Purchasing a Home After Sustaining a SCI — Reeve Connect
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Purchasing a Home After Sustaining a SCI

Zcollie Moderator Posts: 239 Moderator
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I was 15 years old when my accident happened and now I am 25. I currently live in a affordable housing apartment complex which is great because rent is low. However, I am getting tired of living underneath a microscope. I cant make any extra money here without being scared of not qualifying anymore and getting kicked out. There are so many rules and regulations in order to live here. The government system does not help you to get better and improve your quality of life, they set you up to fail and stay in the system. I am starting to think about my future and want a condo or house of my own to start a family when the time comes.

I am currently looking into first time home owners programs and what I would qualify for. For those of you who bought a home post injury are there any programs I should look into? Any recommendations and advice would be very helpful thank you. 

Hope this makes sense. 
Accept what is, let go of what was, and have faith in what will be. -SONIA RICOTTI


    WAGSofSCI Moderator Posts: 379 Moderator
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    @Zcollie - hey Zach its Brooke

    This issue continues to piss me off. I'm sorry, but WHY is it that people with disabilities are encouraged to live below a certain income level in order to maintain affordable housing? It is the same here in Canada - you are encouraged to live below the poverty line just to be able to live in an accessible, affordable apartment or townhouse. Caregivers receive a tax credit ONLY if their partner makes under $11,000 CAD per year. That is WELL below the poverty line, and I believe in the US its similar. The fact is - the expenses for disabled people are so high.. equipment, medical supplies, etc etc that I feel everyone should have access to accessible, affordable apartments without questions. The very thought of having to "stay under" a certain amount - when the amount is usually ridiculously low - is wrong! Ok that was my rant on that... 

    As far as purchasing a home - we were literally signing our condo purchase papers while my husband was in ICU. We purchased our first condo when he was in hospital, and then 2 years later, sold it and moved back to the city. The second time around it was harder to qualify for another mortgage because of his disability payments as they were not as high as what he was making before. In Canada, every first time home buyer qualifies for a grant where they save money on their FIRST home purchase. I think its the same in the US. This is to make buying more attractive to younger people who may want to save a little money. With 5-20% down, you can qualify for a mortgage. In Canada, the only thing that disabled people can save on is AFTER they buy their home - whether your disabled or not doesn't make you qualify for more or less in order to get a home, and there are no special benefits during the purchasing process. This may be different in the US. Here, having a disability helps you to save on your property taxes that come every year. You can save up to 70% if you have a higher level injury which is great. You also get tax credits on your home, plus you can get some money to help renovate your home to be accessible from the government. But again, this depends on your income. 

    I will be honest with you and tell you that there are hidden expenses you do not really think about when you own a home. Although its a great investment (depending where you are buying), you have things like taxes, strata maintenance fees, general home maintenance you have to pay for, and more. Sometimes I call it a money pit because although its yours, it costs a lot more than renting at the end of the day. Yes, its worth it in the long run - its yours and you have something to your name - and I just keep telling myself that the money you spend to maintain it all goes into your pocket in the end IF your house value appreciates. 

    When you really think about your unique situation, its hard not to see the benefits to buying your own home. This would move you out of that "lack" mentality that is forced on you when you live in affordable housing! Im interested to see what everyone else's thoughts are for those who live in the US. 

    - Brooke 

    Your WAGS of SCI
    (Elena and Brooke)
  • Zcollie
    Zcollie Moderator Posts: 239 Moderator
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    @WAGSofSCI Hey Brooke, you are so right. It is so wrong that people with disabilities are forced to live below the poverty line in order to qualify for "affordable living". It really makes zero sense and I am finally understanding how the system really works. They make everything sound find and dandy in the beginning  but once you are in it you can either be okay with living just to get by for the rest of your life or try to improve and better yourself but LOSE all of the benefits and living situation. I am tired of living under a financial microscope and living paycheck to paycheck. I cant even have my own savings account because that money will be counted against me. I am stuck with only being able to make a certain income, I cant get a job, I cant save money, and I have to provide my bank statements whenever they ask . I am even supposed to report any donations people send me out of the kindness of there hearts as income! The system is BROKEN. My rant is done on that haha....

    As far as purchasing a house you are right about all of the other expenses that go into it. I have had other people tell me about that. If Bree and I do purchase something it will be a condo or townhome. For first time buyers we qualify to only put down 3%-%3.5 which is awesome but we would not rush into something we did not think about and plan long term. We love where we live and are grateful for cheap rent. We are just tired of being held back on what we can do and make. We are just really starting to think about our future and looking in to what are options are if something went wrong and we had to find a new place. 

    The reason we are preferring to put a down payment on a condo or townhome instead of renting is because where we live a 2 bedroom 1 bath apartment would cost the same if not more as a mortgage on a condo or townhome. Hopefully everything will workout in good timing. 
    Accept what is, let go of what was, and have faith in what will be. -SONIA RICOTTI
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