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Relocating Consumers Focus on Pets’ Happiness Too

Many buyers and renters consider a new home with “Will my pets be happy here?” playing in their head – and are willing to compromise their wants for a “yes” answer.

CHICAGO – About 70% of American households share a home with at least one pet – mostly cats and dogs – and recent consumer studies find that those furry friends have a lot to say in real estate decisions.

Americans are willing to move to accommodate a pet, and they’re on the hunt for more pet-friendly home features, according to a survey conducted last year by the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) on pets’ involvement in the home buying and selling process.

A recent survey backs up NAR’s findings. Of 1,600 homeowners surveyed, 68% of respondents who weren’t living in a pet-friendly home at one time said they moved for the sole purpose of accommodating their pets. For homebuyers, two-thirds moved from renting to owning specifically to either get a pet or keep a current pet happy.

Americans also say they’ll pass on a home if it doesn’t measure up to their pet’s needs. One in five home buyer respondents said they rejected a home for pet-related reasons in the survey.

Many pet-moving buyers say they’re looking for more space. They also want a secure fence, hardwood floors, plenty of yard space, a mudroom, and proximity to parks and play areas.

In a survey of 2,000 consumers last year, 68% of pet owners said they would pass on the perfect home if it didn’t meet their pet’s needs – even amid tight housing inventories. In that survey, pet owners favored homes with large yards and outdoor space, as well as a garage, dog run and large square footage so their pets could run around.

Source: “Do Pets Dominate Homeownership and Housekeeping Decisions?” (July 26, 2021)

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