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I am looking for houses with handicap accessible showers.

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December 11 2013 - Raleigh
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Good morning DL:
Generally you need to convert a bathroom for accessibility. "The North Carolina Housing Agency offers programs to assist first-time home buyers; helps governments, nonprofit groups, and private developers create affordable homes, apartments and supportive housing, and provides funding for rehab and repair assistance for homeowners through local groups. http://www.nchfa.com/Homebuyers/HOrepairs.aspx The Down payment Assistance program offers first-time homebuyers who qualify for a conventional mortgage assistance with a down payment and closing costs in the form of deferred payment, interest-free loans up to $7, 000 in amount. There are many more programs.  A call to them will likely result in some sort of referral to a local lender/service provider. Might also try http://arcnc.org You may want to search for "Financing for Persons with Disabilities to be Home Owners" for other resources. Best success in your search.
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December 12 2013
Your Raleigh area Real Estate agent can search a field in the Multiple Listing called "Accessibility". However, that requires the listing agents to know to add accessible features into the MLS when they list the property and unfortunately,  that does not happen very often.

I have found that for my clients who need accessible showers, there are a number of factors to consider. Do they want a transfer shower or is a roll-in required? Will a folding seat do, or do they prefer a permanent seat to transfer to?  After a few important questions are asked, we know what to look for in the homes we view in order to determine how easy they will be for shower renovation work.  For example, when my husband was in a wheelchair, he was able to use the transfer method so we were able to easily rework our 3' x 3' shower space.  Your agent will be able to give you names of contractors who have good reputations.

Secondly, if you purchase new construction, you and your agent can negotiate any  universal design features that are important to you such as wider doorways, proper turn around space throughout the house,  etc

The best of luck!
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December 12 2013
Handicap accessible showers are fairly rare in the marketplace.  Your choices - in Atlanta - are
1. Purchase a new construction home and write the specifications for a handicap accessible shower into the sales contract.
2. Purchase an existing home that has a handicap accessible shower (very few available and unpredictable as to when they would come on the market)
3. Purchase a home where you could convert the existing shower/bathtub to a handicap accessible shower.  Most Realtors have contractor recommendations and could give you a ball park price for a conversion.

If you are seeking a rental - many landlords will make the conversion to a handicap accessible shower provided you sign a long term lease with a significant rental deposit.
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December 12 2013
 
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