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Tips for Finding (or Making) the Perfect Accessible Home

Accessible house hunting man using wheelchair on street and stopping near stairs without rampAs exciting as it is, house hunting is always a challenge. When you have a physical disability, finding a home that is accessible and suits your needs can seem next to impossible. However, whether you’re looking to buy or rent, there are houses and apartments available on the market that are either wheelchair-ready or that show potential for modifications. You just have to know where to look, and need to be able to consider the time, energy, and costs of making the home into what you need. To get you started, we have a few helpful tips for finding an accessible (or potentially accessible) home.

Check Accessibility When Searching Online

As with many things, the internet is a good place to start your search for that perfect accessible home. There are a number of websites that can assist your hunt through advanced searches. For instance, MyNewPlace.com, Apartments.com, and Rentals.com all offer an option to narrow your search to homes with disability access. Scouring a variety of websites like these is the quickest and most practical way to see the options for accessible homes in your desired location, whether in Sequim or beyond.

Consider Modifications to Make the Home Accessible

The whole point of home modifications is to make your home accessible to you. That is, you need to be able to enter/exit your home, move around your home, and perform daily tasks safely and comfortably. This is something you should think about when selecting your new abode. If the home is not already accessible, you need to make sure it can be modified. Also, it can make things easier if it’s a single-floor layout. If you use a wheelchair or other type of mobility aid, there are several staple modifications that you should consider for your home:

  • Zero-step entrances, or ramps, are installed over any steps inside or outside of your home. These allow for you to enter and exit easily, as well as travel freely inside the home.
  • Widening your doorways is usually necessary for the use of mobility aids, but a less-laborious alternative is to install expandable hinges on your Accessible bathroom handle in tubdoors.
  • Removing any loose carpet/rugs and installing slip-resistant flooring is also essential for safe maneuvering with or without a mobility aid. Safe, affordable flooring options include low-pile carpet, linoleum, vinyl, and non-slip mats.
  • Lowering your light switches, cabinets, sinks, and kitchen appliances can help you perform everyday tasks more easily.
  • Bathroom modifications, like lowering your medicine cabinet and installing grab bars by the toilet and shower, are most often necessary.

Think About Accessibility During the Move

Along with searching for your home and factoring in any modifications that need to be made, you also need to consider the moving process itself. It gets stressful. Even if you opt to do it yourself or call on the help of a few friends, it takes a lot of time, gasoline, and sweat equity. Therefore, you should take that into account when considering the location of your new home.

making your home more accessible, woman in wheelchair at the at home in her living roomIf you’re a pet owner, it can be difficult to give them the care and attention you normally would amid the work and stress. That’s when something like an automatic dog feeder comes in handy, which can feed your dog twice a day either by gravity or electronic programming. If your budget allows for it, hiring a moving company could be the best way to minimize stress and ensure a smooth moving process.

When you’re hunting for an accessible home, be sure to take advantage of the numerous websites that can narrow your search for homes in your area. Think about everyday tasks, and if the home you’re considering isn’t wheelchair-ready, be sure it can be modified to fit your needs. Finally, consider the moving process when you choose your new home, and don’t rule out hiring professionals to help.

The professional team at Schwab Realty want to make your big move as smooth as possible. Contact our friendly, knowledgeable Sequim Real Estate Agents today. Your dream of owning a piece of Sequim’s real estate is only a few clicks away!

Blog written by Patrick Young