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Resale value of accessibility modifications

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    Resale value of accessibility modifications

    Greetings all!

    I have seen some references to the value of modifications when a house is sold but am looking for specific examples to demonstrate the issue to the insurance company.

    With Florida Worker's Compensation the insurance company will modify one house for the injured worker. The theory is when the house is sold the value of the modifications will be paid to the seller then those funds will be used for accessibility on the new house. That is fine unless the seller puts their life on hold waiting for a buyer who needs exactly the same modifications as the seller. Of course if an AB buys the property a roll-in shower or accessible cabinet toe spaces have zero value or are even liabilities. So I am arguing that I should be entitled to some monies for accessibility modifications in the next house.

    Does anyone have specific examples that I might use to bolster my case with the insurance company?


    So to clarify... you have an accessible home to sell, and you want money from insurance to modify another? If yes, it sounds like an uphill battle.

    Where is the "next home?" If you're in Virginia, there's a (up to) $5000 tax credit you'd be eligible for, for certain accessibility modifications.

    Info (PDF):


      Pretty much that is it Scott. I have found quite a bit of evidence that supports my theory. I will post more when I get the letter finished.

      Thanks for the link!


        Sure! PM me if you need any help; my wife (an OT) and I (a rec therapist) have a universal design & accessibility consulting business ~2hrs north of Christiansburg.

        If you're willing to put a little bit of work in to sell, you may be able to "un-adapt" your home without too much hassle, and be able to market the property as universally-designed instead of "handicap accessible" (as others would view it), which would broaden your scope of potential buyers.

        Another thought, you may be able to certify & market your current place as an "Easy Living Home," which is gaining popularity in Virginia – see


          Originally posted by Lone Beagle View Post
          Of course if an AB buys the property a roll-in shower or accessible cabinet toe spaces have zero value or are even liabilities.
          Not a liability, but it doesn't really add to the value of the house either.

          In my area you can list your house as "WC accessible" in hopes that someone else can take advantage of the modifications, but in fact, anybody can buy it because the housing laws don't allow "discrimination". WTF! All the houses that aren't accessible discriminate against the disabled!

          Originally posted by Lone Beagle View Post
          Does anyone have specific examples that I might use to bolster my case with the insurance company?

          Good luck with that! I got a $500 grant for my ramp that cost about $5,000! Nothing for the modifications inside the house, like the bathroom. Of course that was in 1985, five years before the ADA was passed.


            Have you thought of getting a professional home evaluator - we got one years ago and he said he had to deduct $10 grand from value of our home as buyer would need to "undo" modifications we had made.


              Actually, when we sold my mother's home, our realtor told us that the existing ceiling track lift, roll in shower, and front door ramping were a liability and would depress the sale of the home. They advised removing these and putting the house back to the way it had been originally. We actually had plans to do this, but found a buyer (through the realtor) who was willing to make a decent offer on the home "as is", so we did not do that, and saved a lot of money. I think you will find it very difficult to be able to prove that for most accessible modifications that they would increase the value of the fact the opposit is most likely to be the case.

              By the way, the VA provides money to service connected Veterans to modify their home for accessiblity (or add accessible features to a custom home), but this is a one-time grant. They will not do multiple homes, serial or otherwise. We always recommend that our SCI Veterans wait to apply for that money until they have determined where they plan to live long term, and definitely not spend it on their parent's home, for example, when they don't plan to live there for the rest of their life.

              The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.


                We too have been told that our accessible features are a negative on the value of the home.
                Wife of Chad (C4/5 since 1988), mom of a great teenager


                  Good to know for when I sell.


                    Same in Holland about being a negative value.
                    Partner of an incredible stroke survivor. Limitations: hemiparesis and neglect (functional paralysis and complete lack of awareness on one side). Equipment: TiLite ZRA 2 and 2GX, Spinergy ZX-1, RioMobility Firefly. Knowledge: relative newbie for high-level equipment (2012), but willing to try to help others who are new with similar limitations (definitely not a guru, but inquisitive).


                      Yeah, once we crossed the Rubicon by removing kick plates and lowering kitchen counters, cabinets, placing wall oven at knee height level, roll under sink and cooktop the house becomes less desirable to AB's as they want then to do big remodel after the big layout to buy the house. I have always thought that our best bet would be to try 1st to market our house to gimps exclusively in which case our mods are worth additional $, then try selling to AB's if the 1st attempt does not turn up many interested parties.


                        I need them - I have more people looking than listings

                        Hi everyone. I joined to jump in on this thread so please excuse me if it's rude to just pop in without introducing myself.

                        Most ab's looking are obviously not looking for access features and they see them as something to get rid of, but there are thousands of pwds who ARE looking for homes that are as roll in ready as possible.

                        Rentals as well.

                        The mods are GOLD.

                        While the abs are looking to remove, everything a pwd doesn't have to add is a savings and a bonus from that standpoint.

                        If anyone does have a place available for sale or rent with access mods, please contact me before you take them out. I have over 5000 people a month looking - from everywhere.


                          Accessibility modifications or adaptations are only gold if they're what a buyer needs. That's the crux of the issue here. You can have a completely accessible property for one person, but those same features may not work well at all for how another individual uses things or performs everyday activities.

                          Look no further than the person-environment-occupation model of occupational therapy. This isn't the greatest illustration, quickly grabbed from Google Images, but should get the point across.

                          The smaller that center space is, the less functional a design (a home, in this context) will be for someone; the larger that center space is, the better the fit will be between the person, their environment, and their occupations (tasks/activities). In other words, if a design of an environment doesn't meet the person's functional needs, as well as work well for how they'll actually use the space, it won't be a good fit. This gets pretty complex with certain health conditions (even levels of SCI).

                          This is why universal design – not disability-specific accessible design – is becoming a more important focus. If features exist that are generally functional for everyone (e.g., step-less entrances, wide doorways, etc), then the design will work for most people. However, some modifications/adaptations, such as ceiling-mounted track lifts, stair lifts, extensive grab bar setups around toilets, etc, are specific to a much, much smaller demographic. Those features, in regard to resale value, are not gold.

                          And that's why I suggested that John consider "un-adapting" his home to make it more universal instead of accessible. What that means, specifically, can't be determined from this discussion as-is.


                            another visual, without the specific PEO labels:


                              I agree there is no one size fits all, or even most or many. UD is a great advancement, unfortunately most of the places I've come across are older than the concept so a ramp and door widths and turnaround space are going to vary.

                              AIP was unheard of as well so no pre-planning for that either.

                              My point was to not immediately remove the features when there just may be someone there who wants them based on real estate people not knowing where to find buyers with those needs.

                              A ramp into the house is always gold in my world. I've been on wheels for 47 years and when I see one into a house I'm thrilled. When it's anywhere near to code, I'm even happier.

                              I've owned and renovated more than one home as well so I have a little bit first hand experience.

                              Nice to meet you