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Try These Tips to Find (or Renovate) the Accessible Home of Your Dreams

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Finding the perfect home isn’t always easy, and it’s even tougher when you have a specific list of must-haves for your new place. At the same time, there’s no compromising on accessibility features if you or a family member has a disability. Whether you’re looking for a brand-new home or hoping for a fixer-upper, here are the tips you need for finding the accessible home of your dreams.

Look for More Affordable Properties to Renovate

Purchasing a cheaper home is the number one way to make more room in your budget for modifications. An as-is property can be an excellent deal, especially if you have cash set aside for renovations to make it more accessible. Improvements to make a home accessible can cost anywhere from a few hundred to over thousands of dollars.

Still, buying a house in its current state – with no repairs in the contract – means taking a gamble. It’s wise to consult a lawyer and order an inspection so you know what you’re up against. Examining land records is also a smart step so that you don’t encounter any surprises post-purchase.

Prioritize the Features That Are Must-Haves

Think about which features are must-haves and which ones are ‘nice to have’ – perhaps changes you can make later as your budget permits. For example, the front steps may be treacherous for someone who uses a wheelchair, but a ramp can serve as a temporary solution while you engineer (or finance) an alternative.

A user-friendly security door can also offer a high return on investment in your newly purchased property and boost accessibility. A motorized lock can allow you to unlock the front door via your smartphone, meaning no more scrambling for your keys on the front stoop. Planning for these improvements over time may help pad your budget while shopping for a new home.

Seek Auxiliary Funding for Repairs

Depending on where you live and what adaptations your new property requires, you may qualify for government funding or grants. As the Money Advice Service highlights, if you live in the UK, you could receive a grant or even tax relief for the cost of renovations.

Some programs require health assessments before the release of funds, but the assistance may prove invaluable for your accessibility project. Amounts range from £1,000 to over £30,000, and you won’t know what you qualify for until you apply.

Look for “Inclusive,” Not “Accessible,” Features

“Accessibility” might seem like the keyword when house hunting for property that is inclusive of folks with disabilities. But in many cases, you can find properties that suit your needs without any labels attached.

For example, universal design homes often incorporate features that are “universal” to all people, not only those who do not have a disability. In addition, some features – such as zero-drop entryways and pocket doors – are handy for people with mobility or other challenges. However, they may not be listed as “accessible” features so don’t overlook these small details while property hunting.

Single-level homes are often friendlier to individuals with disabilities as well. In the US, homes are nearly split with 47 percent being single-story and the remainder two-story (or more). In the UK, however, semi-detached houses – typically two-story – are more common, notes Statista.

Where you’re house shopping – down to the neighborhood and metro – can also affect how accessible the homes are. From level lots to adequate space for wheelchairs, there are many items to look for on your home buying checklist, but not all are “accessibility” features.

No matter what type of home you settle on, know that it may need substantial repairs or renovations to suit your disability-related needs. And once you purchase property, remember to add an upgrade to your front door mechanism to your list of must-haves. Get in touch with Fort Doors London for help with ensuring your home’s protection and accessibility with a strong and safe entry door.


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122 Fulham Rd. Chelsea,
London. SW3 6HU

tel 020 3439 4746