Parents of autistic children make many modifications in their living spaces to accommodate their children’s needs, to keep them engaged, but most importantly, to keep them safe. If you were living in your home prior to your child’s birth, you may encounter limitations; in some homes, there is only so much you can do. Or, perhaps your child’s needs have changed as they have grown. If you need to create extra “safe” spaces for your child, it may be time to think about looking for that new home.
Obviously, this creates two potentially stressful undertakings for your family: selling your existing home and searching for a new one. And real estate commissions can take a big chunk out of your proceeds that could be used toward your new home purchase. Consider using an online home-selling service like BlueMatch to simplify the sale of your home for a flat fee paid at closing that is likely to be much lower than an agent commission.
You may have always enjoyed living in the heart of the city, but with an autistic child, you need to consider if that is the safest option. On one hand, if your child needs consistent in-home therapy, downtown living may be more convenient for your therapist. On the other hand, if your child is an “eloper” that tries to escape your home often, a chaotic downtown scene could be a disaster unless you are confident of your ability to secure them for as long as you live in that home.
Rural living may protect your child’s privacy if they have a tendency to strip their clothes throughout the day, but it may be too far removed from essential services. Carefully weigh the drawbacks and benefits of location; it may be helpful to put down on paper the pros and cons of each environment. Don’t forget to add into that equation proximity to family members who can provide you with much-needed breaks.
As with any home-shopping family, you also likely face budget limitations. You will want to carefully research prices in your selected areas of preference, but also look at the historical figures: Have property values increased or decreased in that area over the last 3-5 years? This could be an important consideration if you find yourself in a position of needing to relocate again – or even if you want to refinance or borrow against your home in an emergency.
Pricing research is also important when you are setting the sales listing price for your current home. Don’t be lured by a real estate agent’s claim that they can get you “more” when the numbers don’t back that up. It could lead to extended delays that aren’t beneficial to your autistic child’s well-being.
You can likely add many features that could benefit your autistic child after you move into your new home, like friendly colors and lighting, and safe storage options. On the design front, however, look for a home that boasts an open floor plan to allow your autistic child plenty of clutter-free room and an option for pacing behaviors. Ideally, your new home will also be able to accommodate a dedicated play or “safe” room for your child, which can also serve as the setting for therapeutic sessions with few distractions. Having it next to a bathroom is also a plus.
Throughout this selling, buying, and moving process, in most cases, it is best to engage your autistic child early on. The move will disrupt their routine so continuous communication is important. Using a calendar that tracks your progress, and having them help with the packing, can also help. Hiring a moving company to take much of the relocation burden off of you can also free up your time so that you can focus on an easy transition for your child while ensuring that your family belongings are moved safely and efficiently.
Safely settling in
You already know that navigating changes with an autistic child can be challenging. Moving into a new home breaks up a routine and can confront your autistic child with uncomfortable sensory experiences. Now is an ideal time to seek simplification wherever you can find it; simplifying the sale of your existing home with BlueMatch can offer you the hassle-free home sales transaction your family needs right now.