By: Cindy Aldridge of Ourdogfriends.org
When we’re in the market for a new home, there never seems to be enough time. Between packing, decluttering, keeping our dogs calm, and actually buying the house, we can be stretched thin. However, with the right planning, you can make the home buying for you and Fido much easier.
House Hunting with a Pup
When you have a pet, your needs will influence your property search. Fortunately, telling your realtor can help you as they'll be able to filter out only the best properties. They’ll also be knowledgeable of how city rules or HOA restrictions might impact your buddy, helping you avoid a nasty shock later on. And no matter how tempted you are to bring Fido to see how they react to a property, leave them at home. After all, the seller may have a pet who dislikes other animals or has allergies of their own. Still, you can always ask to bring them later on if you fall in love with a place and want to gauge your pet’s response.
Features to Seek
Of course, when you’re searching for a home, you’ll want to prioritize your needs, but you must think of Fido, too. If your pup is an indoor dog, they’ll need plenty of space to exercise in, so an open concept plan may be best. Beyond that, check the town itself to ensure your dog will be happy in their neighborhood and the surrounding area. Look out for dog-friendliness indicators, such as dog parks, walking spaces, and a choice of nearby vets. Not only are features like dog parks important for your pet to live an enriched life, they keep canines healthy and active.
Know the Expenses
As you go house hunting, you need to be aware of several expenses to budget for, including the closing costs that come with purchasing a home. These costs include appraisal and inspection, both of which range from $300 to $500. Other costs to consider are loan origination and processing fees, as well as property taxes and title insurance. A full list of the closing costs will be made available to you by your mortgage lender about three days before the closing date.
Plan for the Move
Long or short distance, taking a dog in a car is no easy feat and needs to be prepared for. Your pup may get sick or become anxious, so have your canine practice riding, and give treats to reward good behavior. Have the right safety gear on hand, like a crate or restraint to keep your pup protected. This way, you'll be able to plan for safe potty and leg breaks for everyone's comfort. Similarly, secure your house in advance by installing a fence before Fido arrives if the yard needs one. Lastly, take advantage of your home’s emptiness by having a deep clean done professionally.
Moving day will be stressful for both you and your dog. Worse, you might constantly worry about Fido escaping or being overwhelmed by the noise and sight of the movers. If that happens, you won’t be able to focus on loading the van. Consider getting a dog sitter to ease the pressure on everyone. You can ask a trusted friend or an experienced professional.
Unfortunately, the stress of moving won’t end with unpacking boxes into your new home. Indeed, our dogs rely on routine, and the changes might be scary for them. To help them settle in, you may try working from home, taking time off from work or stopping by the house throughout the day to check up on your Fido. It may also help to go for extra walks for the first few days. This way, they’ll be too tired to be anxious and may sleep better in their new house.
Of course, you’ll want Fido to love your new home as much as you do, but that may take time. Be patient, have the tools you need for a smooth moving day, and make sure the community is dog-friendly. After all, you want to ensure everyone is happy, and that the transition is a simple one.
Let us know any stories or tips you may have about your moving experience!