Why disabled people don’t own real estate


I need to move.  This house is too big, too much to maintain.  Even though Actemra is working, I’m still in a lot of pain and I have very limited capabilities.  I still need oxycodone to get through the day, but at least it’s a lower dose.   Fatigue is worse than it’s ever been.  I’m better than I was, and I’m grateful, but if a normal person woke up in my body tomorrow, they’d call it agony and be demanding someone do something about it.   I’m just used to it.

This house is still too much for me to manage.  And NDIS?  No help there.  Useless.  I’ll be waiting forever.  And I’d rather have a place that I can take care of. It makes more sense. I don’t want to rely on other people.

But it’s not that simple to move.  The mortgage brokers I’ve spoken to say no one will give me a loan.  Because all my forms of income are invalid.  Disability pension, (small) super pension and child support.  DSP and Child support are not considered reliable income by most banks.  Apparently lots of people get cut off disability, and lots of ex-husbands stop paying child support.

No…really?  Men don’t pay the required amount of child support?  Colour me shocked.

But I can afford a small mortgage.  I bought my first house when I was 19 years old.  Dumb thing to do, I should have travelled the world, had fun while I was young, not get tied down to a mortgage.  But the upside is I bought and sold several times, and made money each time. Except that one time I listened to my husband. He was miserable in the place where I was happiest.  But I did what he wanted and sold up because my marriage was at stake.  Lost money and my marriage ended anyway a few years later.  Good call. Should have followed the numbers.  Should have stayed where I was happy…beautiful house by the beach.  Oh well.

Oooops.  A little too close to bitter and twisted there. Back to the point.

Despite a long and perfect financial history, I can’t get a mortgage.  Nevermind that I want to downsize, get a smaller house, and therefore a smaller mortgage, or even no mortgage at all, the banks won’t look at me.  This house has gone up in value, and I’ve spent around $15k on improvements and renovations.  It’s now been valued by several real estate agents at almost $200K more than I paid for it.  In five years.

Yes I know they overvalue to ‘buy the listing’ and I know that the bank valuation is what counts AND I know that price is what the market will stand.  But still.  I’ve conservatively improved my equity balance by $150K.

I bought well.  Accidental, of course. Pure luck, of course.  I had no idea what I was doing, just like all the other times I bought and sold for profit.  Everyone knows my ex-husband was the brains of the partnership.  I was the fun one, wise cracking and throwing parties.   Not the smart one, right?

But back to the banks.  Despite having never defaulted on a mortgage payment in the almost 30 years that I’ve had a loan against one property or another, they consider me unreliable and a poor risk.  So they want me to sell first, and then buy.

Erm…well, if I do it THAT way, that kinda defeats the purpose of the mortgage guys…

But even if I choose a higher price point, or need to go to a higher price point for an appropriate property (all the small places have stairs), my mortgage would be very small by today’s standards.  I would be a safe bet.  My equity in whatever property I buy will far exceed the size of the loan, therefore if I DID default, and they DID have to sell the property to recoup, there is no way the bank could lose. No. Way.

But they have their little formulas, and 30 years of borrowing history means nothing, if the magic formula says that I’m a bad risk.  People don’t think anymore, they just follow the standard algorithm.

And selling first won’t work in other ways. I have very particular needs:  A house on the flat, relatively new or renovated, no work to do, not too big and not too small, no steps, wide enough halls and doorways for a wheelchair, flat yard big enough for a dog or two. Oh, and three bedrooms.  That doesn’t sound like a big ask, but its surprisingly difficult to find a disability friendly house.  Given I would only have 30-60 days to find said house after exchanging contracts on my house, and I’d need to secure the purchase on this new house in the same timeframe, well, it’s impossible.

Unless I find a buyer who wants a very long settlement, to give me time to find the right property, it’s not going to work.  Or unless I got supremely lucky…and if you’ve been following this blog for any period of time you know that I have LOTS of luck…just not good luck.

So.  I could rent while I find the perfect house. Rent is expensive.  Much more expensive than my little mortgage.  I’m on a small income, with no way to increase that income. I can’t work.  I’ve tried.  I mess myself up every time.  Actemra isn’t good enough for work, unfortunately.

And Gamerboy doesn’t want to move once, let alone twice. Kids with Asperger’s don’t like change.  Moving house is massive. It’s traumatic.  If I move him once, he’ll just be getting settled and I’ll move him again.  Not ideal on any level.

fBut the bigger issue is being able to afford the high cost of rent. We would have no disposable income, I could just barely cover expenses. Of course, I’d have investment income from the proceeds of my house, so after three months or so, that would become easier.  In time.  But life would become even harder than it is now, and I’m not sure I can handle ‘harder’.  The packing, the moving, the expenses…twice.

So I’m stuck. Trapped.

I have all kinds of ideas. And there are all kinds of loans.  A bridging loan, a relocation loan, portable loans, and yet the brokers say ‘no’ on all counts to me. It’s ridiculous.  So I have to fight.  I always have to fight.  Nothing is ever simple.  Nothing just works out.

I’ll keep looking for someone who will fight for me, argue my case with the banks.  That’s hard work, and their tail commissions won’t cover their effort.  Why fight for me when they can take an easy client?

So I’ll have to talk to the lenders myself.  Convince them they should lend to me.

But why should they?  They look at the numbers and see that I’ll need that loan for around 3 months only.  And then I’ll pay it out.  They won’t make much in fees and charges.  It won’t be worth the admin.

So I’ll lie.  Change my story. Stay on this side of the ‘fraud’ line.  I have to move. I can’t stay here.

There has to be a way.



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