So, you’ve decided to move! Great! Congratulations! But as you look for that new place, don’t forget about that all important part of your family…..your PET! For many of us, they are not pets, they ARE members of our family!
This is Nero who unfortunately left us on January 19, 2007. But he was a very important part of our life. Such that, we delayed moving into our new condo for 7 months because of him. (Who do you think ruled THAT house?) Our situation was different…he was going blind, and could not tell the difference between the door of a condo and a door in the house…so he thought he was locked in a room! And so went the howling! So we could not move until he was no longer with us….he just did not understand the difference between a house and a condo.
As you make a move, be it from house to condo, condo to house or a different combination, there are factors you need to consider. Failing to do your research could leave you in a situation like ours, but not as easy to resolve. (We just kept the house!) As sad as it seems to us, pets are not welcome everywhere! But many communities (condo, townhouse or single-family) are realizing they need to consider the four-legged members of the family! And wisely so! According to the 2007-08 National Pet Owners Survey by the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association, the number of U.S. households with pets grew from 56 percent in 1998 to 63 percent! That’s a whapping 71.1 million homes!
What ever your reason for a pet, most people have a dog for the companionship they provide. (I use to drive in my driveway and the noise coming from my front door, followed by the wagging tail, jumping, etc was the most welcomed sight of the day!) But when it comes time to take care of them, from walking to grooming and having “friends,” not all places are created equal. But times are changing.
When visiting communities, you and your agent should ask about pet policies. And here are some questions to consider.
1) Are pets even allowed?
While more important to ask in a market like Midtown Alanta with our condos and high rises, even in single-family home communities, there could be limits on breeds or numbers of pets. Some breeds, such as Pit Bulls, or Doberman Pinschers may not be allowed. Many condominium developments limit you to 2 pets.
2) What are the neighborhood, county or city rules and regulations?
What if Fido is use to running in your back yard, and now has to be walked on a leash? Might be an issue in teaching an “old dog a new trick!” For example, Nero always got walked on a leash, but he did not “play well with others.” Could be an issue when riding the elevator! Find out if the community has any special areas where you can walk your dog. Ask if there is any sort of dog walking group you can join…a great way to meet your neighbors! For us city dwellers, check for “dog stations” where you can pick up doggie waste bags, as well as a place to dispose of them.
3) Does your Pet fit with your new home?
Like I mentioned at the beginning, Nero did not understand the difference between being locked in a room in our house, or the front door of our condo! Greyhounds, because of their low body fat and bones, don’t really like to lay on concrete or hardwood floors! Do you have room for a nice bed for him/her? How about rugs? Is it a single story, or a townhouse? Some dogs, such as Dachshunds do not do well with stairs! And imagine a St. Bernard in a 800 sq. ft condo with two people? Hmmmmm……
Certainly NOT a concern in a high-rise, but if you buy a home, again, you want to check those covenants. Some new communities are now going with only invisible fencing! Again, could be another “new trick” that your dog may not adjust to!
We love our pets! So as we look for our new home, remember…it will be THEIR new home as well!