…Man’s best friend that is. When searching for a home it’s easy to get wrapped up in beautiful hardwood floors, floor to ceiling window panes, glass French doors leading to a backyard full of exquisite landscaping, and sweeping staircases in the foyer. But if you’re a pet owner, there are several considerations you should make before signing closing papers.
Does your puppy have trouble house-training? Do you have an indoor-outdoor dog who likes to scamper through your house with muddy paws, or a cat with claws who loves kneading soft surfaces? Carpet may not be for you. Do you frequently forget to take your puppy to the groomer, and therefore let their nails get a little long? Hardwood or laminate flooring might not be your pet-friendly flooring of choice. If you plan to remodel your home before or as soon as you move in, the current flooring may not matter – but if you plan on saving the remodel for later you should consider the type of floors in the main areas your pet will be before you fall in love with an easily damaged material.
Steps are fine for most pets, but if you’re the parent of an aging house cat or dog, you may want to consider the floor plan of the home you purchase. If your senior dog loves to sleep at the foot of your bed but the master suite is upstairs, your best friend may have a hard time maneuvering the stairs to their favorite sleeping spot, or could spend many nights upset at being confined to the first floor. Keep in mind too that if you have a pet that loves to chew, those beautiful wooden banisters you fell in love with may be the perfect stick for a young puppy (or pet rabbit).
Moving to a community that get lots of rain, extreme heat, or cold weather? You’ll definitely want to make sure there’s plenty of space in your home to let your outdoor pets get some relief from the elements. A large garage, utility room, or den will give you room to crate your pet while you’re away from home. Or, if you don’t mind your cat or dog roaming the house while you’re gone you should make sure there’s a space for a litter box, puppy pad, food, and water bowl that will tide them over until you can let them back outside.
Does the property you're looking at have adequate fencing? Is there a lot of intricate, delicate landscaping that might become Fido’s favorite spot to bury his bone? Is there enough shade for your puppy to escape the hot summer sun? Would your indoor-outdoor cat get stuck in those high tree branches, or maybe use them to escape to the neighbor’s yard? Is the deck in good enough condition that your pet’s delicate paws won’t get splintered; can they safely climb down the steps? Your pet’s outdoor environment is just as important as their indoor one. You want to make sure there’s plenty of space for your active pets to run and play while staying safe and maintaining your property value.
5. Neighborhood and Community
Does your neighborhood or city have ordinances in place for pet waste disposal, leash laws, tethering, or certain types or number of pets? It’s important to make sure your cat, dog, or bird and their related activities are allowed in the neighborhood you move to. This is especially true for homeowners looking to purchase or rent a condo, townhome, or apartment. There may be tighter restrictions there on the size or breed of pet you’re allowed to own. Make sure to check local ordinances before committing to a home purchase.
6. Non-Traditional Pets
Into urban farming and want to move that chicken coop into your new backyard? Check with your H.O.A. rules and city government zoning restrictions to make sure it’s allowed. Own a goat, horse, or other farm animal? Most residences within city limits will not allow these types of animals without a specific number of acres to the property; however, there are rural subdivisions that welcome these pets. There are even some specifically designed, out-of-city-limits equestrian communities! If you are a parent to a non-traditional pet, make sure you check out the neighborhoods that will welcome your feathered friends and farm animals.
If you're searching for the perfect home for your family, make sure you think about the four-legged members too. A good Realtor can help you find the perfect home for you and your pet.
Both Georgetown and Round Rock have their own off-leash dog parks! Georgetown’s Bark Park (on Holly St) is roughly 6-acres and has an agility course for dogs, drinking fountains for two- and four-legged visitors, a separate area for smaller dogs, and Mutt Mitt stations with trash cans to assist with waste disposal. Round Rock’s Dog Depot (on Deerfoot Dr) has three large areas to allow for rotation between small and large dogs while giving the third area time to regrow. The Dog Depot also contains agility elements and plenty of space to run free, giving your best friend ample exercise opportunities. Both parks have a list of rules owners and dogs need to follow, so make sure you check out their websites before visiting.
If the opportunity of a near-by, leash-free dog park helps make your decision to purchase a home in one of these communities, contact Stefani for more information!