The demand for accessible housing in some areas is high, but the market hasn’t yet adjusted to it. As a result, house hunting can be a little intimidating and expensive. Here’s how you can make a solid budget, improve your financial health, and find a house that’s just right for you.
Start saving for a down payment
After figuring out where you want to move and how much you can expect to spend in that particular neighborhood — an online home value estimator can provide you with a wealth of information, including price per square foot — it’s time to start saving for a down payment. The type of loan you want will determine your down payment needs. While 20 percent is common for a down payment, some providers don’t require such a high percentage, but that doesn’t mean you’re off the hook. Look into all the fine details, including closing costs and extra fees. When saving for a down payment, stick to a strict budget, improve your credit score, and consider getting a side gig to earn some extra cash.
Calculate potential mortgage
There are different kinds of mortgages — including fixed and variable — so it’s important to know how to calculate monthly payments for each one. You can also calculate interest-only payments and see how much money you would lose to interest, which can help you reevaluate your goals. You can search online for simple mortgage calculators without having to do it all in your head. Many online services offer mortgage estimates as well.
Check your credit score
Checking your credit score is the first thing you should do because it will determine what amount and kind of loan you might be eligible for. Having a score of 660 is typically the minimum that can get you approved for a good, low-rate loan. If you have a score lower than 660, then you might end up paying higher-interest loans.
In order to avoid this, improve your credit score by paying off any outstanding debt you have. This can be credit card debt, health care bills, or other loans. Avoid opening up any other credit cards during this time, as your score can take a hit when you do this. It’ll take time to repair your score, but it will also save you money.
Have a list of must-haves
Everyone will have their own personal list of must-have features in a home. With accessible housing, you’ll have some deal-breakers, which may include wide hallways, accessible bathrooms, and if the neighborhood is safe. Some things can be modified, like doorknobs and kitchen countertops, but other things can’t. Make a list of what matters most to you.
Research the neighborhood
Look online in your neighborhood and see how frequently people move. Also, look up crime statistics, as it’s important to find out a neighborhood’s safety. Be sure to check out information from the homeowners association about communications, tech capabilities, or access to transit. If you’re interested in a particular house, visit the neighborhood and get a feel for it yourself.
Look at potential modifications
If you’ve settled on a house, hire a contractor to scope out modifications and their costs. Look at the most urgent and important modifications first. If you need lower countertops, but it costs too much to modify all of them, consider fixing just two. If you need to replace flooring to make it non-slippery, consider getting temporary vinyl instead to save money.
Hire professional movers
Moving services can make your life so much easier. They’ll take care of all your heaviest items and can make moving day much less stressful. Additionally, you can rent portable storage containers that can make the moving process a little easier. In short, you rent the container, fill it at your own pace, and then hire someone to transport it to your new home. Of course, it’s important to know how much you’ll need to save for this service, so take some time to compare different companies and prices to find the best fit for your finances.
Make your home secure
Right before you move in is the perfect time to change the locks and get new keys for your home. Having a secure house is especially important for accessible housing, and the last thing you want are keys to your house in the hands of strangers. Your best bet is to hire a locksmith as soon as you have a closing date.
Finding a home that is universally accessible can be difficult, but not impossible. Budget accordingly for all the modifications you may need, as well as the down payment, mortgage, and other fees. A good home is a good investment, so be patient when you’re looking.
This post is brought to you by Patrick Young of ableusa.info