Did you know that almost 70% of Americans have a pet? And, did you know that nearly all of them said that they would pass a seemingly perfect home if it were not suitable for their pets’ needs? Thus, if you are one of those people, that is, if you own a dog, a cat, or some other kind of a pet, you too are probably looking for that dream home that can fit all your pet’s needs as well. It is a tough task, but who can blame you – after all, pets are family members. Moreover, even if you have the most easygoing pets, have in mind that some homes and neighborhoods are just not pet-friendly. But, which are? We are here to help you answer that question, with our pet lover’s guide to buying a home and keeping your pets safe.
Know the Local Pet Laws and Regulations
After you and your real estate agent find that perfect house or apartment and before you start packing your bags and finding a way to move without any stress into your new home, make sure that you know the local pet laws and regulations. As mentioned before, even if the home you found is perfect, you cannot move in if it is not pet-friendly. So, before you do anything you would regret, make an effort to learn as much as you can about the regulations in the neighborhood you choose.
If you are moving to New York, for example, you would be surprised to find out that each borough has specific pet rules. What is more, pet rules may differ from one neighborhood to the other, and even from one building to the other. So, make an effort to find out what is and is not allowed in the place you are moving to. You can find that out by talking to your real estate agent, the previous owners, your new neighbors, or the local vet. If you have some more questions, do not hesitate to contact HOA for more information.
The Home You Choose Must Be in a Pet-Friendly Neighborhood
After making sure that all the rules and regulations fit you and your pet, it is time to check whether your new neighborhood fits as well. If you are moving to NYC, for example, it is essential to know that there are parts of NYC that are suitable for your pet and those that are not. That is, some neighborhoods are more pet-friendly than others. For instance, some areas have more parks, green surfaces, and bigger sidewalks – perfect for those who own dogs. “When thinking of NYC, think about the size of your animal and the size of your apartment. It is important to be located near a Doggie Day Care and Park if you have a dog”, said Joan Brothers, owner of Manhattan Boutique Real Estate. Some neighborhoods at least have bigger yards in front of their building, but some have none of these. So, do some scooping!
Again, you can do this with the help of your real estate agent. Alternatively, you can go around the neighborhood where you plan on moving and try to find some pet-friendly amenities. If there are none, that is your sign that you must find another home. If you cannot visit the home and look around the area, you can also try to check it out on Google Maps and Street View as well – it is not the same, of course, but it is much better than doing nothing.
Make Sure the Outdoor Spaces are Secure
Are you interested in buying/renting a house or an apartment? Keep in mind that apartments are not an ideal solution as pets need and want to go out. So, if your budget allows it, better look for a house, or at least some smaller building with a yard around it. However, you must also make sure that the yard (around the house or around the building) is safe and secure as well! That is, make sure that all the outdoor spaces are safe and secure.
So, for instance, if you are looking for houses, at least look for ones that are fenced. If they are not, check whether you will have permission to build your own fence. That way, your little furry friends can roam around freely and happily, and you will have no reason to worry about their safety.
Check Whether the Interior Features Fit Your Pet
What about the interior of your new home? Does it fit your pets’ needs? Or is there a possibility for you to make your new home more pet-friendly?
Be sure that the inside of the home matters as much as the outside. After all, your pet will spend a lot of time there. As you tour your potential new home, pay attention to all the details. Start by checking the floors. If they are hardwood, you are in luck! They are easier to clean and restain than any other type of flooring. Then, check whether the doors and windows are secure enough and whether installing those doggy and cat doors is a possibility.
If you plan on buying/renting a home in which you and your pet will stay for years to come, you must also make sure that your pet can age well and comfortably there. So, if you are moving to a building, one of your priorities should be a working elevator. Another bonus would be a home with some little extra space here and there for all those toys, beds, feeders, crates, litter boxes, etc.