If you or a loved one suffers from a mobility impairment that makes walking, climbing stairs, or standing a challenge, you may be looking for an accessible home that’s move-in ready — or potentially modifiable and can be renovated to meet your needs. In some cases, you may be looking to design and build your own home, especially if you’ve been house hunting for a while and haven’t yet found what you need.
To successfully find accessible housing in your desired area, connect with an agent through McGraw Realtors. One of their agents will be able to guide you through this process and help you zero in on neighborhoods and homes that fit your needs. It’s also important to know what to look for as you begin your search for a new home. For instance, features of accessible homes often include one-level floor plans, pre-built wheelchair ramps, and widened doorways and hallways. For some tips that will help you to find the right home for you and your family, read on!
What to Look for as You Search for Potentially Accessible Homes
According to a 2011 survey that looked at housing data in America, most individuals with mobility impairments found themselves residing in inaccessible homes that made day-to-day life quite challenging. For instance:
- More than 70 percent of houses studied featured standard-sized hallways.
- About 40 percent of houses featured inaccessible kitchens and bathrooms.
- Around 44 percent of people with disabilities lived in houses without stepless entries.
While America’s lack of accessible housing can make house hunting more of a challenge than it would be otherwise, you’ll increase your chances of finding what you need if you begin your search early, focus on newer homes versus older properties and make a list of the features you’ll need most, including those that could be modified later. For example, several must-have features may include widened hallways, doorways, and entryways; hard surface flooring throughout the home; one-level floor plans without stairs or steps; and full accessibility in the bathrooms and kitchen.
If you can’t find a fully accessible home that meets your needs, keep an eye out for potentially modifiable properties that could be renovated for accessibility purposes. In the bathrooms, for example, you could install grab bars near the toilets and bathtub and install a stair glide or elevator if the home features multiple levels.
And obviously, as you begin this journey, knowing your exact budget, taking the market temperature and finding out the average cost of homes in the area where you hope to live will give you a starting point. For example, the average cost of homes in Tulsa over the last month was $191,000, and it’s a very competitive market, with most homes getting multiple offers.
How Hardwood Flooring Can Make Homes More Accessible
In addition to modifying your stairs, bathrooms, kitchen, and any other rooms in your house, replacing carpeting with hardwood flooring can make nearly any home more accessible to household members with mobility impairments.
Several notable benefits of replacing carpeting with hardwood include:
- Easier navigation throughout the home, especially for wheelchair users.
- Less maintenance and easier cleaning.
- Increased home value and a more attractive appearance.
Before replacing your carpeting with hardwood, take the time to carefully consider your options and compare the prices of different flooring materials, as installation fees vary widely depending on the type of hardwood material you choose.
The Bottom Line
Finding a home that’s fully accessible isn’t always easy, but these tips will help you to narrow your search and weed out unsuitable houses that cannot be modified to meet your needs. By keeping these tips in mind as you search for potentially accessible homes, you’ll find your dream house much more quickly — and you’ll save yourself some time and added stress!
Written by: Patrick Young