Are you planning on buying an accessible home soon? If so, you may be wondering where to start with your search and the entire buying process. Whether this is your first home or not, figuring out the steps needed to find a home that fits your lifestyle can be a challenge. Which is why we created this handy list of steps to guide you through the process.
Selling Your Current Property
If you currently own a home, chances are you need to sell it before you can purchase your new one. Before you list your current property, however, be sure to use a home value estimator, for example, to determine just how much it may be worth. While these sorts of online real estate tools are not meant to replace a professional appraisal, they can at least provide a realistic picture of how much you can expect to net from the sale of your home. Listing agents will have more insight into your home’s value, and these professionals can also provide practical tips for marketing your home to buyers. Working with a listing agent can take the stress out of selling your home, but you will need to take some steps on your own to stage and prep your home for a quick sale.
Preparing Your Budget & Finances
As you research the current value of your old home, you should also look for online tools that will help you figure out a budget for your new home. These calculators and worksheets can really take the hassle out of calculating a budget on your own. Coming up with a comfortable budget will also require you to take a good look at your current debts and financial obligations, which can also be beneficial when it comes time to apply for a home loan. So pull free copies of your credit report from all three bureaus, and then review them to ensure that everything is correct and that there are no surprise debts or hits that could prevent you from getting the best rate on your new mortgage.
Once these initial financial steps are figured out, you can start shopping for financing and get pre-approved for a loan, which can make your offer more attractive to sellers. If you have a credit score of at least 620, you may qualify for a conventional loan. These loans offer fixed or adjustable rates, and if you put 20 percent down, you can avoid having to pay for mortgage insurance.
Finding Your New Accessible Home
Taking care of the critical financing and planning steps above can ease some stress. Still, you will also want to plan your home search carefully, especially since you will be looking for a home with accessibility features. This is especially true if you are not sure which features you need in a new home, so think about doing that homework and coming up with a list of features that matter the most to you. This can include wider entryways and halls to allow for the use of a wheelchair or even access to public transportation from your new neighborhood. Be sure to share this list of accessibility features with your buyer’s agent, so that they can narrow down the list of local properties to streamline your search and find the best home for your needs.
Making Your New Home Your Own
So while you may be able to find a home with a few of the features on your list, you should know that making accessibility modifications may be needed before your new home is absolutely perfect for you. If you’re concerned about covering the costs associated with these upgrades, you may be able to use certain programs and financial tools to help offset those expenses and avoid paying for them out of your own pocket. Once you have a plan for making any needed home upgrades, you can move on to taking other steps to make that new house really start feeling like your new home. Start by unpacking a few essentials and favorite items or decorative pieces that give you comfort, but also try to take things one room at a time, to avoid stress.
Work through this list of home buying tips and steps and you can take some of the guesswork out of finding your perfect new accessible home. Of course, it also helps to have expert local real estate pros at your side.