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When searching for homes, there are many requests that buyers ask for in their future houses. Agents often ask where a buyer would like to be regarding their proximity to work or their children’s school, how many bedrooms they need for their family, what type of storage the buyer needs, would they prefer a single or multi-level home – but one consideration that is often overlooked is what type of home will be the best fit for their pets.
With the rise of Millennials as the largest segment of home buyers in the country, accounting for over 36% of the home purchases last year, it is important for the real estate industry to cater to their home buying needs. Of that number, a staggering 89% of the Millennial home buyers own pets. When it comes to what new homes buyers are looking for as it applies to their future home, overwhelmingly it is clear – people want to accommodate their four-legged companions.
A recent Realtor.com survey found that three quarters of pet-owning home buyers said they would pass on their dream home if it weren’t the right fit for their furry companions. Among those same respondents, almost 90% said they considered the needs of their pet when home shopping and rated their pet’s needs as “important” or “very important.” It’s clear that only considering the two-legged residents during the home buying process is a consideration that might be detrimental to many real estate professionals. Millennial home buyers have even started to choose the agents they work with based on their pet-friendly attitude.
Some of the most popular features in homes for pet-owners are large back yards, access to outdoor space, and garages. Flooring is a large consideration for many pet-owners, as carpeting is easily damaged and difficult to clean, while wood is much more easily managed for those with cats and dogs. Many buyers are looking for homes in neighbors with accessibility to walking trails or parks so they can take advantage of the outdoors with their pets.
Many luxury rental communities have been catering to this millennial pet-owner trend for quite some time. High-end properties have installed dog runs, pet spas, doggy daycare services, and host “yappy hours” to secure rentals from this clientele. Now that these renters are ready to buy, they expect the same care and consideration for their pets in their new homes. As an industry, the Millennial pet-owners will continue to dictate what type of homes are in the biggest demand and real estate professionals will do well to cater to their four-legged friends.