Integrated Family Community Services 3370 South Irving Street, Englewood, CO 80110-1816 Ph: 303-789-0501

How to Find the Best Neighborhood for a Family with Disabilities

Finding the right home in a desirable neighborhood can be challenging for anyone. A family member with a disability requires extra consideration where housing is concerned to ensure the person’s health and safety needs are met. Here are a few points to keep in mind when searching for the best location.

Work with a Knowledgeable Realtor

Like other professionals, many realtors specialize in helping buyers to find certain kinds of homes in distinctive neighborhoods and communities. These real estate agents understand the needs of a family with disabilities and can help to narrow the search to suitable locations that will accommodate the family’s needs. When you are ready to buy a home in a particular area, look for the best realtor in town with experience in this important consideration for your family.

Identify Your Neighborhood Needs

If your loved one with a disability needs to get prescriptions filled frequently, you may want to browse homes in neighborhoods within a reasonable driving distance of your preferred pharmacy. For ongoing doctor visits or physical therapy, you may want a home in the general part of town that is not too far from these offices or near a highway that can take you there in minutes. Family members who enjoy going out in their wheelchair or with a walker for fresh air will benefit from living on a street with a smooth sidewalk. Whatever your family’s needs may be, keep them in mind when shopping for a new home.

Arrange Some Drive-By Views

Homes always look great on the Web or in a print listing. However, it is still important to drive past the properties you are most interested in, so you can get a close-up view of the most important features. For example, if a yard should have shade trees for outdoor time with a loved one whose mobility is limited, drive by the property to ensure the trees are still standing and in good condition. If a quiet neighborhood is essential for someone who cannot leave their bed, drive through the neighborhood during the day and at night to get a sense of the local residents’ activities and noise level.

Consider Safety Features

Children with autism are often involved in residential swimming pool accidents. Check to see if nearby neighbors of homes that interest you have a pool. If someone does, they should also have a protective fence and lifesaving equipment near the pool. You might decide this neighborhood is not the best match for your family if there are not enough safety features.

Finally, take the time to meet the neighbors. It is important to have a community that can help give emotional and social support to your whole family. Neighborhoods play a vital role in choosing a home. Protect your loved ones with disabilities or special needs by evaluating the area as well as the house.

Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most of her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information, contact Brooke via Facebook at facebook.com/brooke.chaplan or Twitter @BrookeChaplan

Tim Esterdahl

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