Tips for Injured or Disabled Home Buyers

Finding and buying a new home can be a stressful process.  Doing so while  recovering from an injury only adds to the pressure. You might not realize it at first, but your injury attorney in St. Louis can help you with more than pursuing monetary compensation for your damages. He or she can refer you to a realtor specifically trained to find accessible homes that meet your needs.

Tell your Realtor All of your Needs to Filter Houses

During your initial meeting with your realtor, tell him or her all of your physical limitations and any additional limitations you expect to have in the future. Your realtor’s first goal is to help find houses that fit your needs, so the more information he or she has about your needs, the more effectively he or she can be. Otherwise, you’ll be wasting your time looking at houses that you ultimately don’t pursue because they aren’t accessible and can’t be modified.  Giving your Realtor the needs up front will also help them assess where certain adaptions may be needed and then describe them to a contractor willing and able to install them. 

Accessibility Adaptations you Might Need

If you’re not sure which specific adaptations your new home will need, talk to your doctor about your condition. Your doctor can recommend specific home modifications, such as:

  • A wheelchair ramp;
  • A stairlift;
  • A wheelchair platform lift;
  • An accessible shower/bathtub combination;
  • Lowered countertops;
  • Widened doorways;
  • Grab rails; 
  • Outdoor railings; and 
  • ADA-compliant toilets. 

Discuss a Realistic Budget and Modification Plan with your Realtor

Virtually no home is 100% move in ready.  There are always things that you’ll need to be happy, and if your Realtor is experienced, they’ll have access to good contractors that can help get things done.  Some people just don’t have a way to make updates before moving in – if modifying the home isn’t a realistic option for you, your real estate agent can help you find homes that don’t need modifications. Don’t assume that you can’t afford the modifications you need. You might be able to get funding to help cover these costs or they might be covered by your insurance.

It’s also important to make plans based on how long you anticipate needing accessibility modifications. If you are temporarily in a wheelchair as you recover from an injury, it might make sense for you to simply set up your bedroom on your new home’s ground floor and then move it upstairs once you can walk on the stairs. If you are permanently disabled, you will need to invest in an accessible home.

Finding the Right Home for You

You shouldn’t expect to settle for a house that doesn’t work for your needs simply because you have very specific needs. Be willing to be patient and compromise when necessary – what if instead of a stairlift, you chose a one-story home to make it possible for you to access every area of the home? Brainstorm accessibility ideas with your realtor and other members of your household to see if there are solutions other than modifying a new home to make it accessible.  


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What is a Buyer Credit at Close??

Should a buyer ask the seller for assistance on their closing expenses?

Image result for money pictureWhat the heck is a credit at closing for a buyer? When I ask a buyer when we are doing our buyer consultation if they would like a credit at closing when structuring an offer, they often look at me like I have 2 heads:) I thought it would be fitting to share so maybe if one of those buyers reads this they will feel like an empowered informed buyer and will look at me with confidence and say ‘Absolutely!’

Image result for money picture A credit at closing is when a buyer makes an offer and asks the seller to give them a credit at closing to go towards there closing costs and pre-paid expenses (homeowners insurance, building inspection, etc.). The credit reflects in the final executed contract if all parties to the contract agree.

The seller can’t just give a buyer money at close for anything. That would be nice, but is against lending rules. They can give a credit to help with the buyers closing cost expenses only. So if a buyer makes an offer for $300,000 & a $5000 credit at close that buyer is actually offering the seller a net of $295,000. This is important to understand because if making an offer in a competitive market, the price needs to be aggressive to take into consideration the buyer credit request since the seller’s net on sale price is less due to the credit. I would guesstimate more than 1/2 the offers we write have a buyer’s credit at closing included. Its a super common practice nowadays, especially in the St. Louis market where you have mid range pricing and buyers that need assistance.

Really that credit a buyer receives they pay back in the form of additional mortgage, but for many a credit is super helpful with allowing a buyer to be more liquid friendly at closing so they can have a greater down payment or fix-up money to make there new home a gem! The Buyer’s Agent will be the guide through this and help  determine the best coarse. Our experience shows it is best to figure out in initial stages.

Image result for shark jawsBuying a home is pricey and the expenses at closing are great. You have lender fees, title fees, inspections, escrows for taxes and insurance, and often additional realtor fee. Depending on the price of the property they can easily be $5000-$8000+! Ouch, that is a bite out of the old checkbook! So, if a seller is willing to help with the hefty costs costs by allowing a closing credit and the buyer has the need for it I would say that is a perfect real-estate marriage:)

I will give a little caution to any that care. If the closing costs do not meet the credit a buyer is getting sadly that negotiated money goes back to the seller. A buyers credit can only be used for closing costs and prepaids:( A buyer can’t walk away with money from the purchase they just made. Best practice we do is always confirm with the lender what credit amount should we ask for on behalf of the buyer. Then we are assured that no money is left on the table & we have a HAPPY New Homeowner:)

 

Happy St. Louis Home Buyer