Accessible Condos and Homes

Knowing What You Need (and Want) in an Accessible Home

Article Courtesy of Patrick Young …

An accessible home is more than a safe living space for a disabled individual. It should be about freedom, mobility, and accessibility. Your new home should make getting around as easy as possible, as well as a place where you can feel happy. It may take some time and patience, but with some savvy research and a little help, you can find what you need. Here are a few points to consider as you formulate and execute your search strategy.


One of the first orders of business is to figure out what you can afford so you can maintain a well-targeted search and narrow your choices. Realistic budgeting will also help keep you from getting in over your head financially and ending up with more house than you can really afford. You can determine a home’s affordability by using an online calculator and estimating your annual income and monthly expenses and how much you’re able to spend on a down payment. If you’re not able to find exactly what you’re looking for, you may need to make some modifications after moving in. Setting and adhering to a well-defined budget will also make it easier to finance modifications to achieve accessibility and safety.


You’ve set a budget and know what you want in a new home — don’t forget to prepare a checklist you can refer to throughout the process. Knowing which accessibility criteria you must have will make it easier to narrow your field to a few properties. Based on your disability, you might decide your new home must have a first-floor room you can use as a bedroom. Or, inadequate bathroom accessibility might be your point of departure. Bear in mind that you can add certain features later, such as safety rails, roll-under sinks, and widened doorways, and that there are grants available for disabled homeowners that can help pay for such modifications.

Search Your Area

This is where an experienced, well-informed real estate agent can come in very handy. You can also use websites like to help you easily find townhouses or condos that have all the features you want. Spend plenty of time online researching neighborhoods that you find the most attractive. Factor in school districts, accessibility, and distance to work and amenities (groceries, pharmacies, etc.) as well as healthcare providers.

Do It Right, Don’t Panic

It’s understandable if you start feeling a little anxious if things are slow to come together. However, try to bear in mind that you’re involved in a search for your next home, and the last thing you should do is rush things and risk making a bad decision. You still have to be discriminating about accessibility and safety features, and balance those against aesthetics and conveniences that you covet. So, take the time to do it right.

Before You Get Settled

Remember that there are certain things you’ll need to do before you move in and get settled. Your first move should be to change the locks. It’s an important security measure; you don’t know who might have been given an extra house key by the previous owners, so remove the potential for danger by finding a nearby locksmith who can get you squared away. It’s also important to update your address (the post office makes this easy), replace all toilet seats, keep an eye out for leaks, and check fire detectors.

Finding an accessible house — a place where you and your family can be truly happy — may take time and requires diligence and patience on your part. You need to keep checking online and maintain a flexible outlook, understanding that you may need to do some compromising along the way. Bear in mind that it’ll help if you can go into the process having identified features you need and those you’d be willing and able to add later. Having such a plan in place will establish parameters that can make your search much easier.