A new trend has erupted in the real estate world with more Millennials considering their dogs as a huge factor in the home-buying decision. Many Millennials are pet owners and love their K-9 companions, but to put the dog before their spouse and children may seem a little extreme to some.
A recent survey from SunTrust Mortgage found that 33% of Millennials purchasing a home for the first time made the final decision due to a yard for the dog. Marriage came in at 25% and kids at 19% as the reason why they chose the house they chose.
Millennials tend to be very bonded to their dogs, which may be due to the delay in getting married and having children. Often, they will own a dog first, and marriage and children will come later on.
The survey only found two other factors ranking higher than dogs when it came to the reason for buying the home. Living space came in with 66%, while opportunity to build equity came in at 36%. SunTrust also found that about 42% of those Millennials that have yet to buy a home are motivated by their pets to do so in the near future.
Why Consider the Dogs When Buying a Home?
Many Millennials put an emphasis on a large yard or other home features for their dog because they are used to renting. Owning pets and renting can be a hassle and it can be expensive. Apartments don't usually provide yards and while houses may, they are usually more expensive. In addition, renting with pets means larger deposits and even pet rent, in some cases.
Home ownership frees you from the burdens of deposits and paying rent. It also opens up the opportunity to get a large, fenced-in back yard for the dog and more space for the dog to enjoy running and playing.
In addition to the features dogs will like, the Millennial generation has also trended more towards eating an animal-free diet than any other generation. The love of animals is very strong within this generation and this could be another reason why the dogs are taking so much priority for Millennials when they go house shopping. In addition to yards, dedicated spaces for pets indoors, including spa areas may be emerging as in-demand features as well.
This is a factor all Realtors, builders, investors, and home sellers should be keeping in mind when marketing homes for sale.