In Northern Ohio, as in most places, different developments and even cities may be more “pet friendly” places. If you have furry friends in your life as we do, and they are part of your family, then their needs are also part of your home shopping criteria. Just as children play a role when shopping for new home, so do your pets. You’ll want to take their needs into account when house hunting.
What are the local pet laws and rules?
Yes you’ll own it, but are pets welcome? Cities, Home Owner Associations, and Condos often have laws or rules regarding pets.
- Are certain breeds not welcome?
- How many pets are allowed?
- Are their size restrictions?
- Must hey be leashed even when on your property?
- How will noise ordinances play a role?
- Check the HOA docs. Maybe pets are only permitted for end units, first floor units, or in certain buildings within a development.
What’s up with the yard and fencing?
Don’t assume fencing is permitted. Even if you see fencing it could be grandfathered, or the home you saw may be just outside of the HOA. Only certain materials, heights, or spacing for slats.
Are there areas where pets can run free?
Dogs in particular need to be able to walk and run. They need exercise. Are there dog parks, parks that allow dogs freedom, trails or green space that are dog friendly? What about places for “bathroom walks”?
If you are in a snowy climate, are there areas where they can walk that are plowed and shoveled? Not all of our pups are Great Danes or Huskies.
If a busy road is nearby is that going to be a safety issue. Cats get out, even when unintended, and being next to a busy road can be dangerous.
Cat and small dog owners should also think about the local wildlife. In some areas, proximity to a green space means being closer to coyotes and foxes, that can view smaller pets as food.
Driving through a neighborhood and seeing large open areas, ponds, and beach areas doesn’t mean pets are permitted. Increasingly Conservation Easements are off limits to people and pets, even if adjacent to or even in the middle of a development. Always ask to view the documents!
Does the house have pet-friendly floor finishes
Some of the new laminates are wonderful. Hard flooring is generally the best option. If you are looking at houses with a lot of carpet, you may want to consider replacement and cleaning expenses as additional budget items.
If you’re putting in new flooring anyway, consider distressed wood so that the scratches just add more character. Other good flooring options include higher end vinyl, some of the new laminates are wonderful, or concrete.
What about the layout of the home?
The dogs size, number of dogs, cat litter box locations and other factors need to be considered.
- Are stairs going to be a problem?
- Bathing your pet can be an issue. Where are you going to wash your Wolfhound? Is there a place you are comfortable washing your Chihuahua?
- Do you have a space to keep them when you are away all day?
- Is there a way to keep them out of “off limit” areas easily?
- How old is your dog? Is there age going to make a difference as they maneuver the space?
When you are ready to start your home search in Northern Ohio give me a call/text at 440-315-6000 or email me at LeeHisey@howardhanna.com. Every member of our team has pets, and we are sensitive to their needs as well as yours. I hope this info helps you in your home search!