How Pet-Friendly Home Features Can Influence Home Appeal to Buyers

Did you know that the pandemic brought an uprise in pet adoptions? In fact, Americans spent over $100 billion on their pets in 2020 alone. Not only that, but many pet owners now make it a priority to buy a pet-friendly home.

Pet-friendly home features will increase your home value and make it more appealing to the next generation of home buyers.

Are you looking to spruce up some of your home features? Keep reading!

How Pets Changed the Real Estate Industry

Most Americans consider their pets as part of the family. Considering that 70% of the population owns a pet, it is easy to see why pet-friendly homes bring more value to the table.

Over half of the real estate agents said animals make a significant difference when selling a home.

However, the wish to make their fluffy friends comfortable is not the only factor we need to consider. With Millennials entering the home-buying phase, the demand for pet-friendly homes has risen.

Millennials and Pets

You might wonder why Millennials are taking the lead in searching for a pet-friendly home. There are several reasons for this.

First off, Millennials are the generation that introduced the terms “pet parent” and “fur baby.” Nearly half reported that they see their pets as kids.

On top of that, the use of social media has also increased the overall love of pets. Cats are some of the best trending topics on media, which is not about to end anytime soon.

Finally, Millennials have the most education to date, and with Google at their fingertips, it is easy to understand what the best care is for their pets.

Knowing that Millennials use many of these resources daily can help you understand why they prioritize and consider their fur babies during their move.

Pet-Friendly Neighborhood Features

To accommodate these new trends, we will first discuss the items you have little control over. However, if you have these features in your area, it is essential to highlight them on your listing.

Let’s look at why these features add value when selling a pet-friendly home.

1. Doggy Day Care

With many people returning to in-office work, doggy daycares are essential to many households now. They offer many benefits to both the dog and the dog owner.

If you have a reputable daycare close by, let potential buyers know. This will give buyers peace of mind that their dog is taken care of and in a safe environment.

They can go to work knowing that their fluffy friend is getting the attention, exercise, and love they need.

2. Pet Spa

Regular grooming is essential for most pets. While cats do a relatively good job of keeping their fur coat clean, other pets will need more attention.

Especially long-haired cats and poodles need a regular visit to the spa. A short walk down the street with your dog to the groomer is much easier than wrangling them into the car and listening to them bark all the way to the shop.

So if you have a pet spa nearby or even a mobile spa in the area that will visit you at home, it can add a lot of value to your home.

3. Parks

Parks are great for many reasons. They add scenery, encourage community, and allow kids to play safely within the neighborhood.

But they can also be great places for fluffy friends! As long as the park is pet friendly, the new homeowners can let their dogs run around and connect with their new neighbors!

4. Sidewalks

A pet-friendly neighborhood is something that many pet owners will look for, so if you don’t have sidewalks, a lot of dog owners may have an issue with the place.

However, you may have a nice size yard that would appeal to potential buyers. It might be a good idea to fence a portion that will allow their pets to get all the exercise they need without being on a leash.

5. Low Traffic

Pets that need outside time, like dogs and certain cat breeds, are better off living in a low-traffic area, especially when they go outside unsupervised (like cats).

Over 6 million pets were hit by cars last year, so many pet owners prefer a quiet area.

Pet-Friendly Home Features

If you plan to spruce up your home before you sell, consider adding some of these home features to your renovations.

It can make a huge difference, making the transition for the pet and the pet owner a lot easier.

1. Backyard

Whether it is a young family (yes, even those with just fur babies) buying their first home or an older couple downsizing after the kids move out, a great backyard is a must.

It is one of the main benefits of buying a house vs. a condo.

Spacious backyards that provide room for everyone to enjoy are great for physical and mental health.

But a pet-friendly backyard should include consideration of quite a few things such as shade, wet and muddy areas, toxic plants, and possibly a small shelter.

You should also consider installing a fence. A pet-proof fence can prove extremely valuable to those who like to let their dogs out in the yard.

Installation

For the fence, you will have several options to consider. There are

  • Invisible fences
  • Underground fences
  • Hedges
  • Wooden fence
  • And more

Depending on your fence choice, you can likely install these items with little cost if you are handy.

Hedges will likely need growing time, a wired fence, and upkeep.

Underground fences prevent dogs and cats from digging themselves out. So instead of just poles, you will also have to dig a small trench for the fence to fit in. Then once the fence is installed, you will need to recover it again.

Invisible fences are also underground. They usually come with a collar that will release a frequency that only dogs can hear to keep them in.

Costs

The cost will depend on each fence. Make sure you ask for quotes from several landscaping companies to find the best price.

You will need to determine the measurements of the fenced-in area.

The average fencing price can range anywhere from $1,330 to $5,500.

