Home buying going to the dogs - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Home buying going to the dogs

(NPN) -

About 68-percent of American households own pets and of that number 48 percent own dogs, and when those dog owners want to buy a home, Rover may play a big role. 

A new survey found some families are looking for amenities and features, not for their spouse, not for their children… but for their pooch!

When Amy Marshall first walked into her new house, she knew it was a great space, especially for her four-legged family member. 

“Our dog was a major factor," Marshall said.

It had a big fenced-in yard, a spacious kitchen, where she makes her dog Ronnie’s homemade food, along with a basement fridge to store it, and then she blogs about it.

“We found this place," Marshall said. "We were just thrilled. It really checked off most of the items on our wish list."

A new poll finds home buying is going to the dogs. A third of millennial-aged Americans who bought their first home say the desire to have better space or yard for a dog influenced their decision. 

“Dogs are incredibly important to people and their families," Certified Professional Dog Trainer, canine expert, and author Melissa McCue-McGrath said. 

McGrath says pet owners are trying to sniff out the best homes and locations. 

“They're looking for pet-friendly neighborhoods," McGrath said, "if there's a dog park nearby or access to exercise walking paths, bike trails.”

And we found some homeowners who bought houses so they could have: extra space for foster dogs, enough room to open a home-based dog daycare, walk- in showers for the dogs, lots next to lakes and even their own swimming pools. 

But experts warn before you sign on the dotted line, research the local laws, homeowners or condo rules and find out about potential restrictions. And definitely take your dog’s personality and habits into consideration, especially if you have a backyard. 

“It's critical that if your dog is outside you're outside with your dog. You're going to be able to prevent barking so your new neighbors don't hate you," McGrath said. 

Marshall says it’s been nothing but dog day afternoons at her new home. She’s just happy Ronnie’s happy. 

“Not only does it help enhance the dog's life, but it makes the life of the dog owner much easier," Marshall said. 

That survey also found of millennials who have never bought a home, 42 percent say their dog, or their desire to have a dog, is a key factor in their desire to have a home in the future. 

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