Buying a home can be stressful. But the stress is multiplied when you’re looking for a home that’s suitable for physically challenged residents such parents or in-laws since there’s more you must look for. If you don’t know what to look for, though, house hunting will end up being a miserable experience and you could end up overlooking important aspects. However, if you do the research, you’ll find the right mobility friendly home.
realtytimes.com lists some things to consider when buying a more accessible home.
The most important thing to look for in a mobility friendly home is space. A home with narrow hallways or tight turns is going to be tough for a person in a mobility device to get around. A flat, one-story house is often the only option. But be careful of sunken rooms and random steps.
Open floor plans are seen more in newly built homes and adds another level of convenience, allowing you to organize furniture, leaving room for open walkways. Make sure doorways, hallways and corners are all wide enough for a wheelchair or other equipment. Compliant to the Fair Housing Act, doors must have a 32-inch passable opening, but many people prefer it wider, closer to 36 inches.
The latest trends in kitchen, unfortunately, aren’t mobility friendly. What to look for? Side-by-side refrigerators are more user-friendly than setups with the freezer on the bottom or on the top. Look for double, stacked ovens, and lower-level microwaves, or at least scope out cabinets that can possibly be moved.
The best thing to do is to create a checklist of the things most important to you, making sure to know what's non-negotiable and what you can live without. If you can't get everything, make sure you can at least get the things most important.