As pet owners, our beloved furry friends hold a special place in our hearts and homes. When it comes to buying a new home, their needs and well-being should be at the forefront of our minds. In fact, many pet owners consider their pets as family members, and their home buying decisions are greatly influenced by their four-legged companions. According to the 2017-2018 National Pet Owners Survey conducted by the American Pet Products Association (APPA), a staggering 68 percent of US households own a pet. If you’re a pet owner looking to buy a home in the beautiful Bay Area, here are five essential considerations to ensure that you and your pets find the perfect abode.
1. Familiarize Yourself with Local Pet Laws and Owner Requirements
Before purchasing a property in the Bay Area, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with the local pet laws and owner requirements. Each city and state may have specific regulations and restrictions in place, including breed-specific legislation and limits on the number of animals allowed in a home. For example, in Los Angeles County, dog lovers can now own up to four dogs per household to provide homeless dogs with additional opportunities for adoption. Additionally, some cities may require a kennel license for keeping several animals. It’s important to research the pet regulations in your desired location to ensure compliance with the law.
In addition to local laws, you should also consider any restrictions imposed by homeowners’ associations (HOAs) or condo developments. These entities may have rules regarding the types and number of pets allowed within the community. It’s also worth noting that many HOAs enforce noise ordinances, which is particularly important if you have a dog that tends to bark frequently. To ensure a smooth transition into your new home, it’s essential to be aware of these regulations and requirements.
2. Accessibility to Pet Services in the Bay Area
When choosing a neighborhood in the Bay Area, it’s important to consider the accessibility of pet services. Just as parents prioritize good school districts, pet owners should prioritize proximity to veterinary clinics and other essential pet services. Before finalizing your decision, make sure to inquire about the availability of pet food stores, grooming salons, and training facilities in the area. A local real estate agent can provide valuable referrals to reputable establishments. Additionally, it’s beneficial to connect with potential neighbors to gather information about nearby pet sitters and dog walkers who can lend a helping hand when you’re away.
3. A Pet-Friendly Neighborhood and Amenities in the Bay Area
Driving around your chosen neighborhood during different times of the day will help you determine if it is pet-friendly. Look for signs of a pet-friendly community, such as dog parks, dog trails, and other green spaces where your furry friend can enjoy daily walks. Inquire about the existing pet parks in the area and familiarize yourself with the rules and regulations set by the local parks and recreation department. It’s important to choose a home that is located away from busy streets or highways to minimize the risks of car accidents. Pets can easily dart into the street if a screen door is left open or a gate is not properly secured.
4. Evaluating the Home’s Layout, Flooring, and Other Features
When considering a home for you and your pets, it’s essential to evaluate the layout, flooring, and other features to ensure maximum comfort and safety. If you have large dogs or multiple pets, prioritize homes with ample outdoor space or a larger yard. A traditional single-family home may be a better fit than a townhouse in this case. Additionally, look for features that cater to your pet’s specific needs, such as an outdoor faucet for bathing or a window ledge where cats can enjoy a cozy nap.
If you’re considering a multi-level home, take into account whether your dog can comfortably navigate the stairs, especially as they age and may develop joint issues. It’s also crucial to assess the flooring in the home. Carpets are not recommended for pet owners, as they can easily be clawed and stained. Opt for pet-friendly flooring options such as hardwood, vinyl, or tile, which are easier to clean and maintain.
Another factor to consider is the availability of storage space for your pet supplies and accessories. Having an extra closet or designated storage area can be a significant advantage for pet owners, allowing for easy organization and accessibility of essential items.
5. Evaluating the Yard and Fencing in the Bay Area
If the property you’re considering does not have a fence, it’s important to assess the feasibility of installing one to provide a safe and secure space for your pets. Before proceeding, review the covenants of any HOA you may be part of to determine if you’re allowed to install a fence, and familiarize yourself with any restrictions on size and materials. If the home already has an existing fence, inspect it for any loose boards that may need to be repaired or replaced. Check if the fence is properly gated and ensure that it is high enough to prevent your dog from jumping over it.
Creating a pet-friendly environment in your yard is equally important. Consider adding features like a dog run, shaded areas, or even a small pet-friendly garden. These additions can enhance your pet’s overall well-being and provide them with a space to play and explore.
As a pet owner, finding the perfect home in the Bay Area involves considering your furry friend’s needs and well-being. By familiarizing yourself with local pet laws, ensuring accessibility to pet services, choosing a pet-friendly neighborhood, evaluating the home’s layout and features, and assessing the yard and fencing, you can make an informed decision that prioritizes both your own and your pet’s happiness. Remember, a pet-friendly home is a happy home for both you and your furry friend. Happy house hunting!