When making decisions about buying, selling or renovating their homes, Americans take their pets pretty seriously. This according to a report out Monday from the National Association of Realtors®. The 2017 Animal House: Remodeling Impact report found that 81% of respondents said that animal-related considerations play a role when deciding on their next living situation.
"In 2016, 61 percent of U.S. households either have a pet or plan to get one in the future, so it is important to understand the unique needs and wants of animal owners when it comes to home ownership," said NAR President William E. Brown, a Realtor® from Alamo, California and founder of Investment Properties.
According to the survey, 99% of pet owners said they consider their animal part of the family, and this becomes apparent in the sacrifices pet owners are willing to make when it comes to buying and selling homes – 89% of those surveyed said they would not give up their animal because of housing restrictions or limitations. Twelve percent of pet owners have moved to accommodate their animal, and 19% said that they would consider moving to accommodate their animal in the future.
Realtors who were surveyed indicated that one-third of their pet-owning clients often or very often will refuse to make an offer on a home because it is not ideal for their animal. Realtors also noted that 61% of buyers find it difficult or very difficult to locate a rental property or a homeowners association that accommodates animals.
When it comes to selling, 67% of Realtors say animals have a moderate to major effect on selling a home. Approximately two-thirds of Realtors say that they advise animal owning sellers to always replace things in the home damaged by an animal, have the home cleaned to remove any animal scents and to take animals out of the home during an open house or showing.
Nearly half of all survey respondents, 52%, indicated that they had completed a home renovation project specifically to accommodate their animal. Of those who undertook projects, 23% built a fence around their yard, 12% added a dog door and 10% installed laminate flooring. 94% percent of consumers indicated that they were satisfied with their renovation; 58% indicated they have a greater desire to be at home and 62% enjoy spending more time at home since completing their renovation.
When it comes to the enjoyment homeowners gain from these projects, fencing in a yard and installing laminated floors rated highest, both receiving Joy Scores of 9.4; Joy Scores range between 1 and 10, and higher figures indicate greater joy from the project. Adding a dog door came in a close second with a Joy Score of 9.2.
A majority of surveyed animal owners, 83%, indicated that they own a dog, which helps explain the overwhelming popularity of dog-related renovation projects. 43% of those surveyed said they own a cat, 9% own a bird, reptile, amphibian, arthropod, small mammal, or miniature horse, 8% a fish and 5% own a farm animal.
NAR members were also surveyed about their relationships with animals, with 80% of Realtors considering themselves animal lovers and 68% indicating that they have pets of their own. 12% of Realtors surveyed volunteer for an organization that helps animals, and 21% plan to volunteer in the future.