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Strategy to move(buy) house.

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    Strategy to move(buy) house.

    The thought has been floated that we move to more suitable accommodation.

    We're in no hurry, so I was thinking what would be the best way to approach this, and try and plan it so that as many eventualities could be anticipated and make the decisions in a pro-active way rather than a re-active way.

    So here I am appealing to the experience and knowledge of a community that kind of gets where I am

    What mistakes did you make? what would you do differently? Which decisions really paid off for you?

    I'm sure I am not unique in thinking I didn't really think I'd last this long so didn't really put much effort into planning for any kind of future. I think I've reached the point in my own mind where I am no longer furiously bailing out my sinking kayak, but am happily floating in the "water way" of life and for once enjoying the view and wondering what I am going to do next and should probably proactively plan for the future. Time to put down my procrastination shovel and dig for the future.

    After my injury we lived in a fully accessibly apartment while I completed re-hab etc. Which was great as it removed many issues and allowed me to get on with focusing on rehab, being close to great medical care and moving on etc. Eventually we moved back to our house, which fortunately or ironically depending on your point of view need minimal adapting. 2 story house, with a basement, everything I need was on the main floor and could be reached with a 30" wide chair, the front door being only 12" above ground level so was pretty easily ramped. There are some more adaptions we'd like to make to the house, but these will cost $$$, my thoughts are this money and energy would probably be better served if we saved it and put it forward to a house that is on the whole a lot more suitable to a wheelchair occupant.

    The house has less than 5 years left on the mortgage, and is entirely in my name. My girlfriend and I are not married for some financial logic that was pointed out early on and now escapes me. Something to do with financial liabilities, medicare, medicaid, DSHS and healthcare finances. I didn't want to impact my girlfriends finances and have no worries about medical stuff being paid for etc. Usual BS. never paid enough attention in the Finance and Anatomy classes in school.

    So I'm looking for any input on strategy, experiences, or useful knowledge you'd like to throw at me from real estate, finances, taxes, logistics to common sense. To the things I haven't even thought of yet.

    So a couple of things I am trying to get my head around are:

    Is it better to rent somewhere, move out put all your stuff into storage try and sell the house while looking for the perfect dream house etc. Allowing for all the adaption to be removed from the house and give it the most kerb appeal etc. while trying to sell it. Once we have the dream house, we can have as much adaption carried out before moving in and having to live on a construction site etc. ?? ?

    What is the best way to combine our finances so that affording the next house is as easy as possible. Using the collateral of what is in the first house as a deposit etc, Girlfriends salary for mortgage payment calculations, my SSDI isn't going to cover too much. Tax implications ? other financial implications that are going to catch us out. Is it time to get married and be damned by the financial implications what ever they are ?

    That's what I am thinking about at this point. Hoping as soon as I can get a strategy and plan down we'll be able to move forward etc..

    Thanks for any input

    I went from an accessible apartment to a brand new home back in 1996. There was a housing boom going on--new houses being built with various floor plans and some model homes to visit in each new development. Some of the developers/home builders were willing to modify the current floor plans to make your potential home fully accessible before you move into it. This strategy worked well because you only packed and moved once. No storage fees. A new home meant you weren't waiting for some one else to close and move the same time you did. It also allowed you to monitor the progress of the modifications.


      Have a talk with a few realtors to see what the sell market is like where you are. DO NOT try and sell if you are within half a mile of a foreclosure/short sell anything like yours in square footage, lot size, etc. Leave some furniture in the house.

      Unless you can find a new place just starting the building process I'd rent until your other place sells.

      If this is 'it' plan on everything. That means support studding for ceiling lift/s and in walls for grab bars. Look at building codes and find out how to get rid of any steps to an attached garage.

      Start looking at local kitchen and bath stores because that's where the money goes.
      Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."

      Disclaimer: Answers, suggestions, and/or comments do not constitute medical advice expressed or implied and are based solely on my experiences as a SCI patient. Please consult your attending physician for medical advise and treatment. In the event of a medical emergency please call 911.


        What you do in terms of fix ups depends on where you are now, how long you are willing to wait and the return you expect. You knew that, but for example, my home is almost paid off too, is in a desirable area and would sell quite quickly as-is if I didn't want top dollar. If on the other hand, it was a few miles from here, it would have to be immaculate to attract the better buyers.

        I think your income and marital status or non status should be discussed with a local adviser who knows our laws.
        I have had periodic paralysis all my life. I lost my ability to walk in 2011 beginning with a spinal block, which was used for a hip fracture caused by periodic paralysis.


          First remember the number 1 rule of real estate. Location, location, location. You can fix/change a house. You can't fix a neighborhood, transit system, weather. Where do you want to live? If you are looking to leave the area try a web site called If you are staying in Seattle, maybe a house swap, or rent out what you have or land contract to sell. Get creative in staying in your place. Someone here cut a hole in the floor and got a winch to go up and down. Hunt for a stair lift. I've been trying to give one away for years. Do you have family there? Do you want to stay close to them or like me try to live at least 1200 miles away (the Seinfeld rule). My thought is to move where its warm and visit the cold. What about medical facilities, do you need to live close or are you relatively healthy? There are a lot of questions of that Spot thing that will give you things to think about and come back to ask other people.
          Personally. I'm a 65 year old, T6 complete and lived in a 25' motor home for ten years. Wandering around the country. When I can sell this house, I'm going back. I miss that life every day.


            If your timeline allows, you can stay in your current house until your new house is move in ready. This is an especially attractive option if you have paid off your mortgage. You can apply for a new mortgage for the new house and after you have sold your old house, you can put a huge lump sum towards the principal of your new mortgage. Getting another mortgage is also easier when you don't have one already.

            Contact a buyers agent in the market you want to move to. Caveat: a lot of agents will not take you seriously unless you are planning on buying within 12 months.

            If you want to renovate for accessibility, ask the agent to look for properties that have not yet been fixed up to sell. Why should you pay for something you will rip out, and the seller will be relieved not to have to do anything.
            Played with bombs- No SCI, Brain Damage enough that I require a chair and a caregiver.


              I AM a Realtor, (though I no longer practice) and I specialized in accessible housing. I am currently selling my accessible home in order to move to a better life-style. There are no more hard and fast rules (like a foreclosure in your neighborhood).

              Contact a Realtor get some comps on the sale of your existing home.

              At the same time, determine where you'd prefer to live and gather some comps on that area. Also determine if there are any grants or programs to help with your mods (my medicaid will renno a bathroom for example).

              Once you have the hard numbers in hand, you can then weigh the numbers against the intangibles... convenience, quality of life, security. etc. and make your decision.

              Again, in my area there is a house owned by my local CIL that I can rent for 6 weeks during my transition. Otherwise, a short-term accessible apartment rental might be an option. Depending on what you need in terms of rennos will also determine how long you need temporary housing. I was out of the house for a weekend when all the perma-ramps were poured. I was out of the house while some mastic and sealers dried but otherwise I lived in this house during much of the work. I'll probably do that in my new place too.
              My blog: Living Life at Butt Level

              Ignite Phoenix #9 - Wheelchairs and Wisdom: Living Life at Butt Level

              "I will not die an unlived life. I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire. I choose to inhabit my days, to allow my living to open me, to make me less afraid, more accessible, to loosen my heart until it becomes a wing, a torch, a promise. I choose to risk my significance; to live so that which comes to me as seed goes to the next as blossom and that which comes to me as blossom, goes on as fruit."

              Dawna Markova Author of Open Mind.