BY CHANTALLE BELL
When purchasing for either investment or primary residence we always focus on the major factors such the home size, budget, investment potential, legal, security and more. “One very crucial, yet often overlooked factor which could completely change the path your property transaction will take, is your pets. Remember pets have a say too” cautions Craig Hutchison, CEO of Engel & Völkers Southern Africa.
When choosing a new home, there's no doubt that this is a major concern because most of us love our pets and the idea that we may have to find them new homes when we move, is too awful to contemplate. Pets are seen as comforting companions; they keep us healthy,relieve stress, and is a great way to improve our mood and temperaments, as well as playing an important role in home-security, alerting you of any intruders or uninvited critters.
In the past, it was advised to hide all pet toys, food, beds and such when prepping to put your home on the market, but as society have grown increasingly more aware of the pet-lovers market, this too has changed. You might have seen the new trends with restaurants offering special 'pet menu's, hotels with spa-packages for dogs and even luxury holiday resorts creating a pet-friendly environment. Similarly, showcasing your love for animals could count in your favour in the real estate market, as it immediately appeals to pet-lovers and sets a warm,family atmosphere.
Statistics show that 99%of pet owners consider their animals as an official family member. With today's fast paced lifestyle many even opt to adopt a pet to fill the space where children will only feature only in much later years. This means that people shop for houses to suit their animal needs which includes garden sizes,enclosures, the pet status of a complex or estate etc.
89% say they would not give up their animal because of housing restrictions or limitations and would rather re-locate in order to avoid losing their best friend. People would rather pay more for a property that caters for the entire family, than for one where their pet is not welcome.
53% say that they have moved to accommodate their animal or would consider moving to cater for their future needs. This is a factor to consider when purchasing a home as you might want to rent out at a later stage, or even if you are buying for investment.Your potential tenants should be kept in mind, even if you yourself might not be the greatest animal-lover.
Full title homes in the suburbs are usually a safe bet when moving yourself and your best friend into a new home. However owning pets within sectional title schemes or security estates might have a bit more red-tape. Just make sure you ask the right questions to guarantee your entire family is welcome in the new home.
Pet-friendly developments,complexes and rentals are very sought-after but rare. While they are a draw card for animal lovers, pet-friendly sectional title complexes are hard to come by, especially in modern, smaller, lock-up and go developments. These units area lot smaller in size in comparison to older developments and have small, and in many cases communal gardens - not the ideal place to keep pets.
As with people, moving can be quite traumatic so make sure you pay special attention in re-locating your best friend.
Locate your closest vet and ensure your pet's medical history is transferred to the new 'doctor’
Keep pets in a quiet room which has been 'set-up' for their basic needs until the major chaos is over and you can slowly transition them into their new home.
Use a pet carrier to transport your pet from one home to the next, and if traveling by air –contact your local airline for details on what you would need to do before your journey begins.
In conclusion, remember animals have a say too so do your research and investigate alternative options such as cat fencing or doggy doors as your current or future property might just need a small bit of tweaking in order to make your best friend or four-legged children feel at home.