It is often said that a dog is a man’s best friend. Most people that have had a dog before would probably agree strongly with this statement! Dogs are playful, fun, obedient animals that add a whole new layer to your family dynamic. While dogs are great pets, we think that they are not the only animals that can be your best friend! Many people will proudly claim that cats, hamsters, snakes, ferrets, and fish can be man’s best friend, too! There is no limit to how much people can love their pets, and every pet owner is called to raise a different kind of animal.
Whatever your preference may be, the truth stays the same; buying a new house as a pet owner is slightly more difficult than buying a house as someone who does not have any pets. It’s not that your furry friend makes things difficult on their own, but their presence does add several factors that you need to think about. After all, you want to buy a home where everyone in your household is happy, right? This probably should include your pets, if you have any! Naturally, this is going to put some limits on the types of homes that you can buy, and your total number of options will likely decrease.
This post is going to take a look at some of the biggest things you should consider when buying a house with pets, hopefully opening your mind to ways that you can find your dream house without having to cramp Princess up in a cage. There is actually a lot more to consider than you might realize! After that, this post will take a look at whether it is better to buy or rent your home when you have pets. If the only pets you have are fish, you can likely just skip right past this post because most of these things should not concern you.
What Are The Biggest Things To Consider When Buying A Home With Pets?
1. Think About How Much Space Your Pet Needs
The answer to this question varies widely depending on what kind of pet you have. If you have fish, they are obviously already confined to their own aquatic world. However, different animals need different amounts of space, and this is something that you absolutely must consider. While cats love roaming outdoors, they likely don’t need all that much space to themselves. A small yard is probably enough for them, and you could even get away with no yard. Cats are pretty good at maintaining themselves, and there is not really a need to walk them.
Dogs, on the other hand, need some special consideration. Naturally, there is a very wide range of sizes of dogs. From chihuahuas to great Danes, each breed of dog has its own space needs. Some dogs are probably going to be fine without much of a yard. However, other dogs do much better when they have their own safe space to run around in. Imagine never having to take Fifi for a walk because you can let her just chase squirrels in your fenced-in back yard! While outdoor space is very important, indoor space is something to consider, too. While you may have been able to make do with your bulldog in an apartment, wouldn’t it be nice to buy a home with enough space to give Bongo his own place to play and eat?
2. Look Into Neighborhood Regulations
One of the advantages of being a homeowner is that you get to play by your own rules. While many landlords and property managers of rented homes have very strict pet policies, most homeowners have full control of who and what lives in their house (within reason, of course). While this is good news at first, different neighborhoods and developments might have their own regulations regarding pets, and you want to make sure that you are either ok with the regulations, or you don’t buy a home in that neighborhood.
What can these regulations look like? Well, let’s imagine you have a golden retriever named Lucky. Lucky is a really great dog, but he needs three walks per day. Some neighborhoods might require that you muzzle Lucky every time you take him for a walk. Others might require that you put him on a leash. Some neighborhoods might require you to put a “beware of dog” sign on your fence, and others might be really picky about barking.
In even more invasive cases, cities and HOAs might have size and breed restrictions, and they may require that you neuter or spay your pets. Whatever the case may be, it is always a good idea to ask the realtor and ask anyone you see in the neighborhood with a pet what their experience has been like, because once you buy a home, moving into a new one on short notice is pretty tough.
3. Locate The Nearest Groomer, Vet, and Animal Hospital
This point might seem silly to some, but these people likely have not lived in rural areas. Just like you want to live in a home that is relatively close to a doctor and a hospital, your dog would also probably appreciate living near a vet and an animal hospital! If you wake up at 3am to the sounds of a very sick Doodle the cockapoo, you will likely want the comfort of having an animal hospital 10 or 15 minutes away. Loading Doodle up into the car and driving 50 minutes or more is probably not a good idea for Doodle or for your car. Considering where the nearest animal hospital is before buying a home should not be one of the most important factors in your decision making process, but it should at least be taken into account.
While their will likely be a vet, groomer, and animal hospital within at least an hour of wherever you move, it is always a good idea to get familiar with these resources before you need them. Many pet owners recommend going to the vet for an introductory visit before you ever need to show up in a more pressing situation. Whether or not you decide to do this is up to you, but at least knowing where you can find them is a good idea.
4. Consider The Types Of Flooring Throughout The House
If you rented your previous home, odds are you have very little control over the type of flooring that was used throughout the house. For some pets, the type of flooring doesn’t make too much of a difference. However, for other pets – like dogs – the type of flooring that is used can make a huge difference. One major perk of being a homeowner is that you have full say in what goes on in your home. While it would be nice to buy a home that already has the flooring types that you are looking for, you have the power to install whatever flooring type you want in whatever room you see fit. In this way, making your floors pet-friendly is fairly straightforward as a pet owner. Here is a look at how some of the most popular flooring types interact with pets:
o While carpet may feel great to walk on, it is a dirt and dander magnet for dogs. Additional, if Pinky has an accident indoors, it is much harder to clean up on carpet than any other surface, as most other surfaces will not absorb it. Unless you want to spend hours shampooing your carpets, avoiding carpet is probably a good idea.
o Hardwood is beautiful, and it will not absorb Pinky’s accidents. These are both good things, and hardwood is considered to be significantly better for pets than carpet. However, hardwood is often soft and easily damaged, and if Pinky has long claws or nails, he will likely start to scratch up your beautiful dining room floor pretty quickly.
