A new month is here, a new season is about to begin, and we are pleased to introduce a new topic to our Monday Market Update : this week, we are pleased to share what features make a house a home ‘fur’ everyone! By now, you have probably guessed that we are talking about what you can do to make your home appeal to homeowners whose family includes a furry friend or two!
According to the American Pet Products Association’s most recent national survey, 68% of US households include a pet, which equates to 85 million families! 48% of these households have a dog, while 38% have at least one cat. Last year, Houzz reported a 30% increase in respondent interest in built-in rooms or kennels devoted to pets, courtesy of the American Institute of Architects’ Home Design Trends Survey. Just last week on Realtor.com, The Property Brothers revealed the #1 feature that every dog friendly residence should include: a BIG backyard! But what else do pet owners really want? And what can you offer if a big backyard is not part of the equation? Plenty… here is a start:
#1: Any flooring, except carpet. Pet owners love hardwood floors, tile and stone (and people with kids do too!). Managing pet dander and allergens, dealing with pet odors and stains and muddy feet after the rain is far more manageable with an easy-care floor! Extra credit: modern, central vac systems.
#2: Semi-gloss paint. Just as we do, pets will inadvertently (and even purposefully!) rub up against walls and leave marks or even water drippings from their chins. Cats may even scratch walls and can damage wallpaper and textured grass cloth finishes. The most pet safe finish is a beautiful wall color of your choice in a very wipeable finish: semi-gloss.
#3: Specialty features: Grooming stations, cat-walks and catios (enclosed, outdoor recreation areas: cat + patio = catio) are popular novelty items to improve the quality of life for pets – and their owners. Grooming stations may consist of a central pet-washing station in a multi-family community with pet showers (pan base, at least 5’ by 5’ and no more than slightly elevated), wall hooks for leashes/collars and dryers. A similar single-family home option may be a mud-type ‘grooming room’ off of the backyard or laundry area which offers a tiled floor, drain and wand-style shower-head. Both cat-walks and catios are available online in base models or can be custom built to suit an owner’s individual tastes.
#4: Cozy, custom cabinetry. It’s no secret that cats love to perch and climb, while dogs love to cozy up in a den. Window seats, built in bookshelves and custom home offices can often be further customized to include a crawl space or cozy nook for your dog or cat! All you need to add is a soft blankie or a favorite pet toy!
#5: Technology & internet enabled products. Smart home cameras and remote accessed light and heating and cooling systems can help homeowners monitor their pets and keep them comfortable even while they are away. There are even electronic pet collars which activate pet doors to keep them secure until the pet wearing the device needs to head outdoors. THAT is awesome, right?
WOW! We really could make this list go on and on when it comes to making a home that appeals to every one of every species! If anything, the increasing interest of homeowners in pet-friendly spaces has implications in staging, architectural design, backyard landscaping and design materials of choice. Now I don’t know about you…. but I am ready to go snuggle my own doggie and ask her where she wants her grooming station! 😉
All my best,
Bobbi Decker, SRES®, CIPS®
Broker Associate, Today Sotheby’s International Realty
Bobbi Decker & Associates
Bobbi Decker & Associates fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. For more information, please visit: http://portal.hud.gov/