If you’re about to begin the journey to find a new, accessible home in Denver, then know this: it’s important that you go into it with clear eyes and an open mind. You must know exactly what you want, as finding houses that fit all of your accessibility, location, and design needs can be challenging. You must also know that you’re not going to find a perfect place right off the bat and you may have to work to turn a merely solid option into your dream accessible home. You can do it. Here are the key elements to prioritize during your search.
A home that suits your mobility needs
It is impossible to stay comfortable and independent in a home that makes it hard for you or someone in your family to get around. Finding the right floor plan is your first and most important priority in house hunting. Depending on your accessibility needs, you may want to opt for a single-story home or at least a home with a first-floor master. Whether you suffer from a mobility issue or some other physical disability, a more open floor plan is likely to benefit you.
It may help to browse accessible home plans to get a sense of what you should look for.
A home that is easily modifiable
No matter how diligent you are in your search, you are not going to find the perfect accessible home. You may end up needing ramps installed, kitchen cabinets and counters lowered, walk-in bathtubs installed, doorways widened, carpets replaced with wood or tile, etc. The home you buy needs to be easily modified. To put it another way, if the house is designed in a way that will make your planned modifications take too long or cost too much, then it’s time to reconsider.
A home that doesn’t break you with upkeep
Be realistic when it comes to upkeep. This includes inside and outside. A larger yard will require mowing, plant maintenance, and anything else that goes into maintaining curb appeal. Inside, a lot of vacuuming, dusting, sweeping, mopping and overall cleaning will add even more to your plate. Simply put, if your home and yard are too large, then you’re going to unduly burden yourself with upkeep. Hiring someone to do it for you is always an option, but it will cost you (in Denver, maid services average $300 per cleaning). For most people looking for an accessible home, the right fit will be one with a more modest amount of upkeep required — reasonable square footage and a smaller outdoor space or low-maintenance landscaping.
A home in the right location
It’s estimated that some 500,000 people with disabilities are essentially homebound due to a lack of viable transportation issues. And even more people are limited in their ability to travel greater distances. If you fall into this category, the location of your accessible home is of massive importance. Being closer to the grocery, your church, your family and friends, parks, your doctor, etc. can make your life markedly easier. Figure out your “proximity priorities” and house hunt with them in mind.
A home that’s secure
The risk of being a victim of crime is higher for those with a disability or mobility concern. This means security should be of the utmost importance. When house hunting, consider things like gates, fences, secure doors, and off-street access. It may also be worth installing smart security features to give you extra peace of mind. Remember, too, that once you close on a home, rekeying the locks should be a top priority.
When it’s time for assisted living
Depending on a variety of factors (like disability or age), there may come a time when the best option is to move into an assisted living facility. Many people associate these facilities with nursing homes, and while they have similarities, they are considerably different. Assisted living provides care for activities of daily living — think dressing, bathing, medication help — but also offers a fairly high level of independence for residents. Plus, many of these facilities provide amenities like social outings, exercise groups, and home-cooked meals. Whether you need it now or in the future, take the time to scope out some of the facilities in Denver to see what might be a good fit and what’s affordable (assisted living costs around $49,140 per year in Denver). Talk to the staff and residents, and keep in mind most sites offer free consultations and access to a senior advisor who can talk you through the process.
Finding the right accessible home is about keeping an open mind, seeing past decor and cosmetic issues and the willingness to compromise where you can. Take your time, have your home needs clearly defined, and be patient. The right accessible living environment will provide you with independence and comfort if you shop smart.
Brought to you by Patrick Young, Guest Author, Educator and Activist for Able USA
TJC Real Estate & Management Services • 303.324.6988 • firstname.lastname@example.org
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