Fairfax Realty Elite
Keji Ogunleye
When it comes to buying an accessible home, there's a lot to take in. And if you’re a first-time home buyer, you may already be overwhelmed, so adding another influencing factor can feel like an unwanted headache. Rest assured that it’s not and, with a few simple strategies, you can get into a home that ultimately meets your needs.

If you’re looking for tips, you’ve come to the right place. Keep reading for a few pieces of advice on how to get through the process.

Start your home search with the right real estate agent.

As a new home buyer, you will serve yourself well by channeling your energy early on into finding a realtor. Your agent will be so much more than someone that simply gets you into showings and writes contracts. They will get to know you, your needs and help you weed out properties that won’t work. Keji Ogunleye of Fairfax Realty  can work with you to find anything from a one-bedroom condo to a full-sized family home, even if you have to take things like a wheelchair or visual impairments into account.

Understand the lending process.

Many first-time buyers make the mistake of misunderstanding how a mortgage works. Basically, you’re borrowing hundreds of thousands of dollars, and your lender will want to know that you’re good to pay it back. To illustrate your creditworthiness, start by strengthening your credit, and talk to your broker about what you can comfortably afford. Your debt-to-income ratio will be a deciding factor, and the higher the ratio, the more lenders will consider you a risk, so keep in mind that the sweet spot is 36% or lower.

Next, there's the down payment. If you have at least 20% you can put down, you may want to consider a conventional mortgage, which is a great low-cost option. And whether you want fixed or adjustable, PennyMac current rates, for example, show conventional loans at less than 3%, which can equate to quite the optimal mortgage payment. Once you’ve decided on a mortgage, get pre-approved so you can have your approval letter in-hand when you’re ready to make an offer.

Identify a floor plan.

Even if you don’t plan to build your home from the ground up, familiarize yourself with the different types of floor plans available. When you have a disability, a ranch-style, single-story house is probably your best bet. These are usually designed with an open concept, lots of windows and doors, and an attached garage. These and other features can mean you don’t have nearly as much maintenance and should have plenty of space to maneuver any assistive devices you have. If you are in the market for new construction, look for a home builder with experience building ADA-compliant properties.

Be willing to modify.

It’s not always possible to find the perfect home, particularly if you don’t want to wait several months for new construction. It’s possible that you will have to choose the house closest to your needs and then modify it until it’s just right. This might mean remodeling  for a larger bathroom, widening the doorways, or building a ramp to your entry and exit of choice. You may also need to incur the added expense of having a chairlift added to the stairs or completely renovating the kitchen with lower countertops so that you can reach without getting out of your wheelchair.

Buying a home with ever-changing needs in mind does mean having to put a little extra thought into the process. Fortunately, Keji Ogunleye of Fairfax Realty can help, an if you can’t find your perfect house, you can always modify.

Article by Patrick Young
Ableusa.info | patrickyoung@ableusa.info

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