No one asks for their employment verification or computes their debt-to-income
ratio. Yet, when it comes to buying,
selling, or renovating a home the family fur baby apparently plays an important
role in the process.
The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) has just released results of its
annual survey on remodeling, titling it Animal
House: Remodeling Impact Report. The survey found that 81 percent of
respondents reported that animal-related considerations play a role in their decisions
about the 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 homeownership " said NAR President
William E. Brown. "Realtors understand that when someone buys a home, they
are buying it with the needs of their whole family in mind; ask pet owners, and
they will enthusiastically agree that their animals are part of their
Among pet-owning homeowners who responded to NAR's survey, 99 percent said
they did indeed view their animals as a family member. NAR says this is backed up by the sacrifices
pet owners are willing to make in the home buying and selling process. Eighty-nine percent said they would not give
up their pet in deference to housing restrictions or limitations. Nineteen percent said they would consider
moving to accommodate their pet, and 12 percent said they have actually done
Fifty-two percent of respondents said they had completed a home renovation
project specifically on behalf of a pet.
Of those who had done so, 23 percent built a fence, 12 percent added a
dog door, and 10 percent installed laminate flooring. NAR ranks completed remodeling projects with "Joy
Scores" on a scale of one to 10 gauging the homeowner's degree of enjoyment.
Adding a fenced yard and installing laminated floors received scores of 9.4
while a dog door scored 9.2.
Eighty-three percent of pet-owners surveyed own a dog which, NAR says, helps
explain the overwhelming popularity of dog-related projects. Forty-three percent were cat owners, 9
percent own birds, reptiles, or other small animals, 8 percent a fish and 5
percent own a farm animal.
NAR also surveyed its members about pets and homeownership. They responded that one-third of their pet-owning
clients have often or very often refused to make an offer on a home that they
did not consider ideal for their animal.
Realtors also noted that 61 percent of buyers find it difficult or very
difficult to locate a rental property or a homeowners' association that accommodates
One downside to animal ownership is their impact on selling a home. Sixty-seven percent of Realtors surveyed
called that impact moderate to major and about the same percentage said they
advise sellers to always replace anything 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.
When asked about their own relationship with animals, 80 percent of NAR
members said they consider themselves animal lovers and 68 percent said they have
pets of their own. Twelve percent volunteer for an organization that helps
animals, and 21 percent plan to volunteer in the future.