Packing up and moving locations is stressful no matter what your situation is. When it comes to moving, getting settled, and feeling safe with a child with disabilities, these worries become even more apparent. Flint: Our Community, Our Voice takes a look at some of the ways you can decrease your anxiety while looking for that dream home for you and your child with disabilities.
Tip #1: Make a Plan
Your child is going to need a lot of attention and help in the coming months and weeks. There are several things you need to make sure you take care of before the move. For instance, you need to select the right school zone for your child based on online reviews, school guides, and good old fashioned phone calls. You may even consider doing virtual tours of the schools — or suggesting it if a particular school doesn’t offer that possibility. In addition, make sure you know where the closest emergency rooms are and know where your child’s medical documents are at all times.
Part of your plan should also include day-of activities for when you actually do the moving. Something that will be critical for your child is maintaining as much of their normal routine as possible. Keeping that regular day-to-day life will help ground them and keep the world feeling manageable. For instance, normal meal times and bedtimes should be maintained.
During the move, keep your child’s comfort items close. If you are hiring a moving company, make sure those boxes are marked clearly so the movers know where to put those things so your child can reach them immediately.
Tip #2: Buying a House is About Research
When moving with your child, no matter the circumstances, you don’t want to stress them out unnecessarily. You also want to take your own situation into account and make sure you do your research. Buying a house is, nine times out of ten, all about how much research you do — and how thorough you are when doing said research.
Owning your own property — a house and land — is a great way to increase your assets and improve financial security, but you want to ensure you buy the house you can afford, not just the house you want.
You first need to create a budget, see what you can afford, and research your housing market. Saving money to buy a house starts small with a budget. An easy rule to remember is not to spend more than 25 percent of your total take-home pay on your mortgage payment. Work back from that, and you’ll have how much you need to save to have a decent down payment for a home.
Another important part of your research is getting a real estate agent! Cross-reference what you can afford against the cost of homes in your area and talk to lenders before you look for a real estate agent. From there, finding a reliable agent is a matter of utilizing your network to first find and then vet professionals. Make sure you hire a realtor who is certified through the National Association of Realtors. You also want to make sure the realtor you choose is compassionate, kind, and understanding of your particular needs. Your child with disabilities may need accommodations to the home you buy, so it’s important for the realtor to realize these particular needs and potential future renovations you may want to do, and help you find homes that would make that a possibility.
Tip #3: Hire a Moving Company
You should plan to include hiring movers in your budget. Not only do professional movers know exactly how to get your stuff from point A to point B, but they also provide a critical service that may not be readily apparent: They allow you to direct your attention away from the things being moved and toward the person being moved — namely, your child. This will let you focus on their needs.
Tip #4: You are Not Alone
Getting ready to move can be one of the most anxiety-inducing times in your life, but with the help of those around you, you can turn a stressful circumstance into a relief.