If you’re hunting for a house that’s best for your pets, you’re not alone. Recent research shows that four in five Australians want a house with a backyard, so that their kids and pets have a place to play. And 45 percent said they would like to move – or already had moved – because of their animals.
One news report even went so far as to say, “Pets rule the roost when it comes to property buying decisions.”*
So if you’re buying property with pets, what should you look for to keep your fur family happy? Consider these property and location features:
Size and space
Look for properties that have plenty of indoor and outdoor space. Of course, this depends on your pet. If they spend more time running around outside, then a big yard with adequate fencing will be a top priority. But if they prefer being inside, an open-plan space with hallways and a designated sleeping space may be more practical.
Also consider whether a ground floor property or one higher up in the building is best for your pets. Take your pets along on your property search, so you can test drive their access to the outdoors – and whether it will work for you.
It’s also important to think about flooring if your pet spends any time indoors. Muddy paws can make a mess of pristine carpets, while hardwood flooring can get easily scratched and stained.
Look instead for pet-proofed materials, such as bamboo, cork, stone and ceramic tiles, and scratch-resistant vinyl flooring.
How close is the property to green spaces? This can be a major concern for Sydney buyers, as we all know driving across town isn’t always convenient – especially during peak hours.
So, look for properties in close proximity to parks and off-leash areas. Thankfully, councils are getting better at providing pet-friendly outdoor spaces. The dog park in the Inner West suburb of Haberfield is a great example. It’s even home to the world’s first dog-friendly café, Café Bones.
Check the bylaws
If you’re buying a unit or townhouse, check if pets are permitted under the bylaws. You’ll need to find this out before you buy the property, to avoid any headaches bringing your beloved pets into your new home. Sometimes the bylaws are quite specific as to the type and size of animal permitted. For instance, some bylaws will OK cats and small dogs but not dogs over a certain size.
Be aware, too, that the law changed on 30 November, 2016. For newer units, the default stance is that pets are likely to be allowed. But many older properties still stipulate that pets are not allowed or that you need strata approval (which can’t be unreasonably withheld).
You might not get absolute certainty before you buy. So be sure to check if there are already pets in the building which could indicate a precedent. However, this will not be a guarantee that pets will be allowed and we know of a strata block in Randwick where the Strata Secretary has a cat but no further cats are permitted.
For help finding the perfect pet-ready property at the right price, consider speaking with a buyer’s agent.
To see how a buyer’s agent can help secure your pet-friendly Sydney property.
Call Nick Viner today on 0405 134 645