Main Content

What to Look For When House Hunting With a Disability

Trying to buy a house is a seriously complicated process. There’s so much red tape to go through, inspections to schedule, buyers to beat out; and that’s assuming you even find a house you’re interested in. It’s enough to make anyone feel frazzled, which is why it’s crucial that you connect with a top real estate agent like Mary Pong to assist you with all your Seattle real estate goals.

Those with disabilities can have an even harder time searching. When you have more requirements than other buyers on the market, your pool gets narrower and your competition more fierce. Here’s a look at how to find an accessible home, as well as some things to keep in mind as you start your search:

Consider All Your Options

Before you dive full-tilt into your house search, take a step back and consider all of your options. If you’re a senior who has a difficult time caring for yourself alone, Verywell Health points out that it may make sense to consider an assisted living facility. This move can be particularly beneficial if you have any kind of degenerative issue – a home you buy today might work now, but it could become too difficult to navigate at some point down the road.

Many people think that moving into assisted living means giving up all independence, but that’s simply not the case. Most facilities offer as much freedom and independence as any given resident wants and can manage. The best part is that as you need more help, you’ll have it on hand. Your level of care can grow with you, so you don’t have to worry about what your needs will be down the line. However, not all facilities offer the same amenities, and costs vary widely (assisted living in Washington averages $4,625 per month). Be sure to schedule a tour to find the right fit.

Focus On Budget

If you have someone with you to help, or are comfortable living on your own, your next step is to nail down financing for your new home. If you are selling a home you’ve already paid the mortgage for, this might be a relatively simple process. Selling your current home means you could pay cash, which makes you a tempting deal for sellers.

If you need to get a loan, reach out to your preferred lender to see what you qualify for. There’s no sense in looking until you have a firm idea of what you can and cannot afford. Keep in mind that if a house isn’t already accessible, you’ll want to budget for any changes you intend to make. Otherwise, you might wind up falling for something that your budget won’t accommodate. You’ll either wind up heartbroken, or make a financial decision you can’t back up in the long run. Keep in mind that Seattle homes have a median sale price of $760,000.

Avoid Perfectionism

Although there are some basic home features you may want to put on your must-have list, such as a single level, it’s best to find flexibility where you can. Remember, there are always upgrades and renovations you can make to get a home where you need it to be. For example, plumbing can be rerouted to make a bathroom more accessible. You can have electrical wiring added if you need doors to open automatically. If the HVAC system isn’t spectacular, you can have it redone to save cash on heating and cooling.

Even small DIY changes can make a big difference when it comes to accessibility. For example, you can install grab bars in tricky places such as the bathroom to reduce the risk of slipping and falling. Door Knobs can be replaced with levers, which can be easier to manipulate. South Coast Today points out that there are a number of simple accessibility upgrades you can do on your own or have done at a minimal cost. Keep these things in mind when considering houses, and resist the urge to pass on something that isn’t already perfect.

Buying a house is never simple, but don’t let your home buying needs overwhelm you. Keep your priorities in order, stay patient, and remember to be flexible where you can. There are plenty of homes out there; you’ll find the right one in no time!