Having a child with disabilities can bring a lot of benefits to your life. Your child may look at things in a different way, or cause you to reassess certain situations. However, providing the best life for your child with special needs may also come with challenges. One of these areas can be the house you live in.
If you have recently given birth to, or adopted, a child with disabilities, you may want to think about moving home to provide them with a safer environment. Two of my friends have children with special needs and both have spoken briefly about trying to find the perfect home for their family. Choosing the perfect home is often difficult; when you add the special needs of a family member, it can be even more stressful. Here are some tips to help you out.
Choosing a brokerage / realtor
There may be a number of specifications required for you to be able to call a house a home for your family. Getting the support of a real estate brokerage can be vital in allowing you to sell your existing home and buy one that better meets your needs. Give your realtor a list of what you are looking for in a home so they can narrow your search to homes that meet your criteria.
There may be so many questions you have about their involvement in your move, such as ‘do we need a brokerage’ or ‘is Compass real estate in trouble’ that, when answered, could allow you to figure out which company is right for you. A reliable real estate broker like Compass will be able to reassure and support you in your search for a new home.
Size of property
You may require significant interior space for the use of wheelchairs and other tools, but that doesn’t mean that a house with multiple floors and an attic space is right for you. Lots of stairs could be incredibly dangerous if your child is somewhat mobile, or you have other young children in the home.
Thankfully, single storey homes can be quite popular, meaning it may be easier than you might think to be able to find some on the market. However, they may also be in popular demand, so it may be necessary to act quickly if you do find one that suits your family.
Another important consideration in your move is location. Is your new home located close to the services that your child needs on a regular basis? Is there a busy road out front that may cause noise issues or safety concerns for family? Are the playgrounds in the area inclusive playgrounds that will let your child have fun and learn?
When viewing a home, take some time to explore the neighborhood as well (especially if it’s a new neighborhood to you). You may want to park and wander the streets around your home to see what businesses, services, and other supports are nearby. While I don’t have disabled children, I check where the nearest church, library and recreation centres are before moving.
Some elements inside certain homes might not be suitable for a disabled child. An in-ground pool could very well lead to loss of life, and certain types of flooring could cause significant injury were your child to fall. Even parts of everyday care may require adaptations.
Some homes, especially if previously owned by an elderly or disabled person, may already have these modifications in place. If not, you may need to consider how easy or expensive it might be to make larger changes, such as converting the bathroom. Should these not be feasible, then you may need to continue looking elsewhere for a new home.
Having a child with disabilities can require a lot of work, as well as a greater amount of care. You may want to look for a home that will make your role as a caregiver a lot easier, enabling you to spend more time enjoying life with your family. The home you buy may depend on the level of disability present, whether it is temporary or permanent, or even the interests or opinions of your child. Discussing needs and wants as a family could help everyone to feel good about the decision to move.