These days, more Americans than ever have a furry, feathery, or scaly friend as a member of their family, and their needs are just as important as everyone else’s. In fact, around 79 million U.S. households currently own a pet, so as they start looking to buy a house they’ll need to make sure it can accommodate their animal companion. Here are the main three things pet owners should look at when searching for a home.
Rules, Regulations, and Requirements. HOA, condo, and townhouse rules all probably have something to say about pets, so it’s important to go over the fine print before deciding to move in. County code restrictions should also be looked into as they may limit the amount of pets or sometimes even the types of pets a household can have. Also, look into neighborhood leash laws and clean-up requirements as these could affect a pet owner and their normal routine.
Location. Consider the area surrounding the house such as sidewalks and traffic. Is it safe to take dogs for walks in the area? Would a cat be able to go outside without being in immediate danger? Also look into the house’s distance from any parks, pet stores, vets, or other pet-friendly places, and try to find out if the neighborhood itself is pet friendly. Look for other dog walkers, community placed doggie clean-up stations, cats sun bathing on porches, or talk to the neighbors if they or their friends have pets. A neighborhood that’s hesitant about them may not be the best option.
Features and Layout. This is probably the most important aspect of house hunting for pet owners. Will this home be comfortable for them? Consider a pet’s age and mobility and how the floorplan may affect their happiness. An old cat may not be comfortable in a home with a lot of stairs, and a closed floorplan may be too tight for an active puppy. The little details are important, too, such as if there are wood and tile floors or if the whole house is carpeted, or if there’s a faucet outside to use to clean a big hairy dog. Also consider the yard. Is there one? How big is it? Is it fenced in? A happy pet makes for a happy life, so it’s important to look at how a new home will impact the little guys.