Considering Pets During the Homebuying Experience

Real Estate Agent with GreatWest Realty DRE# 00827565

For homebuyers with pets, there is an area of a home search that is sometimes neglected.  How well a prospective home may work for ALL family members – including family pets, may require consideration.

For example a large energetic dog, is likely to be more comfortable in a home with a yard, or at least neighborhood amenities which will accommodate exercise – a dog park for example.  This is especially true in townhome or condominium communities.

As a real estate professional, I inquire homebuyers about the number of adults that will be living in any prospective home, plus children and their ages.  I also go one step beyond that, and gather a little information about any pets the buyers have – their size, age, and exercise requirements.

It can also be important to gather further information about any future pets buyers may be interested in obtaining, as some multifamily developments or homeowner associations have restrictions as to the number of pets allowed.

The home may be seen as a perfect fit for a buyer and/or their family, at first glance; but if the family dog or cat isn’t having their needs met, it won’t be a happy match when all things are considered.

If you are a pet owner, here are some things you may wish to consider during your home search or put on an “action list” to become informed about:


  • Scout out nearby parks, paths, trails that will be pet friendly and accessible to your pet.  Check for nearby veterinary clinics and grooming facilities. 
  • Sometimes it can be the little things – a laundry tub in the garage or laundry room to wash the dog.
  • Yard space to create a dog run or kennel – or a place to put in a pet door so  a dog or cat can enter and exit at will.

Homebuyers of a recent transaction, had a large highly energetic Golden Lab.  Although, the buyer’s selected a home on a large lot, there were some obstacles which needed to be addressed regarding Taffy, the dog. 

We spent time mapping out space in the side yard for a dog run.  We located a door from the side yard which led into the garage.  A doggy door would be installed there.  On the inside of the garage, would be a small corral built for Ginger’s bed, so she could get out of the rain – need be.

A half block from the selected home was a wonderful park with trails, friendly for dogs.  But the best amentity of all was the neighborhood itself.  It was a very cohesive family oriented neighborhood, where walking the family dogs either in the morning or evening was a familiar activity for many. 

The home was a wonderful fit for EVERY member of the family!


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Wanda Kubat-Nerdin
PK Real Estate Utah South, St. George, UT 84770 - Saint George, UT
Your Preferred St. George Area Real Estate Agent.

Great information Myrl, There are a few dog parks in southern Utah now and pet-friendly properties are a must for dog and cat owners.

Nov 08, 2011 09:58 PM #5
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

Joan - It took me awhile to catch on to the needs of pets in a home.  But then I sold an upstairs condo unit to a family with a German Shepherd.  The dog simply wasn't happy in its new digs, and ultimately went to live with a relative of the buyer. 

Praful - As I mentioned in my comment to Joan, it took me awhile to realize that pets had needs too:-)

Juli - I also like Joan's suggestiona about having a questionnaire that asks the important questions.

Nov 08, 2011 10:01 PM #6
Kwee Huset
Kwee Huset Realty - Venice, FL
Venice Florida Homes For Sale

Myrl,  there are some HOA and/or condo communities in our area allow  one friendly pet per household with maximum weight of 40lbs.

Nov 08, 2011 10:02 PM #7
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

Fred - "Cats for Condos". . .That's a great observation!  I feel really sorry for large breed dogs, that have to call home a condo however.  I've seen that happen, and it's almost pitiful!

Wanda - I'm seeing "dog parks" become an increasing consideration in communities these days.  I think it is an excellent idea.  Even some larger homes are built on small lots, which don't lend themselves well to big dogs who need to expend energy.

Nov 08, 2011 10:05 PM #8
Realty Works Temecula
Realty Works Temecula - Temecula, CA
Real Estate, Temecula, Murrieta, Menifee

Myrl:  I always ask my buyers if they have pets and make suggestions!  Our pets are such a big part of our lives and taking their living arrangements into consideration when moving only makes sense.

Nov 08, 2011 10:06 PM #9
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

Kwee - I am lucky to live in a house with a good sized yard.  My American Eskimo dog was supposed to have been no larger than about 35 pounds.  But he grew to have a whole lot of junk in his trunk, and far outweighs any minimum for some condos or HOAs. . .LOL

Jane - It absolutely makes sense to consider our pets during the homebuying process.

Nov 08, 2011 10:12 PM #10
Debbie Gartner
Floor Coverings International - Westchester NY & Lower Fairfield CT - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl - Westchester hardwood flooring

Oh yes, taking care of pets and finding the right home that includes their needs is very important and shows that you really care about your clients' needs.

