Homeownership

4 Need To Know Things About Shopping For A Home When You Have Pets

There are many things to consider when you’re shopping for a home.

“How many bedrooms do I need”? “How far is it from my workplace”? “Which school district should I shop in”? These are just a few questions homebuyers frequently ask themselves as they are shopping. If you have pets, whether dogs, cats, or other critters, you should keep their needs in mind when you’re looking for a new home. Below we’ve outlined a few questions to ask yourself so you can find the best home for you and your pets.

1) Is this home close to a veterinarian?

Ideally, our pets would never get sick or injured! Since this isn’t the case, you may want to think about the proximity of the home you’re buying to a veterinarian, either your own or an emergency vet, before you commit.

2) Does this neighborhood have pet restrictions?

In the United States, it is common occurrence for condo associations and some homeowner’s associations to place restrictions on the pets their homeowners can have. The limits vary from neighborhood to neighborhood, but the most common ones are restrictions concerning dog breed type or a maximum weight limit, or maximum number of pets allowed. Some associations do ban the owning of what counts as exotic pets such as pigs, lizards, snakes, and others. Most associations do not allow the keeping of penned animals, preventing owners from keeping chickens or outdoor rabbits as pets. If you are looking to buy in a community with an association that acts on the behalf of the homeowners, ask your realtor if the community’s bylaws say anything about pet restrictions before you put in an offer.

3) Looking at high-rise condominium or apartment? Don’t forget your dog’s needs!

If you have a dog and are thinking of buying an apartment, high-rise condominium, or any home without easy access to a yard, think about what’s available for your pet’s restroom needs. Is there a park nearby? Do you have the time and availability to walk them multiple times a day or the funds to hire a dog-walker if you cannot? If those are not options for you, are you willing to purchase and maintain a patch of turf designed for animals? This is something to consider before you commit to a home without yard or other outdoor access for your pets.

4) Does this neighborhood see a lot of wildlife?

If you have a free-roaming cat, a smaller dog, or any type of pet that habitually escapes from your property, you will want to check into your potential neighborhood’s wildlife experiences. This is to insure their safety. While many neighborhoods never see more than the occasional critter, other locations throughout the United States are seeing a rise in interactions between wildlife and domesticated animals as suburban living begins to encroach on wooded areas. Along the East Coast especially there have been reports of hawks mistaking small dogs for prey and coyotes lurking on the fringes of neighborhoods that dot forests. While the local news station reports on the cases only infrequently, your neighbors most likely have a better pulse on the situation. Thanks to services like Nextdoor, TownSq (pronounced Town Square), and even Facebook, it’s easier than ever to see just what kind of animal visitors your neighborhood might get, and how frequently.

These are just a few things to consider when buying a home for you and your pets. At Southern Trust Mortgage we’ve been helping fund dream homes for the whole family, even the four-legged members, since 1998. Contact us today and let us help make home happen for you.