Pet Friendly House Hunting

There is no doubt that for those of us that own a pet, our pets are an important part of the family and can influence the decisions we make each day-even when it comes to purchasing a new home. In a survey of millennial homebuyers conducted on behalf of SunTrust Mortgage, the poll determined that the desire for a better space or a yard for a dog influenced their decision to buy their first home. Dogs were among the top three motivators—cited by 33 percent of buyers.

When buying a new home for yourself and your furry friend, here is a list of points you should consider:

1) Something Offered for Everyone

Many cities restrict the number and types of pets allowed within city limits. For example, if you wanted to own a chicken coop or perhaps a goat many times farm animals are not allowed in the city limits. Not every HOA allows pets. If the homeowner’s association permits pets, most likely the association bylaws will address restrictions on numbers, types, sizes, heights, noise factors, and whether pets are allowed to freely roam the premises. Some areas or HOAs will even restrict the type of breed that can live in certain areas. So, it is important to do your homework and consult your realtor for advice.

2) What does the home offer for your Pet?

When looking at a new home also consider things that might make your pets life easier. Is there an outdoor faucet so you can bath your dog or wash off his paws after a walk? Check to make sure the home has exterior faucets; it’s an easy thing to overlook. Is the yard fenced or can it be later? Make a list of your desired preferences before going home shopping.

3) Examine the Home’s Layout

Older pets might have trouble climbing stairs, so for some home buyers with senior pets, a single-story home may be a better fit. Cats like windows. Is there an area suitable for your pet to watch the world go by? Is there a playroom for your pets? Is there room to install a pet door? Is there a discreet place for a litter box? Pets love to run. Is there a place for them to run and play? If you keep your pets confined to certain rooms, is the layout conducive to that arrangement?

4) What is the Street Traffic like?

Even the most well-mannered pets can dart out when the front door is opened. Cats are no different. A curious cat can find a way to push open a screen door to get outside. To prevent tragedy, it’s better to pass on purchasing a home that is located on or near a busy thoroughfare.

5) What other Pets have Lived in the Home?

When purchasing an older home that had pets previously check for prior pet damage, especially under rugs. Look at the backs of doors for scratches or gouges. Ask about pet accidents. Its also good to inquire about fleas in the house.