Often clients searching for the perfect home, are asked a drawer-full of questions by their realtors. Are they looking for an apartment or a house, a condo or a mansion, or simply somewhere to offer elderly relatives to move into one day. However, what’s overlooked (and with great negligence) is that conditions for pets are as much, if not more, important than many other factors real estate agents focus on.
A recent survey found that 68% of American household owners (numbering around 85 million families) had at least one pet. That number is a massive 56% increase from the numbers collected in 1988 – the first time this specific survey was carried out. A closer look at the specifics of these numbers is that 48% of those pets were dogs, 38% cats, and the rest a collection of other mammals, reptiles, birds and fish.
In addition to owning animals of their own, it has been discovered that Americans spend close to $61 billion on their respective pets. This massive spending is shared between animal food, toys, furnishings and other miscellaneous products related to their mostly-furry friends. A survey showed that this spend is 25% higher than it was in 2013. Some experts argue that aside from the money owners spend on their pets, they valued their pets far beyond what money could ever buy. These “pets” are usually seen as loyal friends, therapists, exercise partners, and more.
Another interesting find was that of millennials who had pets. While older generations might have had a child and a dog at the same time, the millennial generation seems to be taking pets as “starter children”. In preparation for, or sometimes in place of having children, this generation opts to take in animals to get their families started.
In many cases, developers, architects and property owners neglect to offer enough options for people looking for pet-friendly homes. In more recent times, newer apartment buildings have made this adjustment – offering pet-grooming and dog-walking services, pet swimming pools and special parks, to name a few. Based on all the information mentioned above – the number of pets per American family; annual spend on these pets; and the fostering of these animals by the younger population, it’s high time the real estate industry changed the way it looks at pets – they’re family, and families need homes.