Many homeowners have pets today. We share our lives with pets for many reasons. They bring us comfort and joy. They bring us companionship, love and so much more. Naturally, when it is time to buy a place to live, looking for a pet-friendly home is a must for pet parents.
Here are some tips to buying a pet-friendly home.
First, find a great pet-friendly real estate agent in the area you're looking to buy a home in. Someone who knows the communities and the pet restrictions is vitally important. It will make a world of difference where you may end up as well as the process of buying a home.
Next, consider the type of home you're looking for. Are you thinking of buying a condo? Single family house? Townhouse or a villa? Whatever the type of home, make sure the building, community or subdivision is pet friendly to your pets. Many condos and communities have pet restrictions including size, weight limits, breed restrictions, number and type of pets you may own. These restrictions and rules can change at times. Some cities and/or counties have pet restrictions, too. Find out what they are before you fall in love with a house.
Condos tend to be the most restrictive when it comes to pets. Will your furry friend be allowed to live there? Will you be allowed to walk your dog through the lobby to go outside, or will you have to use the basement, side entrance or garage to exit? Do they have rules regarding vaccinations? This may be problematic if you titer your dogs.
Single family homes, townhouses and villas within communities also have pet restrictions, but they're usually easier than condos. Regardless, if pets are a part of your life, these tips are a must.
Do you want a yard for your dog? Must it be fenced? Check if the community allows fences; some do, some do not. Can your pet do stairs? If not, you may want to consider a single-story or ranch-type home.
Flooring can always be changed, but if you want to just move in, check the type of flooring they have. You may want only tile, especially if you live in warm weather, or only hardwood, if you live in colder climates. Pet accidents can easily be cleaned up with tile. Scratches in hardwood can be removed. All things to think about. When it comes to a resale, there are always compromises. One may be flooring. And that's okay if the house checks the rest of the boxes for you.
Other things to look for include: Are there veterinarians, pet hospitals, dog parks, dog beaches, pet stores near the home you're looking at, or within driving distance? Whatever is important to you and your furry friend is what you need to look for. If you want to take your dog to doggie daycare, is there one nearby?
Living with pets is a joy I wouldn't trade for anything. But there are things to think about and take into consideration before jumping in. You don't want to buy a home only to find out the building or community welcomes you but not your furry friend.
Elyse Berman, PA, CRS is a Pet-Friendly REALTOR® who has been helping people buy and sell homes for the past 16-plus years. She serves Palm Beach County, Florida. Check out her blog.