So who really makes the decision in a home purchase?  Well, a recent survey conducted by Realtor.com showed that 80% of the 1,000 homebuyers surveyed were pet owners. Of those, 79% said they would pass up a dream home if it didn’t work for their pet. So yes, pets definitely factor into the home purchase process!

Pets are a huge part of our lives. Pet industry sales increased 5% again last year to $69 billion nationally and continued growth is projected.  Amazon alone had pet food sales of 1.4 billion in 2017!  

We are also seeing home buyers focus more on the needs of their pets than ever before.  While buyers used to ask where they might put a doggy door, we now have clients thinking through how a home will impact the quality of life for their pets.  Dog rooms/suites, cat corners, designated bathing areas, and yard amenities are common concerns.  Many pet owners also make special food for their animals and require space for an additional refrigerator or freezer.  

We even recently showed a luxury home that had custom dog crates built in to the cabinetry, had a separate dog shower, and drawer refrigerators exclusively reserved for homemade dog food! 

What things you should you take into consideration as you look for the perfect home for your pet?  Here are some items to consider:

1. Pet Rules –  Some HOAs restrict the number of dogs you may have, so if you are breeding animals you definitely want to read the CC&Rs.  Cities have restrictions too.  For example in Mesa, you can only have a pig if it is being kept by a student participating in an approved agricultural education program such as FFA or 4-H. Miniature pigs, kept as personal pets, are limited to no more than two such pigs on one land parcel, but again, an HOA may be even more restrictive.

2. Backyard –   Does the backyard have adequate fencing for your pet and if not what will the cost be to install different fencing?  If you are looking to create a dog run, is there a way to easily create one that connects to your doggy door?  Does the home have a pool and is your animal able to be safe in the backyard or will you need to fence the pool?  Also, be mindful of poisonous plants that may be in the yard and check this link to dangerous plants from the ASPCA.

3. Flooring –  Many homebuyers with pets are opting for homes with less carpet for reasons of allergies and cleanliness. If you are a home seller who is replacing flooring, consider removing carpet and replacing with tile.  For buyers with pets, be sure to consider the cost of replacing carpeting in the home you are considering.

4. Space –  Where will the dog bowls go?  Is there a sink for water near where you are planning to put the dog/cat bowls or will you have to trek across the house? Where will the crates and cat climbers go? Is there an extra cabinet for pet toys/food/blankets?  Does the home have stairs and can your aging pet negotiate those stairs? Is there enough space to bathe your pet? Is the trash can inside cabinetry or will it be freestanding? Does the mailman come to the house? All important questions to consider as you evaluate a home for your pet.

5. Location –  Is there a dog park nearby?  Are there good walking routes? Is the home on a busy street?  Do the neighbors have pets (playdates!)?  How close is the nearest vet and emergency vet? Is there a place nearby to board and groom your pet?

Be sure to tell us if you have pets when you start looking for a home.  We have a one year old beagle (who tried to stand on the desk as I wrote this article) and so, we understand all of these considerations.  We will be happy to help you find a home that is right for your whole family!