There are many factors that go into choosing a new home. Some people look at location first and foremost, whether there is public transportation and shopping in the vicinity. Other people look at school districts. But if you’re a dedicated pet lover, you’re probably considering the future life of your furry friend when picking a listing off the real estate market. But how do you know if the home that you’re looking at is pet friendly? Here are a few things the pet loving home shopper should keep in mind.
First off, look into any code restrictions in the new city and county. Unless you have an exotic pet, this probably won’t be a major issue. But some cities will put a limit on the amount of pets a household is allowed to have, or the type of pets that are welcome within the city itself. If you’re the type of pet owner that likes to bring your furry friend everywhere, this could be a limit you’re not interested in dealing with. Along those same lines, check out the documents provided by the homeowner’s association, if there is one. Some associations don’t allow pets at all, but the majority of them will restrict the amount and type of pets, and some will go so far as to limit pets over a certain size. You’re not going to want to fight these rules, or you may make enemies of your new neighbors.
When you get to the house, take a look at the outdoor characteristics. First on your list should be an analysis of the street traffic. Sure, your pet is well trained and you don’t expect him to dash out into the street, but if the unexpected does occur, you might want to make sure you don’t live in a high traffic area. A location near a main thoroughfare or a primary traffic cut through should also be avoided. Outside of that danger, what beneficial services are available in the neighborhood? Is there a dog park nearby? Unless the new lawn is fenced in, the dog park may be the only place you can let the little guy roam free. Having a dog park that’s well maintained and close enough for a short drive or walk means your dog is more likely to get the exercise he needs. You should also flip through the local yellow pages or do an online search to make sure you have easy access to a veterinarian, a grooming service, a pet store and a daycare center.
Before you head inside, talk to the neighbors for a few minutes. People who have lived there for a while will be able to let you know if the neighborhood is pet friendly. Do a lot of people have dogs and cats? Take a walk around if you’re not sure, and see if you come across people and their dogs out on walks, or see cats sunning themselves in windows. Other great signs are if there are waste receptacles placed throughout the community, especially if they come stocked with small plastic bags.
Finally, head through the front door and take a look around. Do you see any evidence of previous pets living there? Keep an eye out for scratches on the walls or doors, and pet damage on the rugs and floors. If you want to insure the house isn’t too affected by pet damage, bring someone with you who isn’t a pet owner. They’ll be much better at sniffing out old pet odors. Next, hunt out trouble spots for your pets in the layout. If you have older pets, lots of long stairwells could be an issue. Are there windows for the cats and a fairly private place for their litter box? Is there enough room for your pets to run around? If the house doesn’t feel right, move on. There are plenty of other Fort Worth homes for sale, and the slow real estate market means you have the time and ability to be a little picky.