Written by: Nick Viner from Buyers Domain Australia.
More and more Australians are looking to buy properties that are suitable for their pets. Recent research shows that 45 percent of people said they would like to move – or already had moved – because of their animals*. Pets rule the roost when buyers are making purchase decisions!
If you are considering buying a new home to keep your fur family happy, you should consider the following features of the property:
If you’re buying a unit or townhouse in a strata complex, check if pets are permitted under the bylaws. Don’t buy the property until you have checked this out first. Sometimes the bylaws are quite specific as to the type and size of animal permitted. For instance, some bylaws will approve cats and small dogs but not dogs over a certain size (usually expressed in kg).
For newer units, the default position is that pets are likely to be allowed. This has been the case now since November, 2016. However, many older properties still have bans on pets or require strata approval (which can’t be unreasonably withheld).
If strata approval is required, you may not have time to get absolute certainty before you buy. So check if there are already pets in the building as this could indicate a precedent. However, this will not be a guarantee that pets will be allowed. I even know of a strata block in Randwick in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs where the Strata Secretary has a cat but no further cats are permitted.
Size and space
Look for properties that have plenty of indoor and outdoor space. Of course, the amount of space you need will depend 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. Why not take your pets along on your property search, so you can assess their access to the outdoors and whether the property will work for you.
How close is the property to open spaces? This of course is of particular concern to inner city buyers, as we all know driving across town to walk the dog isn’t particularly convenient, especially during peak hours.
Search for properties in close proximity to parks and off-leash areas. Thankfully, councils are finally providing more and more 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.
Consider the type of 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, ceramic tiles, and scratch-resistant vinyl flooring. Flooring can of course be changed but it is better to consider what you need to do to pet-proof the property before making a purchase decision.
For help finding the perfect pet-ready property at the right price, consider speaking with a buyer’s agent.
Nick Viner is Sydney’s leading buyer’s agent for pet owners. If you need to find the right property for your pet, call Nick Viner today on 0405 134 645. Or visit his website, www.buyersdomainaustralia.com.au