If you have a child with a disability, moving to a new house can present a few challenges. While it will require more planning, your move will go smoothly if you take the time to prepare your child and anticipate certain hurdles. Use this resource for guidance on ways to make the move as stress-free as possible and tips for finding the right home for your family. If you're on the hunt, Classic Properties can help you find the perfect home for your family in Northeast Pennsylvania.
Preparing to move
One of the most important things to keep in mind as you consider moving is how you can prepare your child for the transition. Depending on your child's disability and age, you may need to give them as much as a month of warning. For example, if your child is on the autism spectrum, they'll likely need more time to mentally process the upcoming change to reduce anxiety.
For children on the autism spectrum, visual aids can be very helpful when anticipating change. Use photographs of the new home — and your child's new bedroom — to help them visualize and prepare for the change. Use a calendar to provide your child with a timeline so they can mentally prepare.
Try to keep your home as normal as possible until it's time to pack, and aim to pack your child's belongings last. Get some fun colored boxes and write your child's name on the outside to ease any concerns they may have about packing their belongings. It's also helpful to set aside a few comfort items for moving day to help keep them as stress-free as possible.
If your child's disability is more physical than intellectual — for example, if they use a wheelchair — show them images of their new home to put any anxiety at rest. Explain features of the home that make it accessible so they can rest assured that they'll be able to move with ease throughout their new home.
For families that have children with disabilities, house-hunting can be more challenging because you'll need to find a home that can accommodate your child's needs. Consider your child's disability and assess what features would make your child more comfortable and allow them to move more freely.
For children with autism, minimalist homes are best. Avoid houses with busy wallpaper or complicated layouts, and instead, find a home that has simple decor and an open layout. Another great feature is dimmable lights — many children on the spectrum are sensitive to bright lights. Avoid homes that are near busy roads or that have noisy surroundings, and try to find a home that has a fenced yard, especially if your child is prone to wandering.
If your child has mobility limitations, finding an accessible home is important. Open layouts are best for wheelchair-users, and having at least one accessible bathroom is important. It's possible to make modifications to make a more accessible home — you can install a wheelchair ramp to the front door, or change the flooring from carpet to hardwood to make it easier for a wheelchair to move around.
Remember to keep your family safe during the house-hunting process: search for homes online first, and ask your real estate agent for virtual showings so you can minimize your risk of exposure to COVID-19.
Buying a new home
When you've found the right home, ensure that your finances are in order to make it a smooth process. To secure a loan, you'll need to make a down payment, which can be as low as 3.5% or as high as 20% of the cost of the home. Your down payment amount will depend on the type of loan you get. Keep in mind that if you pay less than 20%, you'll be required to pay mortgage insurance on top of your monthly mortgage.
Moving when you have a child with a disability may take more preparation and planning, but with these tips, the process will likely go more smoothly. Take time to prepare your child for the move, and look for a home that will support their needs. Remember to get your finances in order before you get too far into the process, and consider what you can afford for a down payment. Finally, if you're looking for a new home in Northeast Pennsylvania, contact Classic Properties for help finding the right home for your family's needs. Phone: 570-587-7000