How to Find Your Dream Home When Accessibility Is a Must-Have
Developing a list of must-have features is a boon to house hunters, but when that list includes accessibility, things can feel pretty complicated — especially since accessible homes are few and far between. How do you unravel that issue in a market that’s thin at best? Let’s take a look.
First, Tailor Your List
Everyone has their own unique circumstances they bring to the property search, and as Money Under 30 explains, developing your criteria is your first step toward a successful experience. Work on sorting out what details are must-haves and what you could live without. That can feel like a tall order, so start with your ideal home and work backward, honing in on the features that you need every day for your must-haves, then adding those items you would use intermittently, or which are more about convenience than basic comfort.
For those on the hunt for accessibility, this might include things like a one-story house with an open floor plan. If you drive, a home with a large garage on a snow route might be a must-have, and if you don’t drive, a location close to public transportation might take priority. If you prefer not to have a lawn to tend, an apartment might be your dream come true, and you can even include concerns like parking and particular neighborhoods in your search.
Because so few homes of any type are already accessible, it’s often best to expect at least some level of modifications in your future abode. By focusing on your top priorities, you can winnow your list down to a manageable level.
Working with a skilled and dedicated realtor is essential to finding a home that suits your unique needs. Contact The Indy Property Source to speak with a reliable and trustworthy agent who knows the Indianapolis real estate market from top to bottom.
Examine Your Budget
Developing a practical budget is a big step toward making your dream home a reality. It will help you weed out homes beyond your price range and help you decide what you can afford (Indianapolis home sales average $185,000), both in terms of the property itself, initial remodeling, and renovations you might like to complete at a later date. You’ll need to take into account your income and debts, as well as what kind of loan you might qualify for. Keep in mind that if renovations are needed, there are also a number of grants available to those seeking accessibility.
Upgrades and Options
A popular accessibility upgrade is a bathroom renovation. An accessible sink, taller toilet, grab bars, and a threshold-free shower are some popular options, as well as light switches and outlets at a more reasonable height. You can always hire a handyman to complete projects like this, and a bathroom remodel averages $8,851.
Another popular renovation is an accessible entryway. This might include things like a lift, ramp, widened doorway, and foyer that’s free of obstacles and barriers. Prices will vary in accordance with how much alteration is necessary, as well as what your preferences are. For instance, a lift can run anywhere from $3,000 to $15,000, while an aluminum ramp will cost between $100 and $135 per foot installed. Doorways can be widened for a minimal cost with simple offset hinges.
SFGate points out that if you opt for a newer apartment complex, it will likely offer accessible doors, entryways, and walkways. What’s more, if you rent rather than buy, your landlord is required to make reasonable accommodations for you. For instance, if no accessible parking spaces are available, that would be an accommodation you could likely get. On the other hand, elevators and lifts are relatively expensive and therefore not always practical.
Just because there are not a lot of accessible homes available doesn’t mean you have to give up. Develop a practical priorities list, hash out your budget, and contemplate renovations. With research and the right perspective, you can make that dream home your reality!
Contributing Article by: Patrick Young with AbleUSA