apply for a mortgage, and start planning to modify your property.
Connect With a Real Estate Agent
Buying an accessible home can be challenging, which is why it’s so important to work with a real estate agent with an in-depth understanding of the local market and your personal needs. For example, when you choose to work with the Victoria Ranck Group, you can rest assured that your agent will conduct extensive market research and evaluate countless listings to help you find an accessible home.
With a knowledgeable real estate agent by your side and a positive attitude, you’ll be getting ready to put an offer down before you know it!
Outline Your Budget
Before you start househunting, you’ll need to determine how much you can spend on your down payment and future mortgage payments. Money explains that when you consider how much you can spend, finding the right balance is best for your bank account. While putting 50% of your post-tax income toward a mortgage may be doable, a more ideal number is 30%, which can give you some substantial breathing room. As you budget, include some wiggle room for potential renovations – chances are, you’ll need to hire contractors to make changes to certain rooms for accessibility. And you can’t forget to factor closing costs into your budget!
Once you’ve written up a general budget, it’s time to start looking up home prices in the areas where you might be interested in living. Look up properties that suit your requirements, and start crunching numbers to figure out which neighborhoods where you can afford to buy.
Determine Financing Options
Home buyers with disabilities have access to a variety of financing options. For example, the Fannie Mae HomeChoice program evaluates buyers with disabilities with less strict income criteria than other loan programs, and they can also help you secure lower monthly mortgage payments. Depending on your circumstances, you may also be eligible for assistance through a Section 8 voucher program or Habitat for Humanity.
Having a disability does not mean that your dream home is out of reach. It’s entirely possible to find a comfortable home that requires only minimal modifications
If you’re a first-time home buyer, you could probably qualify for an FHA loan. With a PennyMac FHA loan, you’ll be allowed to put less money down, and having a short credit history won’t impede you from purchasing a home. Spend some time going over these different programs to decide which is right for you. You may want to meet with a financial advisor for additional guidance.
Once you’ve connected with a real estate agent, it’s time to start narrowing down your search and eliminating properties that don’t have the features you need. For instance, you’re better off looking at single-story homes with open floor plans, hardwood floors, and wide hallways, which will make it easier to move around with a mobility aid.
While you may want to attend open houses if the opportunity arises, it might be easier for you to schedule private viewings. That way, you’ll have plenty of chances to ask all of your questions and check out every room of the home without being interrupted.
Prepare for Modifications
Once you’ve had an offer on a home accepted, it’s time to move forward with the necessary modifications. Whether you need to renovate your bathroom with a wider shower, install a ramp for your entrance, or design an accessible kitchen with additional space under the countertops, you’ll need to hire contractors. PBS recommends getting at least three bids from different contractors to compare prices and make a financially-savvy decision.
Having a disability does not mean that your dream home is out of reach. It’s entirely possible to find a comfortable home that requires only minimal modifications. With a knowledgeable real estate agent by your side and a positive attitude, you’ll be getting ready to put an offer down before you know it!
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