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Thread: Does Accessible design add to value of home

  1. #11
    Senior Member Hunker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eileen View Post
    It seems with the aging baby boomer generation things like accessibility should become more and more valued. There is an entire generation who will be giving up their two story townhouses and their third floor walk-ups. In my neighborhood they have already changed all the street signs. Not because there was anything really wrong with them, but the increased the size of the lettering quite dramatically so that aging folks could read them easier.
    I agree, If you make a group home for people in wheelchairs, put a business into the house like "whatever you like to do" and all the aging baby boomer generation would have a place. I am looking for a job and find it funny that so may houses are NOT accessible. So how can I move to another state and work? I feel old and would not want the hassel of finding a built in ADA standard house right now. Until they cure SCI there will be more people and less place to live. I really hate having to be carried over someones shoulder (unless I like her) My Mom was in real estate, she would have the type of answer for this question. I really just don't know.

  2. #12
    We (wife & I) designed and built our house 11 years ago. We did it to suit us rather than for resale. This is a small town but it is the only house that is completely wheelchair accessable. Everything on one level with 1&1/2 baths. The outside looks like any other house and everyone that sees the inside comments on how easy it is to get around and easy to get at. I agree 100% that with the aging population, houses like this will be in a greater demand than du/tri plex or condos. I believe you did the right thing and will never regret it. Be proud of it!

  3. #13
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    Oldtimer - I have no regrets. I love our home. We are in a small town too, population about 500, similar layout it seems, 3 bedroom, 2 bath all on one level. We do have a partial basement that is finished with an elevator. (well actually I bought a 8 ft. porch lift and completely enclosed it to resemble an elevator) Our home is normal looking on the outside but as you said it the only home in our area that is completely accessible. A realtor friend of ours says when the list a home thats accessible they use that as a selling plus but thats about it, we could as more and hope someone needing a accessible home would pay for it. We aren't trying nor do we have any plans to sell, but when I remodeled I wanted it to be comfy, stylish and accessible but not look like it was a nursing home so to speak. I feel I accomplished that very well. We should find out about the appraisal in the next few days, I'll keep you posted.

  4. #14
    you built an elevator out of a porch lift...awsome! you go girl!

  5. #15
    I guess I'm not sure why you want an appraisal because if everything you did is going to add value to the house (which it should) then your tax base will go up. In reality, anything is only worth as much or as little as one is willing to give. I, for my personal self would rather want to see lower appraisal.

  6. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    I guess I'm not sure why you want an appraisal because if everything you did is going to add value to the house (which it should) then your tax base will go up. In reality, anything is only worth as much or as little as one is willing to give. I, for my personal self would rather want to see lower appraisal.
    The appraisal is probably necessary for the refi. I hope the OP was able to get a high enough value for the loan to move forward. It's disheartening to not have enough equity to refinance mortgage debt and take advantage of lower interest rates.

    In my area, appraisals are not linked to property tax assessments. And tax assessments, which are performed every 8 years, are only loosely coupled to any semblance of actual value.
    Daniel

  7. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by dan_nc View Post
    The appraisal is probably necessary for the refi. I hope the OP was able to get a high enough value for the loan to move forward. It's disheartening to not have enough equity to refinance mortgage debt and take advantage of lower interest rates.

    In my area, appraisals are not linked to property tax assessments. And tax assessments, which are performed every 8 years, are only loosely coupled to any semblance of actual value.
    Yes, that would make sense. Assessments are done here on an annual basis and any investment over $100. could be considered an improvment which raises the tax base. The assessments are suppose to be within 95% of actual value at all times.

  8. #18
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    We got the house appraised to refinance. Since David got MS I have basically ran up two credit cards rather high due to the remodeling, and also got a second mortgage and bought a handicap van, etc. etc. Anyway, when we purchased our home 16 years ago we bought it for 69K David and I have done several things to it and the taxes had it valued at 176K....the appraisal came back at 158K so...yes, that's more than enough to cover all of the debt and lump it in to the new mortgage at a much lower rate (4.125%) plus I dropped the loan to a 15 yr. instead of our 30 yr. loan, needless to say I can breath now. End up saving over $1000 a month and don't have to eat peanut butter or hotdogs every night. For the record, the appraisal did not mention one thing about it being accessible, no picture of the elevator, nothing. I guess I was just panicing when the appraiser was here but I still strongly believe accessible design should be a major plus! --Lisa

  9. #19
    Sometimes I search real estate at realtor.com and you can extend the search from just price and location to lots of other amenities one of which is "disability features" - certainly, if you need these features the house will be way more appealing to you and you may be willing to pay more. If you live in an area considered desirable by chair users I would think you could try to market your house 1st to the disability population before perhaps putting it on the general market where you would get less. We, for example, have dropped our cabinets and countertops - a big plus to some chair users but a negative to the able bodied population.

  10. #20
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    There is a major push for "Universal" design for accessibility in Schools of Architecture, probably as a response to the baby boomer generation reaching the age when accessibility issues become more important. IMO homes without barriers will become more desirable to a wider range of people in the future.

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