Excellent Tips for Buying a Home with Dogs and Cats
Type of Home with Pets
5 great tips for buying a home with pets starts with this first tip: What type of home you are looking to buy? What kind of home will work for you and your pets?.
Are you looking for a condo that accepts pets? Perhaps a condo at the beach. A pet-friendly gated community in Boca Raton or Boynton Beach? A Pet-friendly 55+ gated community in Delray? House on a street? Figuring out the type of property you are looking for is a good beginning. The type of home you are dreaming of ultimately may or may not work for you and your pets, but it’s a good place to start.
Make a wish list. If all things were possible, what would you like to have. See which items you may be able to bend on and which are absolute necessary. You may not get them all, but we can try.
Be honest. How many pets do you have? What kind of pets do you have? More than one dog or cat can sometimes be a problem, depending on the type of home you’re looking to buy. And no, there really is no hiding them. The neighbors will always find out.
Condo vs House with Pets
Living in a condominium building is different than living in a house, villa or townhouse with dogs. Each condo has their own set of rules with regard to dogs. You may be required to enter and exit the building with your dog in a different manner. Are you okay with this? Some people are, others not. Something to think about.
Condos may insist dogs be fully vaccinated every year and require proof to that effect. If you’re a person who titers your dog, this may not work for you. Please be aware that a rabies vaccine is required in Palm Beach County, wherever you live.
Living in a homeowner’s association, whether in a single family house, villa or townhouse may be easier. Certainly, you won’t have to carry your furry friend outside to go for a walk. You are ground level, so it’s out the door you go. Homeowner’s associations may still require vaccinations. Some homeowners associations even require photos and certificates from your veterinarian as proof. I recently came across pet restrictions that gave the board in a homeowner’s association the right to have your dog weighed in front of the board if they thought s/he was over the weight. Ridiculous, yes! True, yes! I agree, totally absurd.
Do you need a fenced yard or will you walk your dogs? All things to think about as some communities will not allow fences unless you have a pool. Do you want a pool? So many things to think about!
Check Pet Rules for the Home
Don’t forget to check the pet restrictions for the specific condo or community you’re thinking about. Many people have been surprised. Please don’t take your friend’s word for it either. I know they mean well, but this is your beloved pet. Don’t take a chance. Pet restrictions can and do change from time to time.
Just because you may see dogs walking in the building or community doesn’t mean it’s acceptable in that building or community. Don’t rely on the types of dogs you see walking around either – big versus small or breeds. These may be service or emotional support animals. Which brings me to my next point.
Service and Emotional Support Animals
Is your dog a service dog? HUD defines a service animal as the following:. “Under the ADA, a service animal is defined as a dog that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability. The task(s) performed by the dog must be directly related to the person’s disability.”
HUD defines an Assistance Animal as the following: ” An assistance animal is an animal that works, provides assistance, or performs tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability, or that provides emotional support that alleviates one or more identified effects of a person’s disability. An assistance animal is not a pet.”
In July, the Florida Senate passed a new bill with regard to emotional support animals. You can read it here.
I am not giving a sermon. I am merely sharing information with you.
Hire a Pet-Friendly REALTOR®
It pays to hire a pet-friendly REALTOR®. Why? Because they have done the research for you. They don’t merely post listings that may or may not allow pets. They live and breathe pet-friendly housing 24/7 dealing with all types of situations. Ask them how they became a pet-friendly REALTOR®.
It will save you a great deal of time, anxiety and frustration as you scroll through tons of listings online. Please don’t trust what the listings say. They may be right, but they are often wrong when it comes to pets. Trust me on this. It is just as frustrating to me, too. Each time I see “pet restrictions,” I cringe. I have to stop and research exactly what they are, which can often be complicated.
Don’t spend massive amounts of time scouring listings only to become increasingly frustrated. And understandably so. Do yourself a favor and hire a buyer’s agent with great reviews – it won’t cost you a penny and you will be relieved and happy you did.
How is it free to you? Because I am paid by the seller or the builder. And no, you won’t get a better deal because of the commission – the listing agent or builder will just collect a double commission. The builder doesn’t negotiate.
Pets are part of your family. I know this, because my dogs are part of my family. So, whether you’re looking for a condo, townhouse, villa or single family home to buy in Boca Raton, Delray Beach, Highland Beach or Boynton Beach, please check into all aspects of the community relating to pets, so your beloved cats and dogs will be as welcome, comfortable and happy as you.
You don’t want to find out after you’re under contract or have closed on a property that they’re not welcome. Then you first have a problem. So avoid the headaches and problems, and please do your due diligence first. There are many condos and communities that will happily welcome both you and your pets. Will you have to compromise? Maybe. But if you’re a cat or dog lover, it’s so worth it.
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