According to the American Pet Products Association, Americans spent $103.6 billion on pets in 2020. While this figure includes food, toys and veterinary care, it does not include a major source of pet affected spending: new home purchases. One report after another shows that pet owners consider their furry friends when buying a house.
According to the 2020 pet and real estate report of the National Association of Realtors (NAR), 1% of home buyers have bought better houses for pets. A study by NAR in 2021 found that 43% of people were willing to move to better accommodate their pets.
But pets affect more than just buying motivation; They also make decisions on everything from the style of the house to its location. They are also affecting sales prices and the purchase process. Zillow and Rover’s research found that pet owners will spend more money and take faster action to obtain pet friendly functions. For example, 84% of dog owners are willing to pay more for a house with a dog door or near a dog park.
Why are pet owners moving
So what drives these pet friendly home purchases? Zillow’s 2021 consumer housing trends report found that 73% of home buyers reported having at least one pet at home – up from 64% in 2020. Meanwhile, PetCO estimates that more than 3 million new pets entered the U.S. family pandemic in the first year of covid-19.
NAR listed the surge in pet adoption during the pandemic as the main motivation for pet owners to want to move. As people continue to stay at home and work with their pets, many are looking for houses with more space. Zillow’s research shows that people with at least one pet are more likely to buy larger homes: 36% of pet buyers buy homes with more than four bedrooms, compared with 24% of buyers without pets.
Renters are also looking for more pet friendly accommodation. “The rental market strictly restricts pets – if they allow it,” said Randall graves, a real estate agent at Better Homes & Gardens real estate main street properties. Leasing usually limits the type, number and size of pets. “Many times, buying a house is the best choice for pet owners,” graves said. NAR reported that 68% of their clients said animal policies influenced their decisions to rent or buy in specific communities.
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Four ways for pets to influence real estate decision-making
1. Proximity to PET facilities is attractive.
In addition to considering the school district or commuting time, pet owners also consider the distance from Fido’s main services and activities when buying a house. “The nearby dog park is an important factor for many pet owners to choose the community,” said Kelly hatchet, a real estate agent who owns a real estate trip to Better Homes & Gardens.
For elderly pets or day care, especially for pets near hatch. According to a study published by NAR in 2020, 18% of recent home buyers said it was important that pet veterinarians and / or outdoor spaces must be close to their communities.
2. A pet friendly community culture is a reward.
Pet owners are also looking for like-minded neighbors. A recent study by NAR found that 29% of young millennial buyers (probably for the first time) consider their pets when choosing their neighbors. Buyers noticed people walking their dogs around the block and looking for cats sitting in windows. “It makes them feel that this community is suitable for their families – including humans and furry members,” hachett said.
Graves says interest in pet friendly communities is not limited to buyer’s street. “I was asked a lot about local dog friendly restaurants and bars,” he said, noting his interest in “Happy Hour”.
3. Outdoor space is particularly desirable.
Zillow’s 2021 PET study shows that private outdoor space is more important for home buyers with pets than those without pets (73% compared with 65% of respondents). Attractive features include a large fenced yard, a cool shade for pets, and non-toxic landscaping. These outdoor features can translate into huge returns for sellers: zillow and Rover research noted that listings with kennels often cost more than expected, and houses with fenced yards cost five times faster than expected.
It’s not just a grass for dogs to play with. Fate Anderson, a real estate agent for Better Homes & Gardens real estate fine living, said the space for outdoor animals was also interesting. “A couple I’m working with wants more land for their goats,” Anderson said. “Here, many people are looking for at least one acre of land so that they can have outdoor animals.”
4. The unique internal characteristics of pets are normal.
Buyers are looking for designated interior spaces and functions for their pets, including dog doors, mud houses designed for dogs, sun rooms and closed cat porches, as well as windows that allow all animals to see the outside world. “As the so-called pet parents, we also want to give them something to make their life better, because they have given us so much!” Caroline Donaldson, agent of Better Homes & Gardens real estate realty partners.
Stairs are an internal feature that has received special attention. “My clients only look at houses with master bedrooms on the first floor,” hachett said. “They have two old dogs with arthritis who sleep in their room at night. They don’t want them to have to go up and down the stairs.” The ability to cross stairs is also a factor for homeowners. “As baby boomers, if there is any emergency, getting them downstairs can be a huge problem,” Donaldson said.
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Pets are also influencing design details. According to NAR, pet friendly floors, beauty and washing areas, custom built-in plug-ins for trash cans, pet supplies storage, feeding stations, pet beds, etc. are attracting the attention of pet owners. And zillow predict that we will see more of these features in 2022.