Buying My First Home

After almost 2 years of searching and being outbid, my dream of becoming a homeowner has come to fruition. I would imagine the majority of the able bodied population enjoys the process. I enjoyed looking over the listings from my realtor. It’s fun imagining how I could redo a space and make it mine.

So few homes were accessible

What became frustrating for me as a person with a disability was how few homes were even remotely accessible. Equally frustrating in my area is that single-story homes are more expensive than 2 stories. Most people wouldn’t even think about it, but I’ll chalk it up to a disability tax. Which is having to spend more money because of my disability.

Listing my needs and wants

This is when I started to make my lists of wants and needs. My list is personal to me and I am sure that yours would be different. Making lists has always helped me when weighing decisions. I would encourage you to have some sort of way to weigh the pros and cons of majors decisions. Obviously high on my list was being able to get into the front door. I preferred a single story home as I did not want to be paying for extra square footage that I could never use.

Living in a small town was something else that I had prioritized. My whole life up until now I have lived in rural areas where a car was necessary. A few years back I made the decision to stop driving. While that was not easy to give up I knew it was the responsible thing to do. Not having the ability to drive limited my ability to get out when I wanted to. We all deal with this limitation when we have a physical disability like spinal muscular atrophy. Life in a small town will provide me with some independence as I won’t need to be driven by someone else.

Living in a condo ended up high on my list. A single family home has lots of appeal. However, knowing that I would have to pay for lawn care, landscaping, snow removal, it became an easy decision. Not being able to paint my front door the color I wanted or planting the type of bushes and flowers were some sacrifices that I needed to make. The Homeowners Association handles all of the outside maintenance and landscaping. That makes my life a lot easier.

Sticker shot in costs for accessibility renovations

My one mistake was not doing research on costs for renovations before I purchased my condo. As most people who are living with a disability we all have specific ways we are used to navigating our homes. The bathroom in my new condo is not accessible for me. My wish is to make it a roll in shower. There is some sticker shock with the quotes I have been getting. However in today’s market I didn’t have the luxury of time.

I am currently enjoying having my own space. I know that over time I will be able to make all the necessary changes so that it will fully suit my needs. In the meantime I will do what I have done my whole life. Adapt. Don’t let obstacles deter you with time and planning, most obstacles can be overcome.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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