As I walk through the home, I look around and think “where can I put the dog door?” “Is the yard big enough for a dog run?”. If you are a millennial like me, you’ve had a similar thought process when looking for a new home. More and more people, especially millennials, are buying homes for their dogs. They want to get out of apartment living and give their dog a yard where they have room to play fetch and chase birds. A recent survey showed that one-third of millennial buyers said their dog(s) effected their decision to purchase a home1.
My husband and I were recently looking for a home and even though we have a toddler who changes certain things we look for in a house, I still took my dogs into consideration. We ended up paying slightly more than our original budget because the house had all tile on the main floor and a large dog door that was already installed. For me, those two items were more important than an extra bedroom, fancy kitchen or upgraded window treatments.
As I’m typing this, I can picture older generations shaking their head. Even my own mother didn’t understand why I would take my dogs into consideration when looking for a home. It’s simple, my dogs were my only children at one point. When my husband and I were first married, we didn’t want kids right away and chose to get dogs first. We moved out of state shortly thereafter and my dogs kept me sane. It takes time to reestablish your group of friends and feel comfortable in a new city and my dogs were always there for me.
Millennials are also looking for amenities for their dogs. If a home is in a community with a dog park or washing station, they are more likely to purchase that home. Millennials also just grew up in a different world than Boomers and Gen X’s. With a higher percentage of millennials having college degrees, they are waiting to have kids until they’ve checked certain boxes on their life list. Things such as establishing a career and purchasing a home are coming before marriage and kids, thus having a dog makes more sense. Plus, it’s a lot easier to travel and make social plans when you don’t have to find a babysitter.
When looking to purchase a home for your pup, beware of condos and strict HOA’s. Some condos may only allow smaller dogs and have breed restrictions. Talk with your Realtor about what’s important to you and your dog. The more your Realtor knows about what you’re looking for, the more they can assist you in finding your dream home.
The Bill and Cindy Flowers Team