What to Look for in Accessibility and House Shopping

If you've recently experienced an injury, illness, or trauma that has reduced your mobility, you might now be in the market for a house that is more adapted to your needs. For example, if you now need a wheelchair, walker, or cane to move around, you need something different when it comes to house design. Here are some features to look for when you check out houses for sale in your neighborhood. 

Zero Entry

Most homes are not zero entry. Instead, they have stairs that lead up to the front door. You could replace stairs with a ramp, but a zero-entry design in easier and simpler to navigate. Homes with zero entry usually do not have a basement, which is often okay for those with reduced mobility, since going down the stairs to the basement can be challenging or dangerous. 

Wide Halls and Doors

When viewing available listings, take a tape measure with you. Accessible homes have wider-than-normal doorways. They will also have hallways with generous moving room and no tight corners or areas that are congested with several doors that open in a small space (a hall closet, bathroom door, and bedroom door all clustered at the end of the hall). 

Consistent Flooring

You might not have considered that flooring would be such an issue, but it can be a big problem for people who need assistance to get around their home. For example, carpeting is harder for a wheelchair to work with. Changing tile to hardwood requires raised finishing strips that can catch on a cane or walker, and create a tripping hazard. The best way to stay safe and enjoy the most freedom of movement in your house is to find a place that has all one type of flooring throughout the entire home. 

Laundry Room Accessibility

Laundry rooms are often small, allowing mostly for the washer and dryer with just a little standing room. Some washers and dryers are even stacked on top of each other. These designs won't work for someone who needs more space to take care of daily washing. Look for a house that has a more generous laundry room or you can opt for a design that places the washer and dryer in a closet that opens to a larger room. You can get appliances that have accessibility features. Front-loading machines are often a good match for people who are in wheelchairs. 

For more information about houses for sale, contact a real estate agent in your area.