We all know buyers looking for a new home consider bedroom sizes for their children, accessible bedrooms and baths for mobility-impaired relatives, and private spaces for their home offices. But they also seriously consider the needs of family members you may never meet or hear about: their pets.
Finding a home that will work for family cats, dogs, birds, reptiles, and other pets can be a make-or-break issue. Pets are beloved family members, and, like their human housemates, have their own special requirements. A buyer with an arthritic, 90-lb dog may gravitate to homes with minimal stairs or an elevator. A family with cats may look for a private basement for a litter box, or a screened-in porch for them to enjoy the fresh air without the flight risk. Bird owners will look for good indoor air quality; birds are very susceptible to even small amounts of smoke or fumes.
Before making an offer, buyers should make sure they will be able to make accommodations for pets in their new home. Some condo associations, for example, have restrictions on the number, type, size, or breed allowed; others prohibit them altogether.
Buyers should ask questions and get answers in writing. Do the condominium rules and regulations allow dogs on the elevator, or in a common yard? Is smoking allowed in the building? Do the current residents adhere to the regulations? How are they enforced? Are any condo association or management company approvals required for your pets? If so, it’s a good idea to make your offer contingent on obtaining approval for your pets.
Just as buyers should do their due diligence regarding pets, sellers should highlight pet-friendly features to potential buyers, such as an existing pet door that allows dogs to come and go on their own. For cat owners, a convenient but hidden litter box area is a huge selling point.
I have seen some very elaborate renovations done specifically for pets. One feline-loving household built an entire screened-in catio (patio for cats) to give their kitties safe outdoor time. Another family built an entire wall of shelves at different levels for their cats to jump and perch on. While these features may not appeal to everyone, they may hold special value for pet lovers when the property is for sale.
We offer virtual classes here at Thalia Tringo & Associates Real Estate (TTRE) on topics including:
First Time Home Buyers
Next class dates: Tuesday, November 17th or Thursday, December 10th at 6:30-7:45pm
Presented by: TTRE agents and a loan officer from a local bankHow Individuals Can Buy Property Together as a Group
Next class date: Wednesday, December 2nd at 6-8pm
Presented by: TTRE agents, a local real estate attorney, and a loan officer from a local bank
At each class, we will address the process of buying, where to start, and answer any questions about being a buyer, traditional or non-traditional, in the current real estate market.
Thalia Tringo & Associates Real Estate, an independent agency based in Davis Square