“Moving always requires a great deal of research. After all, you don’t want to jump into a new
home or town blindly, and each real estate purchase transaction is different. When you are
searching for a home to accommodate a disability, there are even more factors to consider.
Here are some quick tips to guide you through the process.
Learn about your new town.
One of the most important things you can do if you’re moving is to learn about your new
hometown. You’ll want to know (among other things) proximity to services, medical complexes,
and disability organizations that serve your specific needs.
You’ll want to research the local housing market, as well. Before doing so, determine your
budget. Utilize a home affordability calculator to figure out how much you can spend on monthly
Don’t forget to look closely at the job market, too. The Job Network notes that pharmaceutical
sales, accounting, counseling, consulting, and IT support are among the best jobs for people
with disabilities. Make sure your new hometown has plenty of these jobs available or there are
ample opportunities within your current industry.
Find an experienced estate agent.
When you’ve done your research, and you are sure about your potential new area, it’s time to
find a local estate agent. Choosing someone who’s lived in the area for 10 or more years is the
best way to ensure they are familiar with everything the city has to offer.
Auction.com contributor Joel Cone suggests interviewing your prospective agents. You’ll also
want to ask them for referrals and what, if any, experience they have helping people with
disabilities find a home. You may also need to hire an interior designer, gardening landscaper,
or other professional to make your new home ready for you.
Understand financing options.
If you’ve never bought property before, you will also need to familiarize yourself with the
financing process. Financing your home means taking out a large loan. You’ll need to know your
credit score and have all of your paperwork in hand for your mortgage lender.
It’s also a good idea for first-time buyers to shop around for the best mortgage rates and
determine how much they’re able to pay monthly. Consult with your lender further to see if there
are special programs available to persons with disabilities that can lower your monthly payment. The type and amount of loan you qualify will depend on many factors, including your income
and down payment.
Outline your needs.
When it comes time to determine your needs, start with the obvious first. If you are in a
wheelchair or have mobility issues, consider a universal design home — one-story and already
styled to allow for free movement throughout.
You will also want to budget for any additional expenses you incur to ensure your new home
meets your current and future needs. When budgeting for this, don’t forget to include the
expenses of a moving company, particularly if you have specialized equipment. Check reviews
to ensure your movers will handle your belongings with care.
Evaluate renovation potential.
Finally, if you can’t find a property that meets all of your needs — and very few people can — at
the very least, evaluate your favorite’s renovation potential. This is another area to budget
closely as even small renovations, such as widening a door, can add up quickly, so you may
need to reevaluate your budget and regroup when more properties are available.
At the end of this process, your goal is to be in a home that you can afford and that will
accommodate your family’s needs. Don’t rush into buying blindly, and do your research before
you set out on your home search. Remember: Your estate agent is your greatest ally, but
affordability determines what you buy.”
Don Lewis: After his son got into an accident and was left differently-abled, Don knew that his life would change. The incident has opened his mind to the hardships of those differently-abled and because of this, he made it his mission to advocate for and spread awareness about those differently-abled.