Quick Tips

Check with your local government if you need a permit to install a new fence. You will also want to stay up to code and determine the boundaries of your property.

2. Pet-Friendly Flooring

One of the most considerable damages a pet can do to the home is scratches on the floor. A beautiful hardwood floor that is newly refinished might not be the best option for a dog owner.

However, there are quite a few scratch-resistant floors available nowadays.

The options are endless, from vinyl to tile, and the costs are usually fairly reasonable.

If you love hardwood, you can also install engineered hardwood. You will also need to finish with scratch-resistant varnish.

Installation

To choose the best option for your home, whether you are selling or not, having a professional do the job might be your best bet for a quality floor.

You will need to keep in mind the levelness of the floor, install a subfloor, and cut out corners, doors, and more.

Costs

The price of a new floor depends on the material and the square footage. For example, laminate can cost between $6-$9/sqft, while hardwood can cost up to $20/sqft.

Quick Tips

When installing flooring, be sure that both rooms are tapered. For example, if one side of the room is longer than the other, the flooring will likely not line up. Instead of tapering one side, taper both sides for a better look.

3. Enclosed Patio

Enclosed patios are another pet-friendly home feature and beautiful addition to any home. However, cat owners will appreciate a little sanctuary for their fluffy friends in a new home just a little more.

Enclosed patios, also called catios to many feline friends, are becoming a Pinterest rave worldwide. Whether you have a house with a backyard, or a condo with just a tiny patio, enclosing it with either netting or glass can add value to your home.

Installation

It is relatively easy to install an enclosed patio. However, if you don’t want to go all out, you can even make a small coop that attaches to the window.

If you already have a deck or patio, you can screen it in without much effort, but you may have to build something to attach the screens, like an extension off the roof.

Costs

The cost depends on how extensive you want this patio to be. For example, if it should only be accessible to the cats, you can make it for under $500.

However, if you want to create an entire closed-in patio, the cost could be upwards of $1,500.

Quick Tips

To make a catio that can be used to its full potential, you should include scratch posts, shelving, and a comfy seat for the cat owner to cuddle their fur baby.

You can also grow plants that are beneficial to both humans and pets. For example, spider plants, ferns, and other pet-friendly plants can improve the atmosphere and mental health.

Catnip and cat grass are also great options.

4. Plenty of Outdoor Views

Natural light and sunlight are beneficial to humans and pets (depending on the pet, of course). The engineering of windows has come a long way, so you will notice that new windows will negate many of the previously known issues with large windows.

If your windows are graded with Energy Star, you will lose less heat, reduce draft, and with specific windows, you will see less sun damage on the furniture and floors.

Installation

To get an Energy Star rated window, you will also need to hire the right installer. Most experts recommend not going DYI with this project, as it can significantly bring down the effectiveness of the window.

If the holes aren’t filled correctly, you can create a perfect environment for moisture to enter and mold to grow. Additionally, it can also lead to cold drafts in the winter.

Costs

The average cost of window replacement is around $650. However, check with your local government if they have any rebates available for making your home green.

To replace the windows of the whole house, you are looking at an average price of $3,000-$10,000.

Quick Tips

Ask around for quotes when choosing an installation service. Additionally, you should also check the reputation and reviews of the company. A reputable company can make all the difference and is crucial to proper installation.

Renewing the windows will add value to your home, including energy efficiency. But, of course, pet owners are not the only ones looking for plenty of windows and new windows. So this is a win whether someone is looking for a pet-friendly home or not.

5. Pet Doors

Installing pet doors is a simple addition to add. You can even install programmable doors that allow certain pets out and keep others in.

Especially for dogs, it is beneficial to have a pet door to go outside and relieve themselves even if the owner is not home. They can also use the door to safely get inside in case of a storm or other danger.

Installation

Before installation, take a look at the many options you have. An exterior pet door should withstand the weather, regardless of your climate.

Choose an average size pet door, as the pets from potential buyers will vary in size.

Costs

Because of the many options on the market, the price varies greatly. For example, you can find pet doors from $40-$400.

Installing a pet door is likely a job that a handyperson can complete without issues. However, if you are more comfortable hiring a professional, the cost can be $75-$100, depending on the door type.

Prices of installation can vary due to:

  • Location of installation
  • Size
  • Type of door

Quick Tips

Consider the average height of a dog, and place the door in a spot most dogs can access.

You could also consider installing a pet door on the wall. However, the installation of these doors is likely high.

Specialty Features

These specialty features may seem over the top for some. However, it can be a selling point for many potential buyers if you have the room.

Some even have additional benefits! Let’s take a look.

1. Central Vacuum

One of the first ideas of central vacuums dates back to the 1850s! So while they are still a relatively new concept to most American homes, they’ve been around for a while.

