Pets influence older homeowners’ choices

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According to an Ally poll, 20 percent of Gen X and 19 percent of boomers said they would actually take pets with them when buying a home – or have already done so.

Although 70-year-old Pamela Chavez Hutson and her wife did not bring pets with them in 2015 when looking for a home, they insisted that they have a yard large enough for their Weimaranes to run around. “They need to play sports, and I’m getting old to run around the block with them,” she says.

FROM buying your house, which is located on four and a half acres in Acton, California, the couple have designated one room in the house as a “dog room” where their dog companions sleep at night. They also turned their garage into a giant dog playground so that, in rainy or cold weather, the dogs can hang out in their own space during the day.

The couple also plans to install easy-care planking in the hallway to keep the walls from getting dirty when the dogs run down the hallway. These types of decisions are reflected in Ally’s survey, which elderly pet owners reported that their choice of furniture and home organization was also influenced by their animals. Six percent of Gen Xers and 9 percent of boomers say they bought a large bed so their pets can sleep with them. (Millennials seem to be even bigger crazy(26% create designated areas for their pets and 11% buy larger beds to accommodate fluffy foot warmers.)

While sellers may be wary of letting a golden retriever roam the premises, a prospective home buyer might choose to take a pet out into the neighborhood and see attractions such as dog parks, said Jessica Lautz, vice president of demographics and behavior analysis for the National Association of Realtors. …

Lutz said the association’s research shows that many people take their pets into account when buying new homes. The most popular place where pets are allowed is the fenced yard. Others need window sills wide enough for pets to rest or a closet that can be used to keep the cat house out of sight.

“Pets are definitely a deciding factor for many home buyers,” Lautz said.


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