If you are thinking of buying a house or apartment a home inspection is a must. Qualified home inspectors assure your home is structurally sound, accessible, and safe. In order to do this you will need to thoroughly investigate each home you are considering purchasing to avoid unnecessary renovations.
First lets define what a home inspection is and what a home inspector does.
A Home inspection is a non-invasive visual examination of a home, performed for a fee. The purpose is to identify any material, electrical, structural, and plumbing defects within the home being considered for purchase. Basically the home inspection is to evaluate the overall condition of the house or apartment.
Within several days from the completion of the inspection the inspector will provide you with a written report with a detailed analysis of the inspected systems, structures, and components of the dwelling. Inspection reports may also contain recommendations regarding certain conditions of the home and/or recommendations for correction or further evaluation by trade professionals.
People with disabilities have special needs and those needs must be addressed when looking for, or buying a home for a disabled person as a home is one of the biggest investments most people will make in their lifetime, choosing the wrong home can be a disaster!
For most people, buying a new home is a fairly simple process, finding the right home, having the home inspected for defects or structural damage and preparing the move. However when searching for a home for someone with disabilities, physical and sight impairments, or the elderly, the criteria changes and it becomes more difficult to choose the right home that will provide room for maneuverability, wheelchair access, and in home accessibility issues.
It is very unlikely that you will find your ideal house was specifically made or designed for a disabled person so some modifications are unavoidable. But try to find a home that requires the least modifications as possible. In order to do this you will need to thoroughly investigate each home you are considering to avoid unnecessary renovations. This is where a qualified home inspector can assist you.
You and your appointed home inspector should keep the following criteria in mind when searching for a home to suit your needs.
Counter and cabinet heights - The kitchen cabinets, drawers, cook tops and counter space should be the appropriate height to make it easier for a seated person to reach.
Hallways and turning space, including appropriate wheelchair space in doorways and entryways.
Avoid stairs or if unavoidable, examine and discuss the possibilities of installing a ramp without making major renovations to the home. At least one entrance to the home should be accessible without going up or down stairs, not only for security purposes but also for maximum comfort.
Entryways should be protected from the elements and covered including the space from the home to the garage.
Garage parking space should be large enough to fit a vehicle with enough space for a wheelchair to gain entry to the vehicle. Don't forget overhead garage clearance if you transport your wheelchair on the roof of your car or van.
All the rooms should be wheelchair accessible including the laundry room, kitchen and bathroom. A walk in wardrobe is also suggested for easy accessibility.
A home inspection should be your first priority when buying a home for a disabled person.
Home inspectors are very knowledgeable and if told before-hand that the home is for someone with disabilities, they can be very helpful in giving recommendations and suggestions or finding problems that may cause inconveniences for the disabled.