Shari Marquis' Blog
When a loved one needs a bit more help to get around the house, whether they have simple physical limitations or rely on the use of a wheelchair, you’re going to need to make some major changes both inside and outside the home. You may be overwhelmed with the idea that you need to overhaul your entire home in order to make suitable accommodations. The good news is that you can boost safety around the property and make your home easier for you or loved ones to get around without huge renovation projects that will take months at a time. Below, you’ll find some of the most important projects that will need to be completed in order to make a home handicap accessible as well as safe and healthy.
Check The Doorways
If wheelchair use is part of the accommodation, you’ll need to check the width of the doorways. Some doorways may need to be modified in order for wheelchairs to move freely about the home. Widening doorways can cost anywhere between $500-$1,000 to complete depending on where the throughway is in the home.
Adjust The Showers
The safest way to make a shower handicap accessible to is make it a walk in tub or a wheelchair accessible tub. Depending upon the extent of the accommodations that are needed, you can go a cheaper route and install a bench seat in an existing shower. Hand rails can also be added to the tub for extra safety.
Think Of The Entire Bathroom
The simple addition of grab bars can make a big difference in the safety of a bathroom. Make sure that the bars are installed in easy to reach places. Also any supplies that are needed in the bathroom like soaps, shampoos, and toothpaste should be easy to reach. A toilet riser can also be considered to help people who have issues bending down in order to make the toilet easier to use.
Don’t Forget The Kitchen
The kitchen should be a place where accommodations for handicap individuals are definitely present. First, all supplies should be easy to reach. Next, appliances should be adjusted accordingly. Grab bars should also be installed in the kitchen to make safety a priority and accessibility easy.
Whether or not a disabled person uses a wheelchair, installing a ramp can make a huge difference in the home for a disabled individual. Converting stairways to ramps actually isn’t as expensive as you might think it would be, with costs starting at just $100 for a basic ramp. Custom ramps can run a bit more expensive- as much as $1,000. These make it easier for disabled people to get in and out of the home or around the inside of the home with ease. The total cost can vary based on the size of the ramp and the type of materials being used.
Mind The Floors
To make a home handicap accessible, thick carpets should be removed. Any types of flooring that make it hard to maneuver a wheelchair or walker should be modified.
If spending money to make money on your property seems counter-intuitive, you might attempt to sell your home “as-is” and keep your money for the new place. After all, most of those homes featured on renovation reality shows are in worse condition than yours; and those buyers intended to gut the place for a complete makeover anyway.
Just know that the offers you receive will reflect the needs of the buyer, so you won’t get top dollar unless the property is in an extremely desirable area. Still, it might make sense to sell as-is for a discount if your situation is difficult or you’re strapped for cash. Conversely, selling a home that isn’t up to code reduces your buying pool. FHA and VA loans require a home to meet minimum property standards to secure the loan.
Another consideration is how much you still owe on the property. Unless the investment for repairs and upgrades is more than your remaining mortgage, it is probably worth spending to bring your property up to code. A qualified real estate professional can help you prioritize your repairs to those necessary to get it sold, or market it to buyers looking to renovate to raze the home.
So, who buys as-is?
Investors often purchase property intending to “flip” it; that is, to renovate a distressed property and quickly resell it to recoup expenses and make a profit. Typically, investors want the “bones” of the property to be sound, so foundation and structural issues are less appealing to them.
Another type of investor wants the property for its proximity to business or industry. Their goal is to have the property rezoned for commercial purposes or to build multi-family structures on it instead. If the area around your home is transitioning to commercial or multi-family dwellings, your professional real estate agent can guide you to this type of investor.
Less common is the buyer that wants a project or fixer-upper on which to put their own stamp. Some fixer-uppers buy for nostalgia (they lived in the home/area as a child) and others for what they know the area can become. Their goal is to restore the home to its former glory while adding newer amenities. As opposed to flippers, these buyers often intend to live in the home while working on it, or once the work is complete.
If you determine that selling as-is is the best option for your situation, discuss the issue with your agent. She can warn you about what to expect for offers with your home in its current condition and help you set a fair asking price based on its location and the market trends in your area.