· Tile and Laminate
o Tile and Laminate flooring types are widely considered to be among the best types of flooring for pets, as they are scratch-resistant, stain-resistant, and very easy to clean. Laminate floors even have the advantage of being extra easy to replace, so if a piece gets ruined, you may even be able to replace it yourself with a little bit of homework.
· Bamboo and Rubber
o Bamboo and rubber are newer, alternative flooring ideas that are extremely pet-friendly. While you probably don’t want to lay these types of floors all throughout your home, putting them in pet-designated areas is often a great idea. Both of these are easy on your pets’ joints, are stain-resistant, allergen-resistant, and scratch-resistant.
5. Think About Recurring Necessary Activities With Your Pet
As a pet owner, you have undoubtedly taken on a large amount of responsibility. This is inherent to owning a furry friend! From feeding them, to bathing them, to playing with them, to grooming them, to cleaning up their messes, there is a laundry list of tasks you need to do to stay on top of your pet. When buying a new home, it is important to think about what those recurring tasks are, and how they would look in your new home.
One common example is bathing. Where do you currently bathe your pet? Are they a “hose off outdoors” kind of pet? A “put them in the bathtub” kind of pet? A “toss them in the sink” kind of pet? Whatever the case may be, you want to make sure that you have an appropriate place to bathe your pet in your new home. If your pet has always been bathed in a bathtub, you probably want to make sure that whatever home you buy has (or can have) a bathtub.
This thought process applies to much more than just bathing. Your pet likely has several habits that you need to consider. Do they shed? If so, you might want to buy a house with a floorplan that permits the use of pet gates, so that Rover can’t get into the living room and shed all over the couch. Is Spot good at doing stairs? If not, you might be more inclined to buy a rancher. While the specifics vary on a case-by-case basis, the idea remains the same in every case; consider what you and your pet do together frequently, and make sure your new home is a space that will allow for these activities.
6. Is The House In A Safe Area For Your Pet?
This is one of the most important questions you can ask yourself when shopping for a new home as a pet owner. At the end of the day, many people view their pets similarly to how they view their children. While you probably never need to worry about sending Zeus to school, you do still want to make sure that he is safe! There are several factors about a home’s location that can make it more or less safe for pets, including proximity to highways, dangerous animals, weather patterns, proximity to bodies of water, and presence of poisonous plants or animals.
If you the house you are looking at buying is located right off of a busy road, you will probably need to be extra careful about opening and closing the door. While accidents are not common, even the best trained dogs can feel inclined to make a run for it at times, and they normally aren’t the best at looking both ways before crossing the street. On a similar note, while some dogs are pretty good swimmers, not all dogs realize what happens when they chase a duck into a river, and if there are currents, it is often hard for them to get out. Other factors are a bit more dependent on geography and are less controllable on your end, but living in places like Florida’s gator country is an obvious risk, as well as living in places with either extreme heat or extreme cold.
7. Are There Parks and Trails Nearby That Would Be Good For Walking And Playing?
This tip is pretty dog-specific, but it is a very good one to consider. We mentioned earlier that dogs really need their space to roam free, and this is often accomplished in your yard. However, if your new home does not have a yard or you feel like mixing things up a bit, it is always very nice to have parks and trails nearby where you can take your dog for some extra exercise and sensory stimulation.
While most new homes you look at will not be located near a dog park, many will. Dog parks are an incredible resource, as they provide a great way for your dog to play and interact with other dogs in a safe environment. On top of that, going to a dog park helps you to connect with other dog owners in your area, which is great for future doggy play dates, dogsitting opportunities, and general friend-making in your new area or community. After all, most dog owners think alike, right? Living in a home that is near these amenities for your dog is great for them, but often equally great for you as you learn about your new community and embrace your new surroundings.
That is all we have for you in terms of important things to consider when buying a house as a pet owner! Moving can be stressful, and moving with a furry friend can be even tougher. These tips should help you to settle on a place that is safe and enjoyable for both you and your best friend. While owning a pet can slightly complicate the homebuying process, it is not that big of a challenge at the end of the day. Owning a pet might limit the total number of houses that are available to you, but ultimately you will still be able to find a great home that checks all of your boxes.
If you decide to visit Myrtle Beach or any other place in South Carolina and fall in love, reach out to us for help. We at The Boyd Team are always here to help you figure out whether Myrtle Beach is your next home or not, and we are committed to helping you find the right property for your needs and dreams. Any question that you have about moving to the area and finding your dream home by the beach is our pleasure to answer. Feel free to send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or text or call us at (843) 222-8566, and we will get back to you as soon as we can. Being true natives of the Grand Strand and Horry County and with over 25 years of experience in the local real estate market, whether buying or selling, we can help you make your dreams a reality.
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Written by Greg