Blog with MAE Capital

Buying a Home; What to Consider When You have Special Needs

March 12th, 2019 10:48 AM by Gregg Mower

Everyone needs a place to call home, but not everyone’s needs are the same. If you are visually or mobility impaired, it may be difficult to buy the home of your dreams. If you don’t have steady employment or aren’t familiar with the financial prerequisites of the mortgage lending process, it can be further complicated. Keep reading for info on how to manage finances, communicate your needs to your real estate agent, and make your move a pain-free experience.


FICO and Finances


It’s an unfortunate reality, but due to fewer work opportunities and high medical debt, ability-disadvantaged individuals tend to hold a lesser share of wealth than the general population. For this reason, it can be harder to save for a down payment and ensure that your credit score is high enough to qualify for a loan. Down payment assistance, housing counseling, and other resources for disabled buyers are available through HUD, the FHA, and Fannie Mae. The Simple Dollar has more information about these and additional resources.


As for your credit, when it comes time to apply for a mortgage, the higher the credit score, the better. It’s possible to obtain a mortgage with a credit score as low as 550, but you’ll definitely get better rates and terms as you inch closer to 700. Try to raise your credit score by paying your bills in full and on time and taking care of any misreported information on your credit report, which you want to get a copy of from each of the major reporting agencies: TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian. Keep in mind that saving for your new home and improving your credit takes time. Neither will be achieved overnight, and you don’t want to rush through either step.


Know Your Needs (and Plan Ahead for Them)


As you get your finances in order, it’s a good idea to identify your needs so that you can maintain an open dialogue with your real estate agent. If you are in a wheelchair, for instance, you may ask them to help you find a home all on a single story and with doorways that have already been widened. Many builders are now incorporating elements of universal design into new construction. If you aren’t familiar with the term, you should know that universal design is essentially inclusive design. It is an approach that strives to address barriers of usability incurred by people of all abilities and in all stages of life.


If your disability requires you make frequent trips to your healthcare provider, let your realtor know this information, too. He or she can help you locate a home where you will have access to public transportation or ridesharing services if needed.


Since not all properties are already configured for those with disabilities, it may be wise to put aside some cash to make upgrades. Good Financial Cents explains that saving money is much easier if you have it set up automatically. The site also suggests stashing any cash windfalls or raises. This advice applies to saving for any specific goal, including home renovations.


Get Ready to Go


When it’s time to finally move, there are a few things you should do before opening your new front door. One of these is rekeying or changing the locks, which will add between $96 and $210 to your moving expenses. If anyone in your family has allergies, it’s also wise to bring in a cleaning crew to get rid of dust, dander, smoke and other potential irritants left behind by the previous owners. Don’t forget to have the utilities turned on and make sure to keep a few boxes of your belongings with you in case the movers get delayed. This should include a weeks’ worth of clothing, basic kitchen utensils and gear, and any medications and toiletries you use daily.


Moving can be exhausting and intimidating, especially if you have special needs. But it’s not impossible, and the sooner you begin planning, the easier the process will be.  Here at MAE Capital Real Estate and Loan we understand and can help folks that have special needs for housing.  We have the ability to find and finance such housing and are looking forward to assisting you on your journey.  Call today 916-672-6130 

Special Thanks to Natalie Jones for providing the content of this article.



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