Veterans Day brought our service men and women to mind, and rightly so. But thoughts of those who have returned home from combat with physical disabilities also came to mind. In addition to physical disabilities, they must learn to deal with a new way of life at home. Serviceman or civilian, disabilities caused by injuries, surgeries and even bone density issues present significant challenges. Such challenges can make it difficult to be mobile. And they can make buying a new home to accommodate their disabilities necessary.
From the challenges of looking at homes to securing financing options, people with disabilities must now look at each property from a different perspective. If you’re helping someone with physical disabilities or you yourself are disabled, consider the following.
If you have physical disabilities, can you get financing?
Yes. Just because you are someone with physical disabilities who doesn’t have a conventional income doesn’t mean buying a home is out of reach. What it does mean is you need to go through a specialty loan package.
The government wants those with physical disabilities to purchase homes and achieve financial stability. They offer programs that take into account SSDI and other disability payments, like structured settlements, for example, which are designed to help physically disabled buyers finance a home. If you are disabled and without a regular income at all, you may need to find other ways to get financing, but there are services available.
Do you know your legal rights?
It’s unfortunate, but disabled individuals can run into discrimination throughout the home buying process. When it comes to your disability, you have the right not to be discriminated against. Some real estate agents hesitate to work with buyers who have physical disabilities because of the complex process that goes hand in hand with them. Sellers may not want to meet with them because they are leary about the type of financing that will be used. These actions are discriminating and are not legal under the Fair Housing Act. If you believe you are being unfairly discriminated against during the home buying process, you may want to obtain legal recourse.
Can you identify disability-friendly modifications that will be needed in a home?
Wouldn’t it be ideal if you were able to find a home that was already modified for your disabilities? But more often than not, modifications after the purchase of a home will need to be made. Modifications include rails, ramps and special bathroom fixtures. It’s important to pursue compensation if you were injured because of the actions of another. If you win a settlement, you may be able to incorporate the costs of modifications of your home into the costs of your injuries.
Are you aware of disability-related services available to you?
Not only is pursuing compensation important to you if your disabilities happened at the hands of someone else, it is important to look for a property that is located next to or near disability-related services. Location matters more when purchasing a home for someone who has physical disabilities. Look for a home that is near physicians, urgent care clinics, handicapped transportation and grocery stores. Neighborhoods that are highly walkable are important if you are in a wheelchair or if you are able to travel in a motorized scooter.
In a walkable neighborhood, all of the amenities you will need to access are very close by. This will allow you to live independently and take care of many of your needs.
Although buying a home for someone with physical disabilities can be complex, it isn’t impossible. Call Charles D’Alessandro, your Brooklyn real estate agent with Fillmore Real Estate at (718) 253-9600 ext. 206 or email [email protected] today. For help finding a home that will support you with physical disabilities, Charles can help.