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3 Tips for House Hunting and Moving with a Disability

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3 Tips for House Hunting and Moving with a Disability

House hunting and moving are stressful enough for those who don’t hold physical, mental, or communicative disabilities — but the process is made even more difficult for those who do. From the lack of accessible housing in America to physical impairments that make packing and moving a challenge, house hunting can seem incredibly daunting to those with disabilities — and understandably so. However, these tips from Lynn O’Brien Staged Homes will help to take some of the stress out of house hunting and moving with a disability, so read on. 

Meet Financial Prerequisites

Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or preparing to buy a home for the second or third time, there are financial prerequisites you’ll need to meet before beginning your search for accessible housing. If you’ll be financing your purchase, for instance, you’ll need to take the following actions:

  • Checking your credit score
  • Gathering any documents or paperwork your lender may need
  • Setting a realistic homebuying budget
  • Determining your eligibility for down payment and/or home modification assistance programs
  • Looking for an experienced real estate agent to assist you in finding an accessible home

When buying a house, various home modification assistance programs may be available to you if you’ll need to renovate the property for accessibility purposes. According to The Balance, several grants for qualifying homeowners with disabilities include the Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) Grant, Special Housing Adaptation (SHA) Grant, and Travis Roy Foundation Grant. Financing options may include the 203(k) rehabilitation loan under the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and Fannie Mae’s HomeStyle Renovation Mortgage. 

Look for Accessible or Modifiable Homes

Once you’ve met the financial prerequisites for buying a home, you can work with your real estate agent to search for accessible properties that meet your budget and housing needs. You can use websites like Accessible Properties and Barrier Free Homes to begin your search online, or you can use Redfin’s search filters to look for accessible and/or single-story properties in your desired area. 

If you’re struggling to find a property that’s completely accessible to you or your loved one with disabilities, keep in mind that certain modifications can be made to homes. A few possible modifications include:

  • Replacing stairs with ramps if you or your loved one uses a wheelchair and/or has limited mobility. 
  • Installing a stairlift or elevator in multi-level homes.
  • Eliminating bathroom barriers with step-in showers and tubs, handrails, and non-slip flooring.
  • Ditching door knobs for lever handles or automatic doors. 

Moreover, occupational therapists and residential accessibility consultants can be of service to you as you search for accessible or modifiable homes. Other professionals to enlist the help of may include a Certified Living in Place Specialist or Certified Aging in Place (CAPS) remodeler. 

Get Professional Moving Help

As a house hunter with a disability, professional movers will be invaluable as you pack up your personal belongings, load them into a moving truck, transport them to your new home, and unload them on move-in day. Therefore, it’s important to budget for your professional moving expenses early on — especially if you’ll be purchasing a full-service moving package. 

In addition to budgeting for your moving costs, you’ll need to look for top-rated movers in your area with stellar online reviews. And fortunately, you can begin your search for qualified professional movers using websites like Smooth Movers.  

A Final Word

Moving and house hunting are much more of a challenge if you or another household member has a disability, but the right professionals can help to make the process a whole lot easier. As you begin your search for an accessible home, make sure you have an experienced real estate agent, knowledgeable lender, and top-rated movers by your side. 

Ready to begin your search for an accessible home? Lynn O’Brien of Lynn O’Brien Staged Homes can help: She’s a licensed Real Estate Broker with Keller Williams Sunset Corridor, Military Relocation Professional, and Professional Home Stager. Contact Lynn today to find the accessible home you’ve been waiting for! 

Article submitted by Patrick Young from ableusa.info

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