House Hunting 101 for People With Accessibility Needs

House Hunting 101 for People With Accessibility Needs

Finding accessible housing can be a challenge, but the good news is that while it’s not an overnight process, there are many options available to you in the hunt for affordable yet accessible housing. This guide offers advice on the many possibilities.

Write down your accessibility needs.

Knowing what you are looking for in advance is important. Take the time to think about what you need from a space to function independently day-to-day. For example, if you currently use a walking cane, is there a chance you will need a walker or wheelchair down the line? If you use a wheelchair now or in the future, you may need ramps to get upstairs, plus wheelchair-accessible toilets and showers.

Determine your budget.

In addition to knowing what features to look for in a property, it's also helpful to have an idea of how much you can afford to pay. If you plan to take out a mortgage, keep in mind that you will have to make a down payment. Experts generally recommend a down payment of at least 20% to get a better interest rate. You can also look into government financing for accessible housing.

Consider working with a realtor.

Scouring the housing market yourself can be stressful, especially when you have strict requirements in terms of what you're looking for and your budget. Working with a dedicated and experienced realtor can ease the burden. There are many advantages to working with a real estate agent. They can help you get a better price, for example, and they have a professional network to tap into.

Make modifications to an existing home.

If you buy a home that doesn't fully meet your accessibility needs, you can make modifications to it. The exact renovations will depend on your unique needs. For seniors, these tips for independent living are a great starting point. For example, you might install high-quality grab bars by the toilet or add a walk-in shower with a seat so there's no need to climb over a high tub ledge.

If you've ended up with a property that is smaller than you'd hoped for, you can even make changes to expand your space. For example, a single-story house extension gives you more practical and usable space. With these larger renovations, you have the advantage of being able to give input on the design. You can prioritize open spaces, which are easier to get around in, if you need a mobility aid.

Working from home and need a dedicate home office? Take some basic safety precautions such as securing carpets and removing fall hazards such as electrical cords.

Keyless locks can also ensure you can easily enter and exit your home, as you can unlock your door by using a special remote or your smartphone. Search “best locksmith near me” and reach out to locksmiths in your area to see if they have experience installing keyless locks. Be sure to look over reviews and feedback from past customers of local locksmiths.

Be patient: your dream property is out there.

The US is facing an accessible housing crisis. As our guide explains, however, you can still find ways to score your perfect property. It simply requires a bit of innovation and patience. Give it time and you're sure to reach your dream of finding an accessible home that suits your needs.

This blog post was written by Sharon Wagner, taken with permission. Sharon uses her site,, to offer advice geared specifically toward seniors to help them make healthier choices and enjoy their golden years.