Harris Poll on behalf of SunTrust Mortgage. Dogs ranked among the top three motivators for first-time home purchasers and were cited by more millennials than marriage/upcoming marriage, 25%, or the birth/expected birth of a child, 19%. It’s essential that the neighborhood in which you’re going to buy a house in has no restrictions on pets. Do you raise American Staffordshire Terriers? There are cities that ban this breed (aka pit bull). Goats? Vietnamese pigs? Have you always had fresh eggs from your own chickens? Include your animals in location planning. Some pet owners choose wood or other hard flooring, not wanting to risk pet damage or odors. An appropriate-sized fenced backyard is on the “needs” list for many pet-owning house buyers. Consider the arrangement of rooms and the structure of the house to ensure it’s suitable for your pets, too. Traffic in the area could be another checklist item. Pet services such as veterinary, grooming, and exercising should be conveniently nearby. LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION! You must make sure to limit your search to a neighborhood that offers the closest possible match to the kind of lifestyle that you like and want to live. Trulia recently conducted a survey with Harris Interactive, and the real estate site found 84% of Americans said the neighborhood would be equally important or more important than the house itself if they were searching for a new home. Location is so important that people are willing to give up “must-have” features to buy into their desired neighborhood — 72% would forget about a pool, 55% would lose a finished basement, and 33% would accept less square footage. What matters is living in a safe place with good schools. According to Trulia, 69% would drive through the neighborhood during different times of day to determine if the neighborhood was the right fit.
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