Key Questions to Ask When Searching for an Accessible Home

person in wheelchair in kitchen

person in wheelchair in kitchen

Buying a home can be a complex and time-consuming process. If you need that home to include certain accessibility features to accommodate a disability, the process can be even more of a challenge. With demand increasing, you should be able to work with your real estate agent to find a new home, but asking these important questions can also help you find the features that matter most when it comes to accessibility:

Can You Safely & Easily Move Around on Flooring?

When it comes to finding an accessible home, it may help to start your search from the bottom up. More specifically, if your disabilities make it more difficult for you to walk or if you use a wheelchair, consider homes without carpet.

You could always leave room in your budget to have hardwood floors installed, which should make it much easier to move around with wheelchairs or walkers. Hardwood floors are also easier to keep clean and can drive up your home value, but the price for this project can vary, depending on a few key elements.

If you need heavy furniture moved or if you need subfloor repairs to be completed, you may need to budget more for the project. Another thing to consider is which type of material will be used for your new floors. Bamboo and pine tend to be more budget-friendly, while more exotic or engineered hardwood floors tend to have higher price tags.

Per HomeAdvisor, a low-end hardwood flooring project can cost as little as $1,000, while more extensive remodels can run closer to $11,000. It’s easy to see how important it is to get quotes and compare prices, so you can find the best contractor and flooring options for your budget.

Can You Comfortably Work & Move Around The Kitchen?

Kitchens can be major selling points when it comes to potential homes, and that should be no different when you are looking for accessible homes. What you look for in those kitchens, however, can vary considerably.

What makes a kitchen accessible can be subjective, depending on the type(s) of disability you have and what your daily needs may be. For example, if you are living with a visual impairment, then having brighter and more even lighting around your kitchen can make it much easier to access food and prepare meals during your daily routine. Ensuring that pantries and cabinet shelves will be within reach can also make cooking and preparing meals more convenient for those who have visual impairments, but lower counters and cabinets can also improve kitchen accessibility for those who use wheelchairs.

In addition to lower counters, you should also look for things like touch-controlled faucets or looped drawer pulls, although the latter is a simple and inexpensive project to complete. You can find budget-friendly hardware at many online and retail stores, including more accessible pulls.

Can You Avoid Falls & Other Injuries in The Bathrooms?

Like kitchens, bathrooms can be critical when it comes to buying a new home. That may be because we spend so much of our time relaxing and getting ready in bathrooms, or it could be because bathroom remodels can be pretty pricey. According to NerdWallet, most homeowners spend around $5,500 to have their bathroom remodeled, so you may want to look for a home with bathrooms that will fit your needs from the start, or at least be appropriate for inexpensive upgrades.

If you’re not sure what you should be looking for when it comes to these all-important rooms, it may help to know that many at-home falls occur in the bathroom. There are several simple changes you can make to improve the safety and accessibility in your new bathrooms, including adding grab bars and non-slip adhesives. Other features that will keep you safe and make your life easier include options like non-slip flooring or an accessible shower.

Finding your dream home doesn’t have to be frustrating. If you are looking for accessible homes, start by searching for features like hardwood flooring and bathroom accessibility. But also look into the costs to modify a home to fit your specific needs. With these strategies, you’ll be well-prepared to find your perfect new home.

– by Patrick Young

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