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Thread: Looking for accessible home in Charlotte, NC Area

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  1. #1

    Looking for accessible home in Charlotte, NC Area

    I currently live in the northern suburbs of Atlanta, GA but I am desperately wanting to move to the Charlotte, NC area. It is close to both mine and my partner's family. In addition, I'd like it to be as accessible as possible.(Nothing crazy fancy). I will likely have to short sale my home because the home values are so terrible right now in this area, I probably owe 40-50K more than what it's currently valued at. But, I have to move because it's not safe. I have no way to get in or out of the house because of a giant steep driveway that I couldn't imagine trying to maneuever. The door openings are just barely big enough and I can't get into the guest bathroom or guest bedroom at all. The bathroom that I use is so small and cumbersome; it takes some tricks to maneuver the rolling shower chair around the bathroom and the shower is just barely big enough for the shower chair. Needless to say, it's a less than ideal situation and makes it pretty impossible to be independent.

    Having said this I have a few questions..

    1) How can I find an accessible home? I have checked MLS listings and there only thing I can find are a few in 55+ senior communities. I'm 31 and my partner is 27, so that wouldn't work. I would like all rooms to be accessible as far as the door ways and getting in/out, the master bath needs to have a roll-in shower and have a big enough bathroom to be able to get the shower chair in and be able to get over the toilet easily, etc. As far as the outside, no slope or steep driveway. Hard to find somewhere with these requirements.

    2) If I do a short-sale on my home, will I be able obtain to (somewhat) immediately obtain a mortgage on the new property?

    3) If I buy a house for say $150K, are banks allowing to borrow extra money to make accessible modifications if necessary?

    I've only bought one home and it was straight forward and simple (I was AB then) - so I have a lot of questions. Any help would be appreciated!

  2. #2
    You may not find a house that is already fully accessible. A more realistic goal is to find one that is fairly easily made accessible. Focus on single level ranch style homes where you may have to widen a couple of doorways and install a basic ramp only. You may also have to renovate the bathroom, as existing roll-in showers are rare as hens teeth (or consider using a slider chair system with an existing tub).

    Try to find a realtor who knows accessibility issues to act as your buyer's agent. They can pre-screen homes for you. I did this when looking for a home as I wanted one that my mother could stay in when visiting. My realtor actually had a C5 SCI, so I told him if he could get into the house, then I would look at it (given that it met all my other needs as well). We had some adventures looking (taking along a portable 6 ft. ramp for entrances with a step or two), but I eventually did find a home that met my criteria, and I put in a ramp and widened the bathroom doors before moving in. You may not find a realtor who actually has a disability, but perhaps one with a family member who uses a chair or who has a child with a disability might be your best bet. Check with the local ILC to see if they know anyone in the area.

    As far as a mortgage, I can just recommend that you get pre-approval for a specific mortgage amount for your new home. This will make it much easier to find financing. Working with a good mortgage broker who can help to find you the right lender can help a lot. Hopefully others can tell you more about the effect that a short sale may have on your credit rating.

    (KLD)

  3. #3
    I know there WAS an accessible home for sale in the Kannapolis area...

    Hmmm.

    Let me see if I can figure out if it is still listed...

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