Essentially, they are a stationary vacuum connected with plumbing throughout the house. You can attach the hose to outlets on the wall and conduct the vacuuming throughout the house.

Central Vacuums can be highly beneficial for pet owners, as you can probably guess. Experts suggest that you vacuum twice a week if you have a pet.

But you will likely see the benefit for everyone. You don’t have to lug around a heavy machine while completing one of the most laborious household tasks.

Installation

Many people believe that central vacuums need installation at the beginning of a build. However, many older homes have a central vacuum installed with no problem.

The perfect opportunity to install a central vac is if you need to replace any drywall during a renovation. However, it is possible to have professionals install a unit without significant damage to the walls.

Costs

The cost of an average system will be around $1,500, and that is without installation. You can check your local installation services for quotes on installation.

Some factors for installations can include:

  • Size of house
  • Age of house
  • Type of system

Quick Tips

Try to pinpoint the best location for the canister. The most popular locations are either the basement or the garage.

You will also have a choice of the type of central vac. If you have allergies, consider getting a system that filters the dirt outdoors. Then, you will only have to change the filter instead of emptying the canister or bag.

In that case, make sure that the waste is filtered far away from any open windows.

2. Washing Station

Mudrooms are great places to have for any family. Young children can take off their rain and snow gear, leave their dirty clothes, and wash any outside grime off before running through the house.

However, there are many benefits for pet owners, too. It can double as a safe place for an anxious pet to hide, a place for the dog to dry after a walk through bad weather, and you can add a dedicated washing station for pets to bathe too!

Think shower, but for pets. Having these in a mudroom can increase the value of your house, as they are also helpful for non-pet owners.

Installation

The installation of a pet washing station looks very similar to a shower stall. You will need to prepare and think of the plumbing, choose the tiling, and get the necessary hardware.

Costs

Perhaps you have leftover tiles from your bathroom. Using these can lower the cost, especially if there is already plumbing nearby. In any case, you are still looking at close to $1,000 for the whole project.

Quick Tips

Combining the mudroom, laundry room, and washing station can save you a lot of space and money. To start this project on its own can be costly. However, if you are already renovating the area, putting in the extra station will be a small addition.

3. Eating Station

Eating stations look great, but they are also healthier for your pets. In cats specifically, it can help them digest the food properly.

The most common spot for a built-in eating station is the kitchen. This pet-friendly home feature can be either added to your island or the end of your cabinets.

Installation

If you are redoing your kitchen, adding a small station for your pets might make sense. Like kitchen desks, the eating station will have the same material and look like the rest of the kitchen.

Costs

Custom cabinets are much more expensive than cookie-cutter kitchens. Although, a little creativity can go a long way in creating the perfect eating station.

Quick Tips

While looks are important, the station should also work well for the pet. Avoid installing bowls in a drawer that can open and close. You might risk keeping it closed, leaving the pet without food or water.

Keep in mind the average size of a pet and try to cater to that. For example, large dogs can bend down lower, but small dogs might have difficulty with elevated bowls.

4. Built-In Beds

Built-in beds can create a safe space for the dog. In addition, it will also improve the overall look of the room in question. It doesn’t have to be extravagant, but a simple shelf with an elevated bed will look beautiful and give a pet a cozy place to sleep.

Installation

If you are installing custom bookcases, shelving, or any other storage, consider a place for a bed. Although you likely won’t be installing custom shelving if you plan to move.

Like the eating station, a creative idea can help you find a solution that works best for you.

Costs

The costs are likely pretty low, considering that this project is mostly DYI. However, you can ask a local contractor to install it for you. They will provide a quote for both the materials and labor.

Quick Tips

If you are staging your home but don’t want to commit to a built-in bed, you can create a portable bed for your pet. It will look great when there are viewings.

5. Pet Room

Why waste the small space under the staircase? Many pet owners have put this area to good use by creating a cute pet room.

You can even add the washing station, the sleeping station, or an eating area to a pet room.

Installation

If you want to go all out, you can hire a professional to add beds, toys, and more to the pet room. But finishing off a little corner of the house and calling it a room is a cute idea that many potential home buyers may also love.

Costs

Again, this undertaking is usually DYI. So you can either hire a contractor or do it yourself with some elbow grease. The price will depend on the hourly fee of the contractor. Check with your local contractors for quotes.

Quick Tips

Make sure to keep the colors neutral. Even if you think your fur baby loves pink and red, it might turn off some buyers. What’s more, the addition of a pet room can show a potential buyer that the house has room to spare.

Selling a Pet-Friendly Home

Some of these clever home features can raise the home value for everyone, pet owners included. You don’t have to add all of them, and some of the features are out of your control.

However, making an effort to accommodate pet owners, even if it is showing the potential of your home, can do wonders in the sale of your home.

Are you looking to sell your home? Get started here!

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