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Tips for Pet Owners When Buying a Home

There’s no doubt about it: We love our fur babies! According to the 2019-2020 National Pet Owners Survey conducted by the American Pet Products Association, 67 percent of U.S. households, or about 85 million families, own a pet - with almost 75 percent of those families owning a dog.

Owning a pet requires that certain sacrifices be made - perhaps coming home during a lunch break for a quick walk rather than going out with co-workers or limiting vacations due to the expense of boarding and time away from our four-legged friends. It makes sense, then, that a life event as big as moving requires some extra attention to be paid to your pet’s needs. In November, we focused on tips for selling your home with a pet, and this month, we’re going to look at things to consider when buying a home as a pet owner.

How Pets Influence Home Buyers

When it comes to house hunting, buyers often place a high priority on their pets’ happiness (as they should!). A survey by the Harris Poll for SunTrust Mortgage found that 33 percent of buyers were motivated to move because of their desire to find a better space or yard for their dogs. Many pet owners consider the needs of their dogs to be like that of children: space to play, room for toys, and opportunities to interact with other dogs and people.

Their primary focus may be:

  • A house with more indoor space, outdoor space, and/or a fenced-in yard

  • An area with sidewalks or nearby walking trails and dog parks

  • A neighborhood close to pet-friendly outdoor shopping and dining

Pet owners also must account for the changing needs of their dogs. For instance, as a pet ages, they may not be able to climb stairs as easily or may require more frequent bathroom breaks - adjustments that can be made by moving to a ranch-style home or lower-level apartment or condominium.

Rules and Restrictions to Consider When Buying a Home

If you’re looking at apartment or condominium options, we have good news! These buildings have started catering more to the needs of pet owners and are often pet-friendly. However, it’s important to read the fine print, as there are sometimes restrictions relating to the size of the pet, the breed, and/or the number of pets allowed.

Even homeowners can run into issues, as homeowner associations (HOA) or neighborhoods can have restrictions as well. For instance, an HOA may have strict rules about fences around personal property, making your dream of a safe, fenced-in backyard for your dog impossible. Additionally, you may have to pay a fee to have your pet approved by the HOA board.

Every city or town requires dogs to be vaccinated and licensed, but some areas also have noise ordinances or restrictions for the number of dogs allowed based on property size. Some cities or states also have restrictions on certain breeds.

How The Urban Dog Group Can Help

To help you navigate your list of personal must-haves and your area’s tricky rules, you can hire a real estate agent with local knowledge and a focus on pets. Lucky for you, it was with these thoughts in mind that The Urban Dog Group at Coldwell Banker Realty was founded! Known as the “pet-friendly realtor,” Christine Elias and her team prioritize placing people and pets in great properties. With more than 20 years of commercial, residential, and investment real estate experience, you can trust them to find the perfect home in Central Florida for you and your pet.

Let The Urban Dog Group help you with your real estate needs! Contact Christine Elias at

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