About Accessible Houses

Q: What Exactly is a "Modified House"?
A: A "modified house" is one that has been renovated to make it easier for a person with disabilities to do such everyday activities as: move from room to room, reach and use countertops, appliances, cupboards and sinks, get from one floor to another, get in and out of bathroom facilities or simply enter and exit their home.

Q: How Do Most Modified Houses Get That Way?
A: The majority of heavily modified houses are financed by insurance from car or catastrophic accidents. In order for an injured person to move back into the community instead of remaining institutionalized, the insurance settlements often are used for housing renovations and transportation such as vans modified for wheelchair or cars with modified controls.

Q: What If the Disability Occurs From Illness or Some Condition Not Covered by Insurance?
A: For situations with medical conditions such as advancing MS, post polio syndrome, increasing arthritis and osteoporosis, the person seeking a modified house to fit their particular requirements, may apply for a government grant of up to $15,000 to put towards modification costs, or must draw on savings for the renovations, or hope that there is something that happens to be available on the market at the time they happen to be looking.

Q: What Happens When the Person No Longer Needs the Modified House?
A: In the past, sellers have often been advised to rip out modifications even before listing their property. Buyers who have no need of the modifications, may insist that the removal of the modifications be completed at the seller's expense before closing.

Q: Doesn't That Mean the Person With the Disability Takes a Double Hit Financially?
A: Yes, absolutely. And the cost ripples throughout the system, negatively affecting insurance rates and available government funding, when yet another house has to be modified after this one's modifications are no longer available.

Q: Is There a Way to Avoid Wasting All That Investment?
A: Yes there is. When a real estate agent has the background to specialize in modified housing, they also have a network of contacts, homeowners and information about modified houses in the area, especially if any might be coming on the market in the near future. The chances of finding what a person needs, in the timeframe they have, go up considerably. When modified housing can be recycled, it benefits everyone -- individuals who can use it, their families facing the stress of the move, insurance companies footing the bill and the taxpayers whose funding tries to help all who are in need.