Dreams of home ownership are often sparked by major life events, including college graduation, marriage, children, and retirement. The need for space, comfort, convenience, tax breaks and the satisfaction of being a homeowner spurs many renters into buying. And surprise! Dog owners are driving the buying trend.
Especially for millennials, owning a dog (or planning to own in the future) plays a major role in both the decision to buy and the type of home purchased. A recent survey shows dogs motivate buyers more than marriage, or even kids. And it’s no wonder: HOAs and rental agreements often prevent apartment or condo dwellers from owning a dog larger than 25 pounds, and limited square footage can restrict active dog breeds.
Many dog owners want to provide a life of luxury for their pets. Pampering dogs at home is all-important. It’s such a high priority that builders and designers are creating pet suites to accommodate this trend. These aren’t just your typical laundry room with a cushy dog bed; they’re luxurious spaces with washing stations, electronic feeders, automatic pet doors, and even flat-screen TVs conveniently placed at doggy height.
In a recent survey conducted by Research and Markets (with data included from APPA’s National Pet Owners Survey, HABRI, and Cohen Research Group) dog ownership has increased with some surprising statistics.
- Dog owners drive growth in pet ownership and overall pet population
- Dog ownership is up 29% in the past decade
- Millennials and Boomers are driving growth
- Number of unmarried or childless dog owners has increased
- Owners of multiple dogs are more likely to splurge on their pets
With so many people becoming dog owners, deluxe amenities in the home aren’t the only growing trend: Dog parks are increasingly important in many communities. Condominiums and apartments are considering the need for pet-friendly spaces. Buyers on the hunt for the perfect home are often swayed by access to these amenities, and may reconsider an otherwise fantastic property if it lacks pet appeal.
With homes clearly going to the dogs, it’s important for buyers to consider the wants and needs of their pets. Working with a real estate broker who knows exactly what the buyer needs to keep Fido happy can narrow down the search for the perfect (dog)house.
Sellers should take extra care to ensure their home is devoid of all doggy evidence, including odors they may have gone noseblind to. Dog ownership numbers are rising, but you never know if prospective buyers have allergies. Play it safe!