Have you ever thought about your home from a pet owner's point of view? In our little corner of Iowa, most of the homes that we build and sell have basements. Sometimes the basements are only really suitable for the laundry and for storage, and sometimes it doubles the size of the house in finished space. And sometimes, a basement is where you might put the litter box for a cat or a kennel for a dog.
Last summer, I had listed a home that had no basement. But it had a special room off of the kitchen and also contained a door to the outside privacy fenced yard complete with a doggie door. Now, to some buyers, this little concrete floored room might have been for storage or a mudroom, especially since there was no basement. But to the seller, she had removed the flooring and used the room for her dog room. In her ownership, her dog had three litters of puppies in that room. And the doggie door was perfect for her pups when she worked long hours at the hospital. There was plenty of room for the dogs to play and sleep and it was easy to clean up if they made a mess.
More and more buyers are considering for their pets and future pets when they are looking at a home to purchase. They are looking at sidewalks and safe areas to walk their dogs, close proximity to dog parks or off leash parks, and great veternarian providers and pet supply stores as well. For some buyers, their pets are their family and their needs are important too. Whether it is a fenced yard, few steps for an older dog, hardwood floors to easily sweep up pet hair, etc. buyers are looking for a sanctuary for their pets as well as themselves.
Are there restrictive covenants in your neighborhood that affect pet owners? I have seen neighborhoods where you are only allowed to have 2 dogs. Or that you cannot have any permanent pet structures like dog runs outside. Or that you are limited to the types of fencing that are allowed. I have even seen where no fencing was allowed for homes that are on a golf course. This is important information to share with potential buyers.
Is your home pet friendly? I request that my sellers provide a homeowner letter and I suggest that they include pet amenities in their descriptions of their home, especially if they have pets themselves. Attracting the right people to your home might be in pointing out how the buyer's four-legged companions might love the home, the yard, and the neighborhood too!