Downsizing your home is always a bit tricky. If you have a pet, it can become a hair more challenging. Luckily, with the right approach, you can downsize successfully. Here are some best practices that can help.
Plan For Your Home Showings
If you’re selling your current house, you’ll need to take some extra steps because you have a pet. Along with cleