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Handicap Accomodation And Value

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Cascada

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Virginia
I just finished a house with handicap accommodation. The house has wider doors, lower cabinets, lower lights etc. Does this affect the value of the property? The asking price seems to be the same as the houses in the area. What do you think?
 

Terrel L. Shields

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I would aver that since the cost of handicap access isn't particularly high, it would rarely add nor subtract value. I wish I had made all doors inside 36" & exterior 42-48", put a ramp from ground to house, a low sink, walk in tub. Wouldn't has cost me $500 more at the time.
 

J Grant

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Florida
I just finished a house with handicap accommodation. The house has wider doors, lower cabinets, lower lights etc. Does this affect the value of the property? The asking price seems to be the same as the houses in the area. What do you think?

Wow....that is a tough one. To start, (I'll expand more after you respond)...it's asking price is the same as others...but how long is the marketing time DOM? Does it have a contract of sale or offer on it, being hat it is listed ?
 

techbiker

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I just finished a house with handicap accommodation. The house has wider doors, lower cabinets, lower lights etc. Does this affect the value of the property? The asking price seems to be the same as the houses in the area. What do you think?

Is the house truly ADA-compliant or does it just have handicap access features? Full ADA compliance can be very expensive and typically dramatically reduces the efficiency of space utilization.

-Do all rooms have the required 5' turning radii?
-Is the required knee space present under all fixtures?
-18" clearance on the pull sides of all doors?
-What is the grade of the exterior access ramp?

"Handicap accommodation" is a sort of nebulous statement because a lever-type door handle is technically an accommodation.
 

Noreen

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New Hampshire
My family went through this in 2007, so my statements are first person. Terrel is right, it was cheaper to built a new house than to retrofit the existing house. widening all the doors 36" and the reconfiguration of the kitchen and baths would run between $40,000 to $50,000 IN MY AREA. And no, it does not seem to extract a dollar amount in matched pair analysis HOWEVER more and more families are keeping elderly family members with the family home and these are the answer as it costs approximately $15,000 per month for assisted living in this area so the market appeal when being sold is very healthy. We put the ramp in the third garage bay to keep it dry and he had a motorized chair lift to change floors.
 

Tom4value

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Massachusetts
That is a tough one as this situation may be like inground pools. Some buyers would only look at houses that have this feature. Others would avoid it. If I was looking for a house with a special needs family member, I would jump all over this house. If not, I would not want a house with a large ramp at the front entrance andI certainly would not pay extra for oversized doors and special door handles. I know some states or communities mandate that any renovation of a house needs to be ADA compliant so these houses may be worth more.
 
Joined
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Florida
I just finished a house with handicap accommodation. The house has wider doors, lower cabinets, lower lights etc. Does this affect the value of the property? The asking price seems to be the same as the houses in the area. What do you think?
This is a classic "Marginal Buyer" issue.

There is no single answer to this and unfortunately I imagine that your market evidence is not only extremely limited but also would be "all over the place." However, consider that a family without a wheelchair issue will probably find the attributes inconvenient. A 6' person may have to bend down to flick the light switch, and the lower counters located in the kitchen or master bath will be serious negatives to most buyers.

OTOH, considering the up-side (for higher pricing) there is a "Marginal Buyer" theory somewhere in the Appraisal Institute's Lum Library (I think) you might find useful in situations like this. When bidding on a property with special attributes with a limited market - like a H/C home - the wheelchair-buyer will not have to pay anywhere near "cost" since they only have to out-bid the non-wheelchair buyer (unless the seller gets lucky and there are several wheelchair buyers involved... not too likely). So, if there is only one wheelchair-buyer in the market at this time, they will only have to bid slightly higher than the typical buyer that would regard the improvements as functionally obsolescent. The "loss" isn't a matter of waiting for that unique buyer to come along - it's negotiation. Purchasing the home knowing that it probably doesn't have good re-sale prospects would not be prudent for the wheelchair buyer, and so the pressure is on the seller to reduce the price.

I think you'll conclude that the improvements reflect functional obsolescence and your adjustment will reflect the cost to cure the low counters, lights and other "problem" features - plus incentive/profit. You will have to use judgement to discern what would need to be raised depending on "what and where" in your particular case.
 

J Grant

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Dec 9, 2003
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Certified Residential Appraiser
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Florida
This is a classic "Marginal Buyer" issue.

There is no single answer to this and unfortunately I imagine that your market evidence is not only extremely limited but also would be "all over the place." However, consider that a family without a wheelchair issue will probably find the attributes inconvenient. A 6' person may have to bend down to flick the light switch, and the lower counters located in the kitchen or master bath will be serious negatives to most buyers.

OTOH, considering the up-side (for higher pricing) there is a "Marginal Buyer" theory somewhere in the Appraisal Institute's Lum Library (I think) you might find useful in situations like this. When bidding on a property with special attributes with a limited market - like a H/C home - the wheelchair-buyer will not have to pay anywhere near "cost" since they only have to out-bid the non-wheelchair buyer (unless the seller gets lucky and there are several wheelchair buyers involved... not too likely). So, if there is only one wheelchair-buyer in the market at this time, they will only have to bid slightly higher than the typical buyer that would regard the improvements as functionally obsolescent. The "loss" isn't a matter of waiting for that unique buyer to come along - it's negotiation. Purchasing the home knowing that it probably doesn't have good re-sale prospects would not be prudent for the wheelchair buyer, and so the pressure is on the seller to reduce the price.

I think you'll conclude that the improvements reflect functional obsolescence and your adjustment will reflect the cost to cure the low counters, lights and other "problem" features - plus incentive/profit. You will have to use judgement to discern what would need to be raised depending on "what and where" in your particular case.

This is an important point, and brings in marketing time as welll as price, perhaps inextricably linked in the case of the "marginal " buyer, or perhaps better term is niche buyer-

Given that the able bodied buyer makes up predominant market in many areas, and the handicap access might be a deterrent to them, the question then becomes, is there enough handicap access buyers to make up a niche market for these properties ? IOR are they relegated to only the marginal buyer? Talking to RE agents and finding any sales of handicap access property and looking at their prices and DOM, even if they are not comps for subject could help.
 

Meandering

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Feb 26, 2006
Professional Status
Real Estate Agent or Broker
State
Pennsylvania
Actually,

It is a classic Fair Housing Issue, as ADA is a protected class.
And state laws may be more expansive than the Federal Laws.

Think it through very thoroughly before you try and disclaim it comparable to non-ADA accessible homes.

Some thing to consider.
http://fairhousingrights.org/services/housing-laws/


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