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Priorities for the Four-legged

Just as buyers with school-age children look for homes in good school districts, pet owners have criteria they consider must-haves when looking for a property.

The number one request I get from prospective dog owning buyers is that the property must have a fenced yard, or a yard that can be fenced in. That’s often a significant issue as it instantly rules out a lot of possibilities. It also might mean digging into HOA restrictions and the cost of a fence before committing to an offer.

The next factor is livability. Some larger pets need a lot of space. An active, 80 pound lab may feel a bit confined in an 800 sq. ft. condo. In addition to space, the ease of getting outside can be super important to the homeowner. For pet owners living in a high-rise, the stroll down the hall and elevator ride can get old real fast. We have clients that only look at first floor condos to help alleviate this problem.

Proximity to a dog park, trails or open spaces are a huge plus. Whether it’s just a nice area to go on a long walk or a safe area to let the dogs off leash, dog owners love to let their dogs run around, play and sniff other dogs. I see so many groups of people walking their dogs together while enjoying a nice conversation and getting a bit of exercise too. I think this really underscores how important location to walkable areas with other dog owners really is. Hershey and I made so many new friends just walking around our neighborhood and going to the nearby high school fields.

Mud rooms! They make the perfect location for  dog food and water bowls. And after a rainy day, there’s no better place to re-enter the house.

Looking down the pike, the newest trend I see is adding a dog-washing station in the mudroom. While this may seem lavish, for many it’s way better than the back-breaking, water everywhere mess of using the kid’s bath tub. Perhaps one day we will be marketing 4 bedrooms, 3 full human baths and 1 pet bath homes!

Selling a Home with a Pet?
But before listing a house with a pet it’s best to repair any pet damage, clean the home, and  any odors. During showings put away pet toys and food/water bowls and, ideally, have your pet out of the house when the buyer arrives.

Yes, Pet People are a Little Bit Crazy

Finding a house with a yard is one thing, but what else will people admit to doing for their pets? You’d be surprised… unless you’re a pet owner yourself, in which case I’m sure you understand.

39.29% lived on a tighter budget to afford their dogs’ expenses.

13.96% moved from an apartment to a house so their dog would have a yard.

7.47% stayed at a job they disliked because it allowed them to work remotely or had a dog-friendly office.

6.78% broke up with a significant other who didn’t like their dog.

5.25% took a pay cut or accepted a position with fewer benefits to work remotely or have access to a dog-friendly office.

4.57% actually left a job they liked because another company let them work from home or had a dog-friendly office.

36% of dog owners reported that they would spend $4,000 or more out-of-pocket on life-saving medical care for their dogs.

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