When the time comes to buy a house, there are several anticipated changes to the entire household. Many pet-owning buyers focus on pet-friendly properties. Pets need space, safety and comfort. For first time home-buyers, identifying a pet-friendly home can be a challenge. These tips can help a home buyer find a property where they can live happily with their pet for years to come.

Inspect the Yard Space

Dogs and cats alike need space for running, relaxing and chasing insects. Thus, many pet owners prioritize homes with good yards. Not all yard space is created equal. Here’s what to look for:

Fencing

Good fencing helps keep pets at home and safe. To inspect the fencing, follow it all the way around the yard, looking for areas of weakness, or gaps where a pet could escape. Fencing can be expensive to install, so home buyers thinking about purchasing a home and installing fencing afterwords should talk to a contractor during the escrow period to ensure that a fence is an affordable option.

Plants

Some plants are hazardous to pets. Buyers who purchase a property with toxic plants growing in the yard may need to have those plants removed. Some common poisonous outdoor plants that may be found in the yard include holly, amaryllis and lilies. On a large property, it may be difficult to identify all the different types of plants growing there. A diligent pet owner may need to go through the yard with a professional landscaper to identify all the different plants growing in the area, to ensure that the yard is safe.

Hazards

Some yard features, like pools and hot tubs, can put pets in danger and, just as owners should be aware of interior hazards, outdoor hazards toward pets are a big consideration. Curious pets with no swimming experience can find themselves in a troubling situation if they aren’t properly watched and protected. Home buyers must consider all yard features when trying to decide whether or not to buy a property.

Walk the Sidewalks

Walking a pet without a sidewalk can be dangerous, for owner and pet. Home buyers who are serious about purchasing a home can find out the condition of nearby sidewalks by taking several long walks through the neighborhood during the escrow period. This is also a good way to find out what other pet-friendly services are in the neighborhood.

Check Interior Features

Some homes have more pet-friendly features than others. Pet owners must consider these factors when looking at homes:

  • Layout – Does the home have room for the pet to run around, play and spend time relaxing?
  • Stairs – Pet owners with older and aging pets may find themselves carrying pets up and down steps in a home with many stairs.
  • Windows for sunning – Pets love to sun themselves, so homes with lots of windows highly desirable for most pets.

One more factor that home buyers consider when looking for a pet-friendly property is flooring type. Carpeting, for example, harbors pet hair and can easily be ruined by pet urine. Hardwood floors are easier to clean, but can become scratched by cat and dog claws. Tile and laminate flooring tends to be the most durable in a home with pets. It is also important to the ensure that any new home, features included, is conducive to a pet’s regular routines, including feeding and general grooming habits.

Observe Street Traffic

Street traffic can put pets in danger. Pet owners thinking about buying a home on a busy street must take many factors into consideration. Yard size, presence of a fence and speed of traffic all make a difference for pet safety. Home buyers who fall in love with a property on a busy street may still keep their pet safe if the yard is fenced, and if the house sits far back on the property.

Visit Nearby Pet Services

Are there any nearby dog parks, veterinarians or pet stores? Home buyers looking for the perfect neighborhood for their pet must consider the presence of nearby pet services. Even restaurants with outdoor dining can be a good place to bring a well-behaved dog.

Work With Your Real Estate Professional

If you’re a pet owner who’s trying to find the right home for you and your pet, contact a reputable real estate professional in your area. Your real estate agent can direct you to neighborhoods where you and your pet will both be happy.

Guest blog submitted by:

Dylan Snyder REALTOR®
The Snyder Group at Keller Williams Realty
4455 Military Trail, Suite 100
Jupiter, FL, 33458