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Homebuyers put dogs & pets
before children when moving

British house-hunters are more likely to put their pets needs before their children’s accommodation requirements when looking for a new home, according to new research ranking home buyer preferences conducted for property website Fish4homes.

Almost 1 in 5 house hunters (18%) believe pets’ accommodation requirements are more important than child friendly features, which ranked third at 13%. Child friendly considerations include proximity to a good school or playground. The top consideration is still the location of the home but surprisingly the welfare of the typical UK family’s cat or dog ranked higher than keeping the kids happy when looking for a new home.

Highlights from the poll include:

More respondents rated pet accommodation needs (18%), such as outdoor space, a local park or being located away from busy roads, than those that cited price (13%)

Pets’ needs was the second most popular choice, after location (41%), with entertainment and leisure facilities in the area being key for only 8%

The least important factor was local church cited by only 1% of respondents.

Russell Scott, publisher of Fish4homes says: The shocking fact that pet-owning families prioritise pets over children has a significant effect on the options available to house-hunters.

Clearly more work and research has to be put in when looking for a home with pet-friendly features. Also with 12 million homes in the UK housing a pet, of which 5.1 million own a dog, and 5 million have a cat, the competition for pet-suitable properties is fierce, especially in urban areas.

Fish4homes can help house-hunting pet owners by listing properties by postcode so they can narrow down their search to homes away from busy roads or near open spaces, as well as price and neighbourhood information.

Home buyers with pets pay 10% more for creature comforts

Further Fish4homes research amongst UK estate agents reveals homes in urban areas with pet-friendly features cost on average 10% more than similar properties without a park nearby or the benefit being located on a quiet road.

Russell Scott says: With the UK average house price now over £100,000 pet-owners are potentially looking at forking another £10,000 when buying a property just to keep their pets in creature comfort.

When it comes to selling a home, pet owners can end up with a rough deal if their dog or cat is naughty. Badly behaved pets can devalue a home with scratched doors, skirting boards, soiled carpets or floors.

Even pet smells can put off potential buyers, says Russell. No matter how much air freshener you use, you may find it harder to sell a home to buyers if there are smells left behind before you house-trained your pet.