Nov 09, 2011 05:25 AM #11
Kristine Ginsberg
Elite Staging and Redesign, LLC - Short Hills, NJ
NJ Home Stager

Myrl - you bring up such an important point about considering our pets when we are searching for a new home. As a proud dog owner, that was on our list when we bought our home 4 years ago. Not only did we want a fairly large backyard, but a neighborhood with sidewalks for afternoon walks - not to mention I just like having sidewalks to get around - so much safer! Luckily the neighborhood we did chose is very pet friendly and 70% of homeowners have dogs!

Nov 09, 2011 09:01 AM #12
J.NARRIN -Asheville Partnering Broker-in-Charge - your contact for Newsy-News, LAND, Homes, and Views
Asheville 1031 Real Estate Investments - Asheville, NC
so Let Me Know What's Most Important to YOU !

HI Myrl~

I am smiling...all the way on over to teh dog park here in Asheville. My dogs and all our pet-friendly clients LIKE this post!!! WOOF!!!

Nov 09, 2011 09:03 AM #13
William Johnson
RE/MAX Associates - San Diego, CA
San Diego Real Estate Voice, GRI CRS e-Pro CDPE

Hi Myrl, I think many in our business need to be reminded that the family pet(s) are also family members and even if not spoken of, it would explain clearly why some buyers reject properties that otherwise  would fit their criteria. Really a great reminder. Well done!

Nov 09, 2011 11:21 AM #14
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding and Marketing


You make an excellent point about the pets...we always have looked at homes with our cats who love to climb, so we always have had huge trees on our properties...A

Nov 09, 2011 12:14 PM #15
Barbara Altieri
RealtyQuest, Fairfield and New Haven County CT Real Estate - Shelton, CT
REALTOR-Fairfield County CT Homes/Condos For Sale

Myrl -- Excellent post!  Our pets are absolutely part of our family and their needs must be considered as well as their owners. Kudos to you for being so thorough and thoughtful by including pet requirements into the homebuying decision.

Nov 09, 2011 01:27 PM #16
Patricia Feager
Dallas Premier Keller Williams Realty - Flower Mound, TX
Selling Homes Changing Lives


You make some excellent points. Pets are impacted by the move and special care needs to be taken into consideration for their needs too. They truly are part of the family and have special needs as well. You did a great job on this post. It's well written and thoughtful too.


Nov 10, 2011 03:50 AM #17
Toni Weidman
Florida Luxury Realty - Trinity, FL
24 Years Selling Homes in New Port Richey, FL

A great post, Myrl, for pet owners. They really do need to consider the needs of their pets in order for everyone to be happy.

Nov 10, 2011 01:10 PM #18
Robert and Lisa Hammerstein
Keller Williams Valley Realty - Hillsdale, NJ
Bergen County NJ Real Estate

Myrl - this is one of the first questions we ask. If they have pets it opens up a whole new realm of possibilities for showing prospective buyers homes. Excellent point.

Nov 10, 2011 01:56 PM #19
Jennifer Fivelsdal
JFIVE Home Realty LLC | 845-758-6842|162 Deer Run Rd Red Hook NY 12571 - Rhinebeck, NY
Mid Hudson Valley real estate connection

Myrl this should be an important consideration when purchasing a home since so many home buyers are pet owners.  great tips.

Nov 12, 2011 09:44 PM #20
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

Debbie - After having a couple clients in past years move into homes that weren't as well suited to pets as they could have been, I think agents and homebuyers need to become more cognizant of any future homes where pets will be involved.

Kristine - It has been a primary concern with the homes I have purchased too.  In fact the first home I bought took pets into consideration, because I did have any.  We had lived in an apartment, and I wanted to eventually acquire a cat or a dog.  We ended up getting one of each.

JaneAnne - I am increasingly seeing Dog Parks becoming a part of communities all over the Greater Sacramento region.  With more new homes being condo or planned unit developments with smaller yards, this trend will become a necessity.

Nov 14, 2011 09:57 AM #21
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

William - I think real estate professionals need to become more cognizant of family pet needs during the home buying experience too!

Alexandra - I have always bought homes that have several trees too.  My present cat, often sits on the picnic table and looks out at her personal Serengeti.

Barbara - I think we often consider needs of each human family member in a homebuying process, but sometimes overlook the 4 legged family members.

Nov 14, 2011 10:17 AM #22
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

Patricia - There is something I haven't mentioned before as well - And that is the importance and care of pets during a move to a new home, which takes in acclimating them to their new digs.

Toni - I have learned that in my family if the pets aren't happy, nobody is happy:-)

Nov 14, 2011 10:21 AM #23
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

Robert and Lisa - I can remember when I started exploring the number and kinds of family pets a family had, it opened up a whole new area that needed to be covered in the home search.

Jennifer - I think I read somewhere that cats and dogs, number high enough to the human population, that we need to be considering them iduring the homebuying experience.

Nov 14, 2011 10:26 AM #24
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