Pets are more than pets — they’re family members. Thinking about your pet’s needs before buying a home can save you from many headaches. Here are some pet-friendly homebuying tips to keep in mind when you’re looking for your next dream home:
Remember — Location, Location, Location
Consider the safety of your pets in a location like you would consider the safety of a child. Living on a busy road could be dangerous for your animals. Even with a fence and pet screens, a busy street can pose a problem if they accidentally get loose.
It’s also worthwhile to scout out the neighborhood at large to find out of its pet-friendly. Ask yourself these questions:
Are there parks around?
Are there other pet owners living in the community?
Are there pet services in the area like veterinarians and pet sitters?
Are there wild animals that could harm your pet?
Be Mindful of Rules and Regulations
Some homeowner associations (HOAs) will set rules on the type of animals permitted in a neighborhood. Rules could give you a guideline for size, breed, and more. There may also be a restriction on the number of animals you can have in the home.
Don’t ignore these guidelines. You could find yourself with a disgruntled neighbor or in a precarious situation with your homeowner association if your pet isn’t permitted. Not following the rules can be quite expensive because of penalties, and paying fees can put a damper on the excitement after you buy a home.
If you have an exotic or unique animal, you should also check with the county to make sure you’re able to keep the pet before buying.
Think About Home Features Inside and Out
Another aspect to consider is the home interior. Is it the right fit for your family?
If your pet tends to tear up carpet, wood flooring could be a wiser choice. If it’s difficult for your pet to climb stairs, a one-floor style home could be the best option.
You should also think about the square footage and the outdoor space. Is there enough room for your pet to run around and play? Is there already a fenced-in area or will you have to install a fence yourself?
Big dogs, for instance, could require much more space to exercise. Keep this in mind when choosing between locations and neighborhoods.
Pets are part of the family and should be thought of when you’re buying your next home. Shopping around with your pet in mind can help make sure you settle in an area that everyone — even furry friends — can enjoy.