If you are in need of accessible housing and having trouble finding a suitable home on the market, you aren’t alone. Research reveals that there are some 11.6 million people living with disabilities in the United Kingdom, with 1.8 million of these individuals facing unmet housing needs. The situation isn’t much better in the United States, where people with disabilities often struggle to find affordable housing.
Don’t despair. There are resources available to help you find your dream home, including real estate professionals dedicated to helping clients from all walks of life find their perfect piece of real estate. You can also explore some less conventional routes when it comes to securing a property. Here are three options worth considering.
Look for accessible housing already on the market
Before you start scouring the market, make a list of your accessibility needs. For example, if you’re in a wheelchair, Design Sponge notes you’re probably on the hunt for a single-level house with doorways and hallways wide enough to accommodate your mobility device. You could also benefit from ramps and rails, as well as a roll-in shower with a seat. Finally, sink and counter height (in kitchens and bathrooms) should be adapted to your chair’s height.
While you can use tools like Zillow to look for a property yourself, working with a realtor is advisable when searching for accessible housing. A professional will save you the time and headache of sifting through online portals. Simply give them a list of your requirements, and they will get back to you with fitting properties. Realtors also have valuable professional networks and insider knowledge. In some cases, they can show you properties before they even come on the general market, increasing your odds of securing a deal.
Renovate a property to make it accessible
If you are struggling to find a suitable property on the market, even with the help of a real estate professional, consider buying a house and then renovating it to suit your accessibility needs. This approach offers a few advantages. First, it gives you more options because you aren’t limited by accessibility requirements. Second, you can create a house that is tailored to your requirements. Finally, by widening your options, you may be able to find a cheaper property.
The funds you save can then be diverted to accessibility renovations. This is critical, as remodelling for disability accommodation isn’t cheap. In the U.S., Improvement says the average cost of such renovations totals $5,233. The extent of renovations needed depends on your preferences. For example, a kitchen can be made wheelchair accessible by lowering countertops and moving appliances like microwaves down to chair level.
Buy a home “as is” to get an affordable rate
Buying a home isn’t cheap. The average UK property is valued at £231,855, while the average U.S. house price is $284,600. If you’re looking to save on your property purchase so you can spend more on renovations, you might buy a house “as is.” This means that you will accept the house in its current condition. While as-is homes tend to be cheaper, they come with added risks. You can’t require the seller to make repairs, even in case of major defects, for example.
There are steps you can take to protect your investment if you buy a home as-is. First, consult an attorney and perform a title search. You should also examine the land records for possible red flags. For example, if the area is prone to flooding, the land records may indicate this. Have a lawyer draw up a contract that includes a provision allowing for a full home inspection and giving you the option to cancel the contract if issues appear.
Don’t let the details of property buying overwhelm you. Finding a new home should be fun, not stressful. With the assistance of experienced professionals, you can find your perfect home without the hassle.
By Patrick Young
Photo Credit: Pixabay.com
Here at Kamani Property Group our renovation projects and newbuilds comply with disability regulations. For example, our current residential renovation project Gramercy House, comprises of 10 apartments in Manchester city centre, it has 20% DDA accessible units and all doorways are wheelchair accessible.