by Jenny Wise

When you search for an accessible property, you often have to make compromises. If you have a fully thought out-plan before you begin, you raise your chances of getting a great home. Here is what you need to know before you start your house-hunting journey.

Tackle Your Credit

The first thing to consider when you think about buying a home is your credit score. Obtain a copy of your credit report to see where you stand. If you have a poor score, you will want to find ways to improve it. Simple things like paying bills on time, refraining from opening new lines of credit, and paying down what debt you currently have can help. Don’t just use new cards to pay off old ones, as maintaining the debt can negatively impact your score. Patience is necessary, as this is not an overnight process, but rather an investment in your future.

Picking Your Neighborhood

Location, location, location. You are not only investing in a home but also a neighborhood and city. With that in mind, you should have certain non-negotiable preconditions about what will serve you best in the surrounding area. Do you need a short commute or proximity to a nice school district? What about noise levels from nearby businesses? Would it make it easier if the city itself was known for being accessible? Think of everything you require in your new neighborhood and town and factor that in when you search for your perfect home.

Looking Online

In addition to using a trusted real estate agent, you can look online to make your search easier. It’s possible to use basic house-hunting websites, but there are alsositesspecific to those in need of accessible housing. This will be a helpful tool because the more homes you consider, the higher your chances are of having a bid accepted. In a competitive market, it’s better to look at more than you end up needing. Plus, by using online resources, you’ll see what the average price is for the area you’re considering and know what to expect as you narrow your search.

Modifying a House

Unfortunately, you may not be able to find a house that perfectly fits your circumstances. In such cases, factor the costs of renovating into the asking price to fully understand what your budget will be. For example, a bathroom remodel can cost between $9,600 and $11,000— and that’s on the low end of the spectrum. Small adjustments are more manageable, such as grab bars to make bathing safer. No house will have everything you need from the get-go, so don’t hesitate to look at options that might benefit from some extra work.

What to Look for in a Mover

One area you don’t want to skip doing adequate research on is picking a moving company. A bad company can lose your gear, take a deposit and disappear, or damage precious belongings. The more research you do, the better off you will be. For instance, you should never deal with a company that gives you an estimate over the phone, as they cannot know a price until they see and detail your items. A reputable mover will have insurance and be registered and properly licensed. Beware of individuals or companies who lack these things. Always look at reviews, and never give a cash deposit, as there is no tangible record of your transaction.

With the right information on hand, and a healthy credit score backing you up, you can find the property you’ve always dreamed of. It may take some modifications, but it will be worth it in the end. We all deserve a house we can call our home.


***Author Jenny Wise created “Special Home Educator” as a forum for sharing her adventures in homeschooling and connecting with other homeschooling families. She has four children. Her youngest daughter has autism.***

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