With all of this talk about millennials not being able to afford homes due to their penchant for avocado toast, you’d be surprised to hear that many millennials are buying their first home because of their dog.
A recent survey, conducted by Harris Poll for SunTrust Mortgage, found that a third of millennials in the U.S. purchasing their first homes had their dogs in mind over the typical wants of previous generations.
Buying for the dog came third to wanting more living space and the potential to build equity, the report found. Dogs came before marriage and children as reasons to buy a home, according to the survey.
“I think a lot of (millennials) don’t have children yet and they have very strong bonds with their pets, with their dogs. And pets are driving their home-buying decisions,” says Shelley Sakala, a realtor with HomeSmart International. “The rates of Millennials buying is going up. We are seeing a lot of them deciding to get out of rentals and purchase, due to pets.”
Homebuilders are even catering to dogs with a variety of concepts by including in-home dog showers into floor plans.
Renting an apartment can be more expensive and a hassle for pet owners, Sakala says. They have to pay up for pet deposits and for pent rent, depending on the apartment community.
Many property owners and managers won’t allow pets in a rental either, Sakala mentions.
As the youngest home-buying generation starts getting their first homes with their dogs in mind over children, they’re also thinking about location and size in a much different way than previous first-time homebuyers.
First-time homebuyers are now looking to relocate closer to the city and within a short range from home to shopping centers and bars. Homebuyers now are not looking to get the most home for their money but rather look at location over size as opposed to first time home-buyers in the years past, Sakala says.
Also, many of these types of communities have many more amenities, such as parks, walking trails and patio restaurants, that are great for catering to the four-legged roommates, dogs.