Want your pet to love your new home? You’re not alone

Buyers consider several factors when choosing a home: How many bedrooms does it have? Is it located near high-quality public schools? Does it have a spacious backyard? But according to new research from the National Association of REALTORS® plenty of buyers consider the needs of their pets as one of the most important factors when buying a home.

The association’s latest Pet Survey found that pet-conscious buyers are most interested in homes that have hardwood floors and a fenced backyard. That makes sense: Both items are important ones for furry friends.

The survey also found that 43 percent of households would be willing to move to better accommodate their pets and would remove carpeting in a new home or install gates to protect their pets if necessary.

Buyers said that they considered neighborhood amenities for their pets, too. This means that pet-focused buyers want to live near dog parks, want neighborhoods with plenty of sidewalks and grass and want their homes to be within a short distance of highly ranked veterinarians.

According to the survey, 68 percent of REALTORS®’ clients say that they pay close attention to the pet policies put in place by housing developments and buildings overseen by homeowner associations and that these rules influence their decisions to buy or rent in a particular area.

Annual pet fees are also a concern. According to the association, the average fee for owners in single-family homes and condos in communities guided by homeowner associations is $300 and the average pet fee for renters is $400.

If you want to boost the odds that your dog, cat or other pet will be happy in your new home, your best bet is to work with a REALTOR®. This professional can help you navigate pet rules in condos or other communities governed by associations. They can also help you find a neighborhood that is pet-friendly.