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What you need to know about house hunting for an accessible property

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People with disabilities face many challenges, especially when buying a home. If you have recently found yourself in the market, there are a few things you should know about searching for an accessible property. Today, our tips include what to look for, information for first-time buyers, and insight on how to get your first mortgage.

Getting Started

Before you choose a home, you have to choose a location. Some areas, such as the UK, have recently raised accessibility standards, according to Disability Insider. In the United States, many new home builders have begun adapting their plans to universal design. If you are looking for a new construction property, you should have no problem. However, new inventory throughout much of the world remains low, so you may need to buy an existing home.

Features

Not all people with disabilities have the same needs. But, a few things you might consider when house hunting are the number and steepness of stairs. 101 Mobility also lists bathroom upgrades and mobility-friendly pool entry as features that are ideal for people with disabilities. You may also look for a house with wider hallways and a single-story entrance.

How To Get A Mortgage

If you are a first-time homebuyer, you may be completely overwhelmed by the experience. Fortunately, you don’t have to go into it blindly. One of the first things you can do is take a look at current mortgage rates and types of mortgages. Keep in mind that your mortgage rate is determined by your employment, income, credit score, and more. Your lender will also look at how much you have to borrow and what, if any, money you currently have available to use as a down payment. Your mortgage lender may not necessarily be a bank, and there are plenty of lenders that may be willing to work with you, even if you have questionable credit.

Speaking of credit, you should know that a credit score of at least 620 is needed to qualify for a conventional loan in the US; UK lenders can choose their own credit criteria. When you’re looking for a house, it can also help to partner with a great real estate agent who can help you come up with a realistic number. Your agent can also help you get your paperwork organized and may even be able to point you toward a lender that has experience with assistance programs available to people with disabilities.

Dealing With The Stress

There’s no way around it: buying a home is stressful. The mortgage process is especially trying, and, according to the Homie blog, the best way to get around this is to be prepared. Begin by knowing the average cost of homes in your area. You’ll also want to have a list of non-negotiable features. Remember, while there are some modifications that are fairly simple, such as adding a wheelchair ramp; it’s much more difficult to modify the structure of the home for wider hallways or larger bathrooms.

Another great way to mitigate stress is to hire a moving company with plenty of experience moving specialty equipment, if applicable. Ask your friends and family for recommendations, check online reviews, and make sure that you are up to date on the company’s complaint history.

There are more than 1 billion people in the world with visual, hearing, mobility, and intellectual disabilities. As the world becomes more and more aware of the hurdles faced by this huge demographic, the homebuying process may become less complex. However, there are still challenges associated with buying a home. From getting your first mortgage to understanding the features that you can’t be without, it takes time to get yourself ready to buy. The above tips can help reduce the stress of the process.

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