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Do pets influence your home choice?


Pets are family members. Just ask anyone who shares their home with one. But do these four-legged family members have as much say in the home you choose as the two-legged ones?

The 2017 NAR study, “Animal House: Remodeling Impact” reported that 81 percent of animal owners consider animal-related issues when making their living situation choice.

In 2016, 58 percent of households in the United States included at least one pet: 83 percent of those with a pet have a dog, 42 percent have a cat (or cats), and 9 percent have a bird, reptile, small mammals, or other creepy-crawly critters.

When it comes to making a move, pet-owners have a few challenges.

Pet people look for features in a new home that aren’t important to others.

1.    Yard size and fencing. If your pet is allowed outdoors, having a yard appropriate for the size of the dog is important to the homebuyers. A fence is even more important, The NAR study showed the 91 percent of pet-owners look for a home with a fenced-in yard.

2.    Laminate flooring. Pets, like kids, can be tough on a floor. Between claw marks and accidents, the surface will need to be scratch-resistant and easy to clean. A laminate floor offers more durability than other flooring choices, like hardwood and carpet, and 66 percent of the homebuyers responding to the NAR survey called it a priority.

3.    Nearby walking paths and dog parks. Homebuyers looking in urban and suburban areas want to be sure they can exercise their dogs. A home with nearby walking paths or a dog park is a definite perk to the pet people: 38 percent of buyers want to be close to paths where they can walk their dogs and 33 percent said a dog park in close proximity is a valuable feature.

4.    Pet policy. Some homeowner’s associations (HOA) restrict the number, types, and sizes of pets allowed within a community. If you have multiple pets or a large dog, you might not be able to live in that neighborhood. Before making an offer on a home, make sure you know the HOA’s pet policy.

According to the Realtors who responded to the NAR study, 31 percent of animal owners often or very often decide against making an offer on a home because it is not ideal for their pets. Another 36 percent said this situation occurs occasionally.

Your new home should be the right fit for all of your family members, whether furry, feathered, or otherwise.