AgentOwned Realty

Buying a home if you are disabled

Posted By: Ute Appleby In: Home buyer with special needs
Date: Wed, Nov 16th 2016 8:58 am

           4 Tips for Buying a Home If You're Disabled

Don't let a disability stop you from being a home owner ! Yes, it takes patience and the prospect of buying a home may seem daunting. You as the buyer may need a house in a certain location and/or with specific modifications, and that can be costly. The good news is there are assistance programs in place to help you achieve the dream of home ownership.

Here are some tips for house shopping: 

Start the process by selecting a  knowledgeable and well experienced full-time realtor  ! 

Be clear about what the needs are in terms of disability. As a homeowner, you may need certain services such as public transportation or local pharmacies close by.  Also  keep in mind the physical layout of the house, avoiding things like steep stairwells, a narrow kitchen, and small bedrooms and bathrooms. Carefully look at elevated homes to make sure, a stair lift or elevator can be installed and also look at driveways to make sure they can accommodate your vehicle.

Once those needs are established, your realtor and your lender will determine how much you can afford so you will know what type of home or neighborhood you are looking for.

This and many other things can be overwhelming but fortunately, help is available. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has approved housing counselors in every state certified to help disabled individuals buy a home. This is particularly helpful if you have specific questions related to your personal needs. HUD counselors can also point you toward relevant financial assistance programs. These services are either free or cost a small fee.

One other important aspect is to know your rights. As a disabled person, you are protected by the Fair Housing Act that prohibits housing providers—such as lenders, sellers and real estate agents—from discriminating against you in any areas connected to the home-buying process (i.e., qualification criteria, fees or terms of conditions).

There is also financial aid available . Some people with disabilities might be in low-income brackets and don’t qualify for standard mortgage loans. Fortunately, HUD’s Section 8 Homeownership Voucher Program was established specifically to assist low-income individuals and families in renting or buying a house by subsidizing their monthly mortgage payments. For more info on this, please contact your local Public Housing Authority.

Also, Habitat for Humanity (HFH) is a non-profit program that builds and rehabilitates accessible homes for people in need. Every local HFH affiliate has its own rules, but generally, these homes are sold for the amount they cost to build, require just a low down payment and might come with mortgage-assistance programs.

As a disabled individual, you may be eligible for other public and private housing grants and loans, including financial aid for home modifications. For example, the American Association of People with Disabilities can offer loans between $1,500 and $25,000 with extended payback terms to be used for home upgrades or modification. Disabled veterans can receive grants under the Specially Adapted Housing and Special Housing Adaptation Program. More info is available at the local Veterans Affairs office.

Now that I gave you a few tips, feel free to call or write to me and explain your special needs. I work full time, I have a lot of experience and patience to make sure we find just the right home for YOU ! Contact me at 843-345-2625 or mailto:


Ute Lisa Appleby, Realtor
Real Estate/Leasing/Property Management

cell:    843.345.2625      efax843.725.6501