A Pet Parent's Guide on Buying A Home for Their Fur Babies
Wed, April 14, 2021

A Pet Parent's Guide on Buying A Home for Their Fur Babies


Jessica Evans, 21, lives in a single-family row house in Washington, D.C. with her dog Lucy and cat Casper, calling them her “fur children,” reported Diana Olick of CNBC, a business news and real-time financial market coverage website.

While feeding Lucy some treats, Evans said she doesn’t want kids. She has decided to have children in the future; however, she and other millennials think that they are not at that point in their lives. Evans added, “but you still enjoy having something to take care of.” For Lucy, she had to sell her condo and resorted to purchasing a single-family home to take care of her pets. Evans commented, “I loved living in the downtown area in a condo. It was great, very convenient, I didn’t have housework, but the one thing that was really missing was my dog’s happiness.” 

Key Findings On Lending Tree’s Homebuying Survey 

Crissinda Ponder of Lending Tree, the US’s largest online lending marketplace, found that 53% of homebuyers were more likely to buy a home the following year due to the COVID-19 outbreak, according to a survey of over 1,000 prospective buyers about their plans to venture into the housing market, which was commissioned by Lending Tree. The report also revealed that 20%of respondents were less likely to purchase a home in the following year and 27% said the timeline has not changed. Of those planning to buy a home in the next 12 months, they would like to take advantage of low mortgage rates (67%) and to save more money for a downpayment due to reduced spending (32%). 



Other reasons included the drop in home prices (30%), being stuck in a small home made them want their own home even more (28%). The reasons for not purchasing a home in the following year were economic uncertainty related to COVID-19, unable to visit homes in-person due to social distancing measures, loss of income, homebuying becoming less of a priority, and using the money they saved for living expenses. 

Other reasons mentioned by the respondents were fewer homes on the market to choose from (22%) and they don’t think the current home will sell (19%). 65% said the pandemic has affected how much money they plan to spend on a new home. Among this group, 44% of prospective homebuyers panned to buy a less expensive home and the remaining 21% wanted a more expensive home. Among those who wanted a pricier home, 28% of first-time buyers said they’ll buy one while only 17% of repeat buyers agreed.

Interestingly, 61% of homebuyers had undergone a virtual house tour over the last two months. 33% had not participated in a virtual tour, but they planned to do so and 7% said they do not plan to tour any homes virtually. 44% of homebuyers were more worried about qualifying for a mortgage due to the pandemic. 58% of first-time buyers and 52% of millennials also felt anxious.  

53% of first-time buyers said they would purchase a house without an in-person tour while 18% of repeat buyers would do the same. Between age groups, 42% of millennials, 31% of Gen Xers, and 10% of baby boomers. Unlike 16% of women, 43% of men would skip an in-person tour before purchasing a home.



Getting Started: Buying A Home

1.     Local Laws

Realtor.com of AKC (American Kennel Club), an expert in breed, health, and training information for dogs, said it is recommended to take your pet’s needs before buying a home. Your pets may be easygoing but some homes and neighborhoods are more pet-friendly than others. What if you own a piece of property? Unfortunately, it’s not guaranteed that your furry companions will be welcome there. There can be restrictions within the Homeowners Association (HOA), your city or state, or condo development, depending on the number of pets and their breed.

In condo developments, for example, there is often a limit on the number of dogs allowed per unit or per floor.  Amy Ference, a Realtor® in Bozeman, Mont., advised not to assume dogs are allowed in the condo just because you saw one while on tour.  She said, “Sometimes, they are only allowed on the first floor, or in end units.” If you own a dog that barks a lot, check with the HOA or city if they enforce noise ordinances.



2.     Interior

As for the interior of the house, flooring expert Debbie Gartner advised finding a house that solid hardwood flooring. Hardwood is pet-friendly because it can be refinished when scratched. If you are putting new flooring, opt for poured concrete, tile, luxury vinyl, or laminate. Wall-to-wall carpet is not a good idea as cats will claw it while dogs will stain it with med. Carpet also entraps odors, collects pet hair, and stains easily. If your dog or cat needs a softer flooring, consider using a throw rug. Unlike carpet, it can be cleaned and replaced. According to Ference, “Carpeting is not great for resale value.”

Study your home’s size and layout. Is it pet-friendly? Is it big enough for your dog’s breed? If you want a smaller home, think about how a tighter space will affect your pet’s well-being. For multi-level homes, can your pets handle the stairs? Do you think they can handle the stairs as they age?  “When dogs get older, they can get joint problems that make it difficult for them to do steps,” stated Gartner. If you are opting for a multi-level home, be prepared to install a carpet runner or look for a home that has one.  

3.     Yard and Neighborhood

Consult the HOA or condo covenants about the type of fencing you can install in your home. Ference stated, “I’ve seen covenants that only allow underground electric fencing, and restrictions on the size or materials allowed for outdoor kennels or dog runs.”

The neighborhood should also be an optimal location for dog walks. If you choose to live near a busy road or highway, your pet may be at risk of traffic accidents. If you want to be surrounded by wildlife, be careful of coyotes and foxes the closer you are to a green space.

Being a pet parent is a dream come true for countless owners. But being a pet parent also means buying a comfortable home for their pets. There are a couple of factors to consider such as the interior of the house and the pet-friendliness of a neighborhood. It is also recommended for owners to check their local laws for restrictions. Happy home hunting!