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Pets have a strong factor for Boston condo buyers

Pet ownership increased dramatically during the pandemic. A majority of U.S. households currently include pets and 73% of homeowners report at least one pet in the home. That’s a 9% increase from just a year prior, according to new data from Zillow’s 2021 Consumer Housing Trends Report. Based on a nationwide survey of new homebuyers, the data from Zillow Group illustrates that pet owners are more likely to opt for larger houses.

“Pets are widely considered part of the American family, so it follows that they can factor into moving decisions,” says Manny Garcia, a population scientist at Zillow. The report notes that pet owners are 7% more likely than those without pets to buy house with more than 3,000 square feet. In 2021, 36% of buyers who own a pet chose homes with four-plus bedrooms. For comparison, just 24% of non-pet owning buyers purchased homes that large.

And, as any dog owner can tell you, a fenced yard is key. Seventy-three percent of survey respondents with pets ranked private outdoor space as “extremely important,” compared to the 65% of respondents without pets. Respondents without pets also demonstrated a higher likely likelihood to purchase a condo or co-op real estate: 14%, nearly twice the rate of buyers without pets.

“This research shows an increase in pet ownership among recent movers and suggests that pets can impact housing preferences. In some cases, they may even be the catalyst for a move, along with other factors, such as remote work and shifting family priorities,” said Garcia. However, the demographics of these pet-owners also suggest other trends at play. Pet owners are skewing slightly younger — 41 on average — and are more likely to have children. Those factors also drive the need for more bedrooms and ample space.

Then again, prior research has indicated the central role of a pet in the homebuying process. Home sales occurred at a faster rate when the house included pet-friendly features according to a 2020 Zillow report. Those animal-inclusive additions also help to increase the sale price of a home. In August, Homes.com found that 68% of pet owners professed to prioritizing the needs of their pet when picking a house. Those results were also fairly in line with research by Zillow and Rover, which suggested that 62% of dog owners would move to improve the life of their furry friends.

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Boston Condos for Sale and Rent

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Pets have a strong factor for Boston condo buyers

Roll over, homebuyers: New survey reveals how people choose houses based on their pets

Getting married, having kids and moving to a big house with a nice yard… these are the traditional dreams that typically drive homeownership. Or so you’d think. But a recent survey from Homes.com found that, in fact, one furry family member really calls the shots. In a survey of 1,600 pet-owning homeowners, 68% professed to prioritizing their pet’s comfort when searching for new properties.

Among American households, 70% include at least one pet, mainly cats and dogs. Of the pet owners questioned by Homes.com, two-thirds indicated that they had already moved in order to keep a pet happy, and of those respondents, 77% identified “ample square footage” as their primary consideration — an expensive amenity. After square footage, the desired attributes were, in order: A secure fence, hardwood floors, yard space, a mud room and a close proximity to parks.

Further stats from the Homes.com survey reveal that pet owners are just as loyal as their golden retrievers. Despite today’s tough, competitive market – intensified by the ongoing pandemic – more than half of the survey respondents reported walking away from a purchase deal because the home was not right for their pet. Within that substantial group, 20% admitted to doing so in the past year. Then again, if living in lockdown has taught us anything, it’s to appreciate the comforts of our own household, dogs and cats obviously included.

Still, it’s interesting to note the steadfast devotion – obedience? – to our pets, considering the incurred costs of owning one. According to Homes.com, 45% of respondents noted that their pets had caused carpet damage. Other complaints included, in percentage order, chewed furniture, claw marks, damaged upholstery, scratched hardwood floors, ruined window treatments, destroyed yards and dug-up carpets. Additionally, 27% of those surveyed said neighbors had complained about pet-related noise.

But family is family. And for now, it seems that pet owner and homeowner are more or less inseparable identities.

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Boston real estate brokers who were surveyed indicated that one-third of their pet-owning clients often or very often will refuse to make an offer on a Boston condo because its not ideal for their animal. Boston real estate agents also noted. 61% find it difficult or very difficult to locate a rental property or a Boston condo association that will accommodate their pets.

The National Association Realtors survey also stated:

  • 81% of pet owners who are considering buying a Boston condo consider their pets needs in their decision.
  • 52% Boston condo pet owners have taken up home renovations to accommodate their pet.
  • 99% of pet owners consider their pet as part of their family.

On the flip side:

When it comes to selling a Boston condo, 67% of Boston real estate agents say animals have a moderate to major effect on selling a home. Approximately 2/3 of brokers say that  they advise sellers who have animals to always replace carpets or/and any items that has been damaged b their pets.In addition, have the home professionally cleaned to remove animal scents.

Here are few more items brokers recommend: 

A Trupanion news release focused on millennials in particular regarding pets:

  • 12 percent of millennials have ended a romantic relationship because of their pet.
  • 40 percent of millennials have moved into a new home, condo or apartment in order to live in a more pet-friendly environment.
  • 43 percent of millennials refer to their pet as their “fur baby” while only 20 percent of baby boomers use the same reference. Pet owners who refer to their pets as “fur babies” are more likely than the average owner to allow their pet on their bed (57 percent).
  • 13 percent of millennials cook food specifically for their pet every day, while two-thirds (67 percent) of millennials have indicated that they will take the time to cook meals specifically for their pet on occasion.
  • 30 percent of millennials choose the restaurants or bars they frequent based on the ability to bring their pets.
  • 5 percent of millennials choose to permanently tattoo their body with the love of their life … their pet.

“The aim of this study was to take

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