When you’re a wheelchair user or have other mobility impairments, searching for a place to live can be a challenge. Just like everyone else, you want to find a home that you love and feel comfortable with. But, on top of that, you have other, accessibility-related needs to worry about.
Fortunately, the search for accessible housing, whether you want to buy or rent, can be made easier, at least if you can keep a few tips in mind.
Know Your Needs
First things first, decide on your exact needs. Do you need wheelchair ramping, widened doorways, or accessible kitchen appliances? Your needs may not look the same as anyone else’s, and that’s okay. However, you do need to do some research and decide on your must-have home features ahead of time. This will make your search much easier and will keep you from wasting time on properties that won’t work for you.
Use the Right Resources
As you search for an accessible home or accessible apartment, make use of the right resources. While you could comb through local listings, these typically don’t tell you much about accessibility features. Instead, you need a resource geared toward you, such as the National Apartment Association. This free-to-use database contains a constantly-updated list of accessible housing options. Users can even input specific needs and find housing that matches them for an easier searching process.
Pay Attention to When A Home was Built
When renting a wheelchair accessible house or apartment, always inquire about when it was built. The date matters since it will determine what rules and standards the housing has to meet.
For example, housing built before 1991 comes with a built-in right for renters to make some modifications to the property. Also, with older housing, landlords are required to make reasonable accommodations that make the common areas accessible for all.
On the other hand, different rules apply to multifamily housing built after March of 1991. This type of housing, providing it contains at least four units, must have accessible common areas, doorways that are wide enough for wheelchair users, accessible electrical outlets and controls, accessible kitchens and bathrooms, and general adaptability. In these regards, knowing when housing was built helps you know what to expect.
As a final tip, make sure that transportation to and from a prospective new home is available. After all, you don’t want to get into a situation where leaving the home becomes difficult as this can leave you isolated. See if easily accessible public transportation is available. If not, then you may want to consider purchasing a wheelchair accessible vehicle. In fact, having an accessible vehicle of your own can open up your housing choices significantly.
Contact Van Products
The hunt for an accessible home can be challenging, but this advice can help. Plus, should you need an accessible vehicle or other accessibility products, you have a wonderful resource in us!
Here at Van Products, we specialize in used and new wheelchair accessible vehicles to promote freedom and independence, including the freedom to live anywhere you want! Don’t hesitate to contact us to learn more.