Pet owners are known to affectionately refer to their pets as children and just like considerations for home buying include how kid-friendly a space and neighborhood can be, so it goes for pets. When looking to buy a new home, Realtor.com recommends these three tips for pet owners: check local pet owner requirements, ask for HOA rules, and assess the home layout.

What makes a pet-friendly home?

Not only the home size but also the features and location of a home contribute to the pet-friendliness of a home. For instance, some flooring is more conducive than others are to different types of pets. Determining which flooring, carpet or harder surface, is most suitable for your particular pet will affect the wear and tear. The layout of the home as well as its backyard should be taken into consideration before buying a home as well. Stairs can present challenges for aging pets, and backyards can be an oasis or present safety issues, again depending on the breed, its age, and reasonable measures you can take for pets’ protection.

What makes a pet-friendly neighborhood?

A leisurely walk or virtual tour of a prospective neighborhood will quickly reveal how well your pet will fit in. Are the sidewalks and crosswalks well maintained? How heavy or light is traffic throughout the course of the day and night? Do you see pets running loose or led on a leash? These are a few questions to consider at first glance of a neighborhood to which you’re considering a move.

In addition, venture outside of the immediate neighborhood where your potential new home is located to see if there are dog parks, playgrounds, or other areas where you could take your pet to enjoy the outdoors. What type of pet amenities are offered in the local area? For instance, a quick search on Rover.com of the Cape Coral area reveals dozens of dog boarding, house sitting, drop-in visits, doggy day cares, and dog walking services and facilities.  Places like All American Pet Resorts Fort Myers offer 24/7 drop-off and pickup while pet care providers like Take Your Time Pet & House Sitting, LLC and Anolan & Guillermo provide in-home care as well as other pet care services.

With over 61 percent of U.S. households either owning a pet or planning to get one in the future, and another 99% of pet owners referring to their animals as part of their family, it is no surprise that one of life’s major decisions—buying a home—is affected by pet ownership (Source: NAR, 2016). Scott Brucker will be sure to connect you with the right information to help you make the best home buying decision for you and your family, including your pet.