There probably hasn’t been a better time to be a freelance journalist. As a freelancer, you can choose many different venues to showcase your writing skills and make money. You set the rules. There are really no boundaries. The same can be said about showcasing accessible homes for sale.
There are two main websites that exclusively advertise accessible homes for the disability community; barrierfreehome.com and accessibleproperties.net As you can guess, each website have unique features to offer.
Barrierfree appears to be driven solely by home owners placing ads to sell. Realtors are not showcased. To advertise your home for sale, it is $59. The website is basic, having every state listed for you to search for homes, eliminating the need to remember the zip code. However, if you still want to search by zip code you can. It is unclear what standards are being used to be listed as an accessible home. The Q/A section does not mention any requirements. When examining an actual listing, there are no defined categories. You must read the descriptive paragraph to determine what accessible features are present. Finally, the website is one of three other website advertising homes that fit a specific niche, like beach or cabin housing. A word of caution, these other websites do not incorporate accessible features. I hope you don’t plan to own a vacation home.
By contrast, accessibleproperties.net has a lot of involvement from both realtors and home owners. The website is far more advance in both how professionally looking it is and what it provides. The website includes articles and photo galleries regarding accessible housing. It also has a section listing realtors to contact if you desire. With that being said, if you want to list your home for sale, it will cost you – $89 for the year. A significant more than Barrierfree website. The listing themselves has a buffet of accessible features that can be included in your search. The website bury’s it by placing these field options under its advance search amenities.
Yet, there is much to be desired from these two websites. The websites are not heavily monitored and I question even active. Unless recently added, the listings are not always removed. It is also not clear what experience in selling accessible homes do the realtors listed on accessibleproperties actually have. Does this mean they are experienced with clients who have disabilities? Or does it mean that they are willing and eager to learn if that means they sell that accessible home for sale? Nor is it clear what features is deemed suitable to place the home for sale on either website. Is it a home that is one level so any mobility challenged buyer? Or does it require some kind of modification to the house, like a wheel-in shower?
With other real estate websites that the masses use, like zillow, the ability to search for an accessible home is difficult by design. Zillow and others do not have specific filters that you can check to include a disability feature, like a ramp. Instead, you must use a keyword search. Any additional help, like a list of realtors or articles, are none existing.
With plentiful literary options to write and advertise any product or home, it is quite surprising that only two websites are devoted to the largest minority group in the US. It is equally surprising that very little is done to educate and refine what features truly qualify as an accessible home.