Must-Have Home Features for Pet Owners
A popular adage states that only three things matter when buying real estate: location, location, location. That was always an oversimplification (um, home price and amenities?), but now a surprising new priority has emerged: pets, pets, pets.
When it comes to buying a home, pets are in the driver’s seat, particularly dogs. How prevalent is this change? A study by the National Association of Realtors® showed that a whopping 43% of American households would consider moving or otherwise changing their living situations to accommodate a pet. Even more striking? Of the Realtors surveyed, 18% had represented clients whose moves were dictated entirely by their pets’ needs.
Fast Facts About Pets and Homebuying
So, what features are pet owners most interested in?
For the majority of animal-loving homebuyers, a fence is their top priority. After all, even the best trained pup can wander away in search of a stray ball or pesky squirrel. Beyond that, room to play a spirited game of fetch or learn some tricks is crucial.
Neighborhoods fit for a dog.
Wide sidewalks for walks, trees for shade, and access to parks or trails can make the difference between a “Sign on the dotted line” and “Next, please.”
Indoor spaces that meet pet-specific needs.
Owners of senior dogs might prefer a home without stairs, while cat owners might be on the lookout for out-of-the-way space for a litter box. Convenient space for feeding is also a plus, as anyone who has accidentally stepped in a water bowl can attest. Beyond that, pet owners look for room for toys, beds, and equipment (travel crates, harnesses, pet grooming products, etc.).
Location, location, location.
Okay, this still counts … but for different reasons. Pet owners are looking for convenient access to pet supply stores, groomers, veterinarians, and emergency animal hospitals, and 18% of owners surveyed listed this as one of the most important factors for them. Of course, proximity to a dog park is the Holy Grail for canine owners.
White carpets + muddy paws = disaster. Pet owners want to enjoy their fur babies, not worry about carpet stains or floor scratches that can’t be buffed out. Tile, laminate, vinyl, or concrete floors can take anything a pet can dish out, including the occasional accident.
Room to roam inside.
A Great Dane is not going to be happy in a tiny space, and neither will its owners. Ditto for the proud parent of a clowder of cats. (Who knew there was a fancy word for “many” cats?)
Whether it’s a mudroom for cleaning off messy paws, a utility sink for cleaning cages or tanks, or even a walk-in shower for dogs, space for animal hygiene is a huge plus for pet parents.