01 Apr Top Tips for Finding an Accessible Abode- Article by Patrick Young
Diving into the housing market can be pretty overwhelming, and when accessibility is part of the puzzle, it can be even more of a conundrum. You want a home that is priced right, comfortable, and will make you feel welcome. Here’s how to ensure you make the perfect match.
Evaluate Your Essentials
Accessible homes are few and far between. As Forbes points out, many people with mobility concerns are designing and building their own homes to meet their unique requirements. There are many pros and cons involved with building a home, with the biggest advantage being the ability to tailor the construction to your specifications. For people who require accessibility, though, that’s not always a feasible option. It can be a long-term project, not to mention a costly one.
Another way into an accessible home is to choose one with some of your personal priorities intact, then renovate it to meet your needs. A property with good bones — such as single-story living and an open floor plan — might lend itself well to a handful of inexpensive changes.
For instance, adding an accessible garage equates to a zero-step entryway, coming and going out of the elements, and storage for your vehicle — all in one fell swoop. And the cost for building an attached garage averages $49 per square foot — a tremendous savings per square foot over constructing an entire home.
Of course, you need to buy the house as well. To give you a ballpark idea, the average home in Santa Maria sold for $410,000 last month. There are plenty of homes on the market, so it becomes a matter of finding the property most accommodating and most easily tweaked. To ease house hunting, you can even take along a checklist for evaluations.
Small But Mighty Changes
If you find a home with a great structure or that meets the bulk of your needs, don’t rule out inexpensive alterations to increase your independence. When it comes to home accessibility, Family Handyman explains that the smallest changes can often pack the biggest wallop. For instance, installing grab bars, some offset hinges, a ramp, and new door handles can completely change how comfortable a home is.
Building or renovating a home isn’t for everyone. It’s important to consider what your personal priorities might be, as they might lead you in another direction entirely. Older adults, in particular, might be more interested in alternative arrangements, such as assisted living.
Assisted living communities are ideal for seniors who need an accessible environment coupled with help with daily tasks, like dressing, grooming, and getting in and out of vehicles.
Facilities come in a wide range of options. People can enjoy meandering through gardens, access to fitness centers, and even pet ownership. Keep in mind that since facility types, amenities, and prices vary widely, you should be sure to visit before you settle on one.
Flexibility for Your Future
Another choice not to be ignored is renting an apartment. There is something to be said for a landlord tending the day-to-day maintenance involved with owning a property, and it’s usually a particularly budget-friendly choice. What’s more, NerdWallet points out renting is a flexible option. If you change jobs or just change your mind, you just have to ride out your lease and then move on. Remember that homebuyers typically end up with an inspection as part of the purchase process. Renters can hire a pro to perform an inspection as well, which can provide the peace of mind that you’re getting a home that is everything you want and require.
Finding a comfortable place to live is a huge deal. When you need accessibility, sort your priorities carefully to reach the right solution. With just a little thinking and planning, you can be in your accessible abode in no time.