If you have pets and you’re looking for an Austin home, you probably have different priorities and needs than potential homeowners without pets. Do a basic pet inventory to determine the special needs your pet or pets have. This will help you to find the right home, yard and neighborhood for all members of your household, including the ones with fur, feathers and scales.
Take note of the following:
• Number and type of pets
• Size, age and weight
• Physical restrictions
• Potential use of the yard
Birds, Fish and Reptiles
If your pets have scales or feathers, you’ll want at least one suitable room to keep them in a tank or cage. Decide how many electrical outlets are required. Temperature should be constant for birds, fish and reptiles. Consider lighting, air circulation and any issues with small crevices and hiding places for pets that are allowed to roam free.
Dogs and Cats
Home size is crucial for cats and dogs. They need room to sleep, eat, play, roam and bask in the sun. Keep in mind that pets like fresh air, too. Cats are difficult to control outdoors unless they are on a leash or in a screened porch. Dogs, however, can roam around in a properly fenced back yard or kennel run. Consider how much room your pet needs and whether the back yard will be a safe place to play. Make sure your pets are vaccinated before they have any contact with people or animals.
Consider the neighborhood. Look at the various safety and comfort factors. For example, a constant din of the children next-door playing outside may send your dog into a barking frenzy with every shout, laugh and shriek. If your cat is an escape artist, look for a home with controlled access to the outdoors, such as a screen or storm door, garage entrance or even a mudroom area by the back door. A scenic neighborhood might be great for long walks. Some condo associations don’t allow pets, so check in advance.
Let your Austin real estate agent know any results of your pet inventory that will affect your home-buying experience.