Accesible Housing

June 26, 2018

Accessible Housing Promotes Independence and Comfort

Life with a disability can sometimes be complicated.  Your living environment shouldn’t be part of the challenges you face.  With accessibility-oriented modifications, your home can support your independence and provide a comfortable way of life.

Know your rights

Everyone deserves a home that is comfortable to live in.  While you may fear being at a disadvantage when it comes to home buying, your rights to purchase a home are protected.  As Redfin explains, “The federal government has established several laws and administrations for the sole purpose of protecting your rights as a disabled homebuyer, no matter the nature of your disability.”

For example, you can receive a mortgage loan so long as you’re financially qualified.  However the home-buying steps can feel overwhelming to anyone.  It’s important to begin the process early, as it can be time-consuming to both prepare your finances and find the right home.  You will need to know how much home you can afford, which you can estimate by using a mortgage qualification calculator.  Once you know your budget, prepare your finances and then apply for pre-approval.  Pre-approval is more involved and will require proof of your ability to repay a loan.  You also may qualify for special funding.  If you feel your rights are violated, you also have legal recourse through the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Find an accessible home

With a little research and thoughtful evaluation, homeowners with disabilities can often find a home ready to meet their needs.  One of the hot trends in home design is universal design, and this is great news for people with disabilities.  Universal design embraces the concept of being appropriate for all people of all ages and abilities.

You will want to search for potential homes based on your particular mobility concerns.  For instance, Design Sponge explains some of the basics that promote mobility in a home with a wheelchair include wider doorways and hallways.  The home’s entrance should either be free of steps or offer a ramp.  The shower should be threshold-free and provide a seat and wand-style shower nozzle with at least 5 feet of hose.  Grab bars should be available in both the shower and toilet area, and the sink should accommodate a wheelchair.

There are many details that can help make your living environment more comfortable, such as checking the slopes of ramps and heights of countertops.  You may find it helpful to use a home accessibility checklist to help with house hunting for appropriate prospects.

Modify an existing home

There are many ways to modify a home to improve mobility and accessibility.  For instance, one idea is to remove plush carpeting and install a surface easier for navigation, such as hardwood, laminate, ceramic tile or vinyl flooring.  Shower floors can be made less slippery by using smaller tiles and wider lines of grout.  Rails and grab bars can be added in the bathroom.

Throughout the home, there should be sufficient space for maneuvering with a walker or wheelchair.  Clearing floor space in rooms can improve navigation; allow 5 feet in diameter to turn a wheelchair.  Install lowered countertops in the kitchen for seated food prep, and add storage in easy-to-reach areas for small appliances and kitchen tools.  Round doorknobs can be swapped out for lever-handles, which are easier to manipulate when operating a wheelchair or with limited dexterity.

Light switches and outlets can be lowered so they are easier to reach, and if the home has stairs, a lift can be installed.  For easier entry from outside, you can build a ramp, and some experts recommend hanging the entry door so it swings into the home for easier navigation.

Enhance your living environment

Living with a disability can be made easier with home modifications.  Homes can be purchased ready to support your needs, or modified to meet them.  Your living environment can promote your independence through better accessibility.

Article provided by Medina at Accessiville.org.

150 EL CAMINO DRIVE, LOS ANGELES,CA. 310-595-3888 © 2017 DOUGLAS ELLIMAN REAL ESTATE. ALL MATERIAL PRESENTED HEREIN IS INTENDED FOR INFORMATION PURPOSES ONLY. WHILE, THIS INFORMATION IS BELIEVED TO BE CORRECT, IT IS REPRESENTED SUBJECT TO ERRORS, OMISSIONS, CHANGES OR WITHDRAWAL WITHOUT NOTICE. ALL PROPERTY INFORMATION, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO SQUARE FOOTAGE, ROOM COUNT, NUMBER OF BEDROOMS AND THE SCHOOL DISTRICT IN PROPERTY LISTINGS SHOULD BE VERIFIED BY YOUR OWN ATTORNEY, ARCHITECT OR ZONING EXPERT. EQUAL HOUSING OPPORTUNITY.

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