In a recent post, I shared tips for staging your house if you are a pet owner. But what if you are looking to buy a home, not sell one? What features are important to look for when you are picking out a house which will be perfect not just for you, but also for your furry (or feathery, or scaled) companion?
Some things may be obvious, especially if you have been a pet owner for some time. You probably already know to look for a big yard for your Great Dane, for example. But there are other features you might not think about, especially if you are new to pet ownership—or looking to adopt after moving in.
Here are 5 tips to help you buy a home which will suit both you and your pet.
1. Make sure your pet is allowed.
There are restrictions to check for at the city and state levels before you buy a home, particularly if you have an exotic pet. Even if you just have a dog or cat, though, it is worth it to look up the pet laws in the area. If you will belong to a homeowners’ association or you will be living in a condominium, you should also be aware that these organizations may have rules which go beyond the local laws. A dog breed which the city is fine with may still be rejected by the HOA.
2. Check what types of fencing you can build.
If you’ll need to add fencing to your yard after you buy your home, check to see if the neighborhood covenant has any relevant restrictions. You do not want to make assumptions only to find out later that putting in an acceptable fence is a lot more complicated and expensive than you realized.
3. Consider the flooring.
Wall-to-wall carpeting might look appealing when you’re touring houses but think again if you’ll be bringing a pet into your new home. Carpets are easily torn up or stained by pets and can be hard to restore or expensive to replace.
A much better option is hardwood. It can and likely will get scratched, but you can have it refinished so that it looks like new again. You can also go with the popular rustic trend these days of distressed wood. The charm of this wood is in its imperfections, so adding a few more won’t subtract from its value.
4. Think about the future.
Your pet may be a puppy or a kitten now, but eventually you will have an older dog or cat on your hands. At that point, bounding up the stairs may no longer be the piece of cake it once was. So, when you consider the layout, think whether it will be a fit for your pet now and the future.
5. Make sure the neighborhood is also right for your pet.
There are a lot of factors to think about here. Street traffic is an obvious one. Even if your pet is always on a leash, that is not a guarantee that he or she will not leap out into the street on occasion.
Are other animals in the area usually kept on leashes, or do they run around unmonitored? What about wild animals? In the eastern districts of San Diego, skunks, coyotes, and other critters may be wandering around, especially after dark.
You also should check what amenities are available. Is there a nearby vet? What about a pet supply shop? How about a dog park?
Thinking About Your Pet When You are Shopping for a Home Will Keep Both You and Your Pet Happy
Nisan Real Estate is Your Realtor of Choice in San Diego
You now have 5 tips for shopping for a home which will be right both for you and your pet. Choosing a pet-friendly home will reduce the amount of upkeep you have and will ensure that your pet is comfortable and safe.
While my core business is real estate, you may know that I also run The Animal Pad dog rescue.
So, helping homebuyers who own pets or plan to adopt is a specialty for me. If you have any questions or need guidance finding a home which will be perfect for your entire family—canines or felines included—just give me a shout. I will be happy to help you!