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Ask McEnearney: As a Dog Owner, What Should I Consider When House Hunting?

This week’s Q&A column is sponsored and written by Lisa Groover of McEnearney Associates Realtors®, the leading real estate firm in Alexandria. To learn more about this article and relevant Alexandria market news, contact Lisa at 703-919-4426 or email [email protected]. You may also submit your questions to McEnearney Associates via email for response in future columns.

Question: As a dog owner, would you share some suggestions for things to consider when purchasing (or renting) a home?

Answer: Everyone has a personal set of deal breakers when it comes to “must haves” for their dog. My first suggestion would be to think about what those would be for you and your pet.

  • Do you need a fenced yard? Or are you OK with walking your dog on a leash? Or taking them to the dog park?
  • Is an entrance from the ground floor required? Or is your dog OK with an elevator or stairs?
  • Does your dog bark when neighbors walk by the front door, or cry when you are not at home? If that is the case, a condo may not work for you, but a single family home or end-unit townhouse might be fine.
  • How does your dog get along with other canines? Keep this in mind when selecting a home that has other dogs in close proximity.
  • Similarly, does your dog like children? Being next to a playground or school would be difficult if children are not their favorite friends.
  • How about floors? Some dogs are afraid of hardwoods, and others have a tendency to have accidents, so think about those things too.

Secondly, keep in mind that some condo or townhouse developments have pet restrictions. Find out what they are before falling in love with a home.

  • Check to see if there are breed restrictions
  • There also may be maximum size/weight rules
  • The number of pets also may come into play
  • Registering your pet with the development or the city may be required
  • Most planned developments have specified dog walking areas, or places in the community where your pet is not allowed
  • Some even take your dog’s DNA to fine you if your dog relieves him/herself and you do not clean up

Working with a pet friendly real estate professional who understands that your dog is a member of your family and their needs are an important part of your house hunt can make all the difference in an already stressful situation. Finding the home that works for both you and your pets makes the transition so much easier for everyone. For tips on moving with your dog, check out the Dog Friendly Real Estate section of my website.

Lisa Groover is a licensed real estate agent with McEnearney Associates, Inc. in Old Town Alexandria, VA. Having had seven golden retrievers since moving to Alexandria in 1989, she is dedicated to helping other dog owners through the challenges of renting, buying and selling their home. Stay tuned from her next article about selling your home when you own a dog.

If you would like a question answered in our weekly column or to set up an appointment with one of our Associates, please email: [email protected] or call 703-549-9292.

McEnearney Associates Realtors®, 109 S. Pitt Street, Alexandria, VA 22314. www.McEnearney.com Equal Housing Opportunity. #WeAreAlexandria

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