Last summer, I called up a friend to let her know I was planning to come down to Florida for the winter and I wanted to meet up for lunch. My friend also happens to be my realtor.
Even though I am from New York and I’m still a New York resident, I own property in Florida. Owning property in Florida allows me to come down south and stay warm during the cold New York winters. The warmth helps my muscles and does a world of good for me, so I can live an independent and active lifestyle.
Selling My Place in Florida
When I spoke to my realtor, she asked me if I ever considered selling my place. I told her I never thought of selling because my place in Florida is more than a property. I consider it a necessity at this stage of my life due to my disability. Towards the end of summer, the housing market was booming, and people were flooding to buy property in Florida with the low interest rates. My friend asked me if she could have an appraiser come to my place just to see what my property was worth. I told her sure! I liked the number they came back with. So, my place was on the market for just over one week and went into a bidding war. I was shocked. Then slowly, my shock turned to fear. At this point, it was almost October and now I didn’t have a place to live in Florida and stay warm. Thankfully, I stayed with a family member this winter while I looked for a new place.
Moving with a Disability
When you have a disability, it is not so easy to just pick up everything and move. I have friends who can move at the drop of a hat. I never thought of how involved the process is for people with disabilities, especially when you are like me and can’t lift heavy things. It becomes a logistical nightmare trying to coordinate all the moving parts.
The thing that I found the most surprising is that there are a lot of Durable Medical Equipment (DME) providers that sell and service Quantum® products. Almost every major town has a dealer with a technician. Where my property was, I had a great relationship with my local dealer. Their location was only a 10-15 minutes away. If I ever needed service performed on my Edge® 3 Power Wheelchair, they were always close by to help.
My Wish List for a New Home
Currently, I am working with my realtor to find a new place to live. Obviously, finding a property that has an open floor plan and wheelchair accessibility is a big part of my list. Another requirement is that I want to be close to a local Quantum dealer. My realtor found this very interesting. She had told me I was the first person to ask her for a property close to a DME provider.
I also wanted my future home to be close to a dealership that can work and service my wheelchair-accessible van with electronic hand controls. My vehicle is custom built, just like my power wheelchair. I must take my wheelchair-accessible van for maintenance at a special dealership that is trained to assist with these types of vehicles.
I continue to search for a property. I am very thankful I can think of these things ahead of time. Even though I may have to wait longer to find a house, compared to most of my friends who can just pick up and move, I know having these services close to my new home is vital to me living an independent life. To me, that is what is important. So, next time you consider moving, make sure you look into how close your motorized wheelchair provider is. It could make a big difference in the future.
About Josh McDermott: Josh is a brand ambassador for Quantum Rehab® and uses an Edge 3 motorized wheelchair to remain independent. He is a public speaker and has served as a goodwill ambassador for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Josh lives in New York and loves to travel. Click here to learn more about Josh.
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