Debbie Caniff's Blog
Older and younger family members living in one home is the norm today. If you’re looking for a house to share with your aging parents, remember that while they are still mobile now, there may be a time when they will need help walking, maintaining their balance, negotiating stairs, utilizing a walker or wheelchair, or assistance entering or exiting a bath.
Inform your real estate agent of your needs and pay attention to essential requirements when multi-generational house-hunting to save yourself costly remodeling in the future:
Doors and hallways
All entry doors, bedroom doors, bathroom doors and those to all family rooms need to be a width of at least 32 inches adequately to accommodate walkers and wheelchairs. If a chair needs to turn to enter or exit the chamber, a door 36 inches wide is required. When the doorway's maximum opening is at 90 degrees (that is it opens against a wall), use the larger door size.
Hallways need to be at least 42 inches wide so that both wheelchairs and walkers have room to maneuver. Add handrails along both sides of the hall, when possible.
One external entry door, minimum, must include a threshold ramp. It should be accessible without exterior stairs. Even entryways that have shallow steps should be able to accommodate a wheelchair ramp if necessary.
Bedrooms and baths
Search for a house with at least one ground floor bedroom. While adding elevators or stairlifts are possible, they add considerable expense to your home’s alterations.
Bathroom modifications are expensive, too, so initially, look for a walk-in shower to simplify the process. Consider remodeling one bathroom to include a walk-in bath if no accessible shower exists.
Your bathroom should have a comfort height or ADA compliant toilet, with grab bars (not towel bars), to ensure your older family-member can sit or stand easily. Even a small bathroom can be remodeled to be handicap accessible.
Consider your additional electrical needs. You’ll want easy access to power outlets for both personal and medical devices. Easily operated light switches are essential too. Since extension cords and trailing electrical cables can be trip and fall hazards, you’ll need plenty of outlets installed at reachable heights. Hire an electrician to add outlets above nightstands or consider lamps with built-in outlets.
Replace door, faucet, and cabinet knobs with levers. In lavatories, baths and shower stalls replaced knobs with single-handle or touchless options. Change out friction pull cabinet door and drawer closers for soft-close ones.
Homeowners may need financial assistance to remodel or update a home to accommodate their special needs or elderly family member. Some grants, funded by several government agencies, might cover construction or renovation costs, labor, and other expenses.
Most of all, inform your real estate agent about all your home needs from the outset. Your agent then can focus on homes that meet your requirements, including providing for the needs of each generation that will live there.
The homebuying journey may prove to be difficult, and assorted challenges may arise that make it tough to quickly find and buy your dream house. Whether it's encountering problems during a home inspection or negotiating a house price with a property seller, there is no telling what may happen during your pursuit of your dream home. However, if you know how to handle homebuying challenges that come your way, you'll be better equipped than ever before to enjoy a seamless homebuying experience.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you tackle various homebuying challenges.
1. Stay Patient
When you are faced with a homebuying hurdle, it is important to remember that every problem has a solution. Thus, if you take a calm, cool and collected approach to a homebuying issue, you can find the best way to alleviate this problem.
A patient homebuyer usually is a successful homebuyer, and for good reason. If you maintain patience as you navigate the homebuying journey, you can analyze problems that come your way and allocate the necessary time and resources to solve them. And as a result, you may be able to speed up the homebuying journey and acquire your dream residence in no time at all.
2. Consider Your Options Closely
As you encounter homebuying hurdles, you should consider your options closely. That way, you can weigh the pros and cons of potential homebuying decisions and make informed choices as you try to buy your ideal residence.
Sometimes, it may be beneficial to consult with family members and friends too. If you reach out to loved ones for support, they may be able to help you make the best-possible decisions throughout the homebuying journey.
3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent
When it comes to purchasing a home, you may require expert assistance. Lucky for you, real estate agents are available in cities and towns nationwide, and these housing market professionals can help you overcome property buying issues.
A real estate agent is committed to your homebuying success, and as such, will work with you to make your homeownership dream come true. Therefore, if you want to acquire a city residence as quickly as possible, a real estate agent can help you do just that. On the other hand, if you want to purchase a small town home at an affordable price, a real estate agent will help you accomplish your desired result.
Let's not forget about the comprehensive guidance a real estate agent can provide as you search for your dream residence, either. A real estate agent can teach you everything you need to know about the housing market. By doing so, he or she can help you identify and resolve homebuying problems before they escalate.
For those who want to streamline the homebuying journey, it helps to prepare. Thanks to the aforementioned tips, you can reduce or eliminate homebuying hurdles and purchase your dream house without delay.
26 Bluejay Road, Lynnfield, MA 01940
Believe it or not, getting pre-approved for a mortgage can be quick and simple, even for a first-time homebuyer. In fact, here are three tips to help a first-time homebuyer streamline the process of receiving pre-approval for a mortgage:
1. Meet with Several Lenders
Many mortgage lenders are available in cities and towns nationwide. Meanwhile, these mortgage experts are happy to teach first-time homebuyers about assorted mortgage options and help them get pre-approved for a mortgage.
Set up face-to-face meetings with various lenders in your area. That way, a first-time homebuyer can gain unparalleled insights into a wide range of mortgage options.
In addition, don't hesitate to ask questions during meetings with banks and credit unions. Mortgage lenders possess comprehensive mortgage expertise, and as such, a first-time homebuyer can rely on these mortgage professionals to receive the support that he or she needs to make an informed decision.
2. Understand Your Credit Score
Do you know your credit score? Ultimately, a first-time homebuyer's credit score may dictate his or her ability to obtain the ideal mortgage.
An individual can request a free copy of his or her credit report from each of the three major credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) once a year. This report may prove to be exceedingly valuable, as it can help a homebuyer identify opportunities to improve his or her credit score before a mortgage application is submitted.
Also, if you identify errors in your credit report, it is paramount to contact the agency that provided the report immediately. This will allow you to correct any potential errors quickly and ensure that they won't affect your ability to get the best possible mortgage.
3. Consider Your Homebuying Budget
A first-time homebuyer may have lofty expectations prior to entering the real estate market. However, this individual should consider his or her finances before submitting a mortgage application.
With a budget in hand, a homebuyer can establish realistic expectations as he or she tries to get pre-approved for a mortgage. Plus, this homebuyer may be better equipped than others to obtain pre-approval for a mortgage and accelerate his or her search for the perfect residence.
Lastly, it may be worthwhile for a first-time homebuyer to meet with a real estate agent to learn more about assorted mortgage options.
A real estate agent understands the challenges associated with purchasing a house for the first time. As a result, this housing market professional can teach a homebuyer about all aspects of the property buying journey and help this buyer plan accordingly.
Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent can set up home showings, keep a homebuyer up to date about new residences as they become available and negotiate with a home seller on a buyer's behalf. This housing market professional will even provide honest, unbiased homebuying recommendations to make it easy for a property buyer to acquire a top-notch residence at a budget-friendly price.
Move one step closer to purchasing your dream house – use the aforementioned tips, and a first-time homebuyer can speed up the process of getting pre-approved for a mortgage.