When it comes to purchasing a home as someone living with a disability, the process can seem a little daunting, as well as a little different when compared to the traditional method of purchasing a home.
In this article, we will take a look through all of the information you need to know as someone living with a disability looking to purchase a home as well as what you'll need to know as a guardian or family member of someone with a disability.
Why You Should Purchase a Home
Just a small minority of those with a disability own their homes in Australia. The majority either rent their houses, live in subsidized housing or share with family and friends.
That’s not too much of a problem, however, if you’re looking to make the transition from renting or sharing your home, and would like to gain some independence and genuinely be in total control of your living situation, then purchasing a home is undoubtedly the way to go!
Fortunately, in Australia there are several disability-focused associations, Government support services, and community support services that are here to make the process of saving for a home, finding a suitable home and purchasing your first home as someone with a disability a whole lot easier.
Important Things to Consider
As a future homeowner living with a disability, there a few important things to consider.
Of course, you’ll need to look over the essentials of buying a home such as how you’re going to pay for it, how much deposit you’ll need to have saved up and more. Though, there are few other things to consider too, such as the location, how close you’ll be to support services and your family and friends.
Let’s take a look below at some of the things you’ll need to consider.
What You Can Afford
Remember that it’s crucial for everyone, not just those living with a disability, to choose a home that they can afford. Take a look over your income and expenses and find out how much you earn, what you can cut back on and what’s left over for your home loan repayments.
This will give you some insight into the size of the loan you can afford and where you should be looking for your home.
The Home Loan
If you’re someone living with a disability and find it hard to work full-time or rely partially or entirely on disability support payments, you’ll need to find suitable home loan providers. The good news is that there are a few you can choose from that make the process a whole lot easier.
Lenders like Keystart offer an Access Home Loan which is designed around helping those living with a disability, or caring for someone with a disability, buy a home easier. These loans feature low interest and deposit minimums of just 2 percent.
Disability Payments as Income
You may have heard that most banks refuse Centrelink benefits as a form of income when applying for a home loan, and although this is true for most types of home loans, it isn’t when it comes to disability payments.
In Australia, a disability pension payment from Centrelink is a valid source of income from a lender’s standpoint, and that means you’re able to use this income to purchase a home.
However, it’s essential to keep in mind that the loan must be able to be comfortably repaid on these benefits. You don’t want to forfeit upwards of 70 percent of your income to your mortgage repayments.
Staying on Track
Now that we’ve offered some advice on how to purchase a home while living with a disability, there are a few things you should remember throughout the process. It’s important not to get overwhelmed and to undertake the process with family and friends.
Work with Friends or Family
There aren’t too many times when the process of purchasing a home is easy, so it’s always best to move forward with the help or moral support of friends and family. They might even have some first-hand experience to offer to make the process run a little smoother.
Finding a Home
Always make sure you choose a home that suits your lifestyle, your requirements, and your budget. If you require ramps or anything else to make your life a little easier, keep this in mind when looking for a home. Don’t purchase a multi-story home, and also be sure to factor in the cost of these additions before you purchase the home.
Get Budgeting and Financial Direction
To conclude, always be sure to make use of the services available to you. Disability support services such as Health & Finance Integrated are here to help you plan your finances and gear up for buying a home, or help you manage repayments when you finally do own your own home!
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