5 Things Pet Owners Should Look for When Buying a House in Atlanta

5 Things Pet Owners Should Look for When Buying a House in Atlanta

Most people have a good idea of the features they want (and don’t want) in a new home, but it’s sometimes a different story with pet owners. Unfortunately, many pet-owner home buyers seldom think about the features they want and need other than a fenced-in backyard. But, really, there’s a lot more you need to consider when buying a house if you’re a pet owner. Let’s take a look, then, at 5 things pet owners should look for when buying a house in Atlanta.

1. Pet Laws and Regulations

If you’re a pet owner buying a house in Atlanta, you should first look into the local pet laws and regulations. There may be some pretty severe restrictions, and some pets may be prohibited altogether.

“Even if you own a piece of property, it’s not guaranteed that your pets will be welcome there. Depending on the number and the breed, there can be restrictions within a Homeowners Association (HOA), condo development, or even the city or state, at large. Check your city and state for breed-specific laws and limits on the number of animals per home.” 

Some cities, for example, require you to have “a kennel license if you have more than two dogs.” In addition, “[s]ome HOAs or condo developments restrict the number or type of pets you can have, or spell out how your pet must be on-leash in common areas.” And you may have to deal with city noise ordinances if you have a dog that barks a lot.

2. Suitable Flooring for Pets

Another thing you should consider when buying a house in Atlanta is whether the flooring is suitable for pets. Pet-friendly flooring is important and is definitely something you should look for in a home.

You should avoid a house with a lot of carpeting, especially wall-to-wall carpeting. Besides not helping resale value, carpeting is far from the best flooring when pets are involved: cats claw it, and dogs will track in mud and dirt onto it. “Carpet also traps smells from accidents, stains easily, and collects pet hair. If your dog or cat . . . needs something softer underfoot, with an area or throw rug, which can be cleaned or replaced.”

Experts recommend that you look for “solid hardwood since it can be refinished when it’s scratched.” Also, look “for very light or very dark wood, and [consider] triple-sealing it with high-grade polyurethane (use a water-based poly for light floors, and oil-based for dark).”

3. Pet-Friendly Floor Plan and Adequate Square Footage

A pet-friendly floor plan and adequate square footage are also important when you’re buying a house in Atlanta as a pet owner. This is especially important if you have a large dog or several dogs.

You don’t want to be always tripping over your pets, and you’ll need a good place for, say, dog beds and cat trees. Further, tight spaces can stress your pets.

Certainly, you’ll want plenty of outdoor space for your pets, particularly for dogs, but you’ll also need adequate indoor space to accommodate both your family and your pets. Of course, a large dog like a Great Dane will require far more square footage than a cat, but space should remain an important consideration. 

Be sure, then, to discuss your floor-plan and square-footage needs with your {market_city] before you even begin house hunting. To discover more about how an agent can help you in your home search as a pet owner, just call (404) 977-5054.

4. Accessibility and Safety

Your pets will also need a home that’s accessible and safe, so be sure to look for these features when buying a house in Atlanta

Here’s what we mean with respect to accessibility. “Do you have an elderly dog that will need to navigate stairs? Think about ramps, porches, decks, and other areas your pet will need to access. Will it be easy? Are there railings or other features to keep them from falling off? There are always options if you’ll look for them.”

When it comes to pet safety, here are a couple of things to consider . . .

  1. Water hazards – “Depending on where you’re looking, your potential home may have a pond, pool, or other water feature on the property. Is it something that can be made safe for your pet (steps or ramp to get out) or fenced off so they can’t fall in and drown?”
  2. Safely screened windows – You need securely screened windows to keep pets from falling out when upper-floor windows are open. “The incidence of cats falling out of second-story (and higher) windows is so common that veterinarians call it ‘high rise syndrome.’”

5. Proximity to Pet Amenities

An important, but often overlooked, consideration for pet owners buying a house is (or should be, anyway) proximity to pet amenities. 

For example, how close is the nearest veterinarian? Before you make an offer on a house, you should make sure there is a good vet fairly close. And then dog owners should look for proximity to dog parks and (possibly) doggie daycares. 

And Use the Right Agent

As a pet owner, then, you need a home with the right features to keep your pets healthy, happy, and safe. Your best bet is to work with a Atlanta agent who has experience in this area. The right agent can make all the difference. So if you’re a pet owner and are considering buying a house in Atlanta, be sure to contact us today at (404) 977-5054.