Finding an accessible home isn’t as simple as it should be, but it certainly isn’t impossible. With help from an experienced real estate team, a checklist of the accessible features you need in your new home, and an understanding of the steps you’ll need to take in order to qualify for a mortgage, you’ll be on your way to finding the right home for you.
Read on for three quick tips on finding and buying an accessible home, presented by Borough Wide Community Network.
1. Understand Home-Buying Requirements
Before beginning your search for accessible homes, it’s important to understand several home-buying requirements and the different steps you’ll need to take to get pre-approved for a mortgage. And while an estate agent with experience in accessible housing can help you to understand this process more clearly, you’ll typically need to do the following.
- Get your financial situation under control. If you’re in debt, you may need to seek financial relief before buying an accessible home — especially if you’re hoping to avoid wage garnishment. Depending on your financial situation, your options may include the following: consolidation loans, debt settlements, debt counseling, or bankruptcy
- Save for a down payment. After managing your debts, you can start saving for a down payment on the purchase of your accessible home. An online calculator can help you to estimate your down payment amount and understand the minimum down payment requirements
- Boost your credit score. In addition to saving for a down payment, you’ll need to work on improving your credit score before buying a home. Experian offers some tips on rebuilding bad credit and improving your credit score as you get ready to buy a home.
- Apply for a mortgage. As you get ready to buy an accessible home, several affordable mortgages may be available. You can use an online mortgage calculator to calculate how large of a loan you can take out based on your income.
- Understand what it means to buy a home “as-is.” If you intend to purchase a home “as-is” from a seller, you need to thoroughly understand what this means beforehand. Essentially, this means that you agree to accept the house the way it stands without any repairs from the seller, which could include things like structural damage, issues with mold and mildew, and problems with the HVAC, among many other things.
2. List Your Must-Haves
Once you’ve taken the time to understand the basic home-buying requirements you’ll need to meet, it’s important to make a list of the specific features you’re looking for in an accessible home. Then, be sure to share this list with your estate agent so he or she can help you to find a home that meets your specific wants and needs. Some examples of must-have accessible features include widened hallways and doorways, grab bars in bathrooms, step-in showers, and lever door handles.
Moreover, keep in mind that many modifications can be made to homes if you can’t find a fully accessible property that checks all your boxes. You could install grab bars where they’re needed, swap out carpeting for hardwood flooring, and replace round door knobs with lever handles. For multi-level homes with stairs, you could even install a stair lift, wheelchair ramp, or stair climber.
3. Look Financial Assistance
After buying a house, chances are you’ll need to make at least a couple of modifications in order to make the home as safe and comfortable as it can possibly be. And fortunately, home modification grants are available to assist homeowners with disabilities — so be sure to explore these options if you need to renovate your home for accessibility purposes.
The Bottom Line
There may be a lack of accessible housing in the UK, but many properties can be modified for accessibility purposes — and grants and financial assistance are available to help you pay for these oftentimes costly renovations. Plus, an experienced estate agent will help you to find an accessible home that meets all or most of your needs — so don’t be afraid to interview several agents until you find one you trust and feel comfortable working with.
For more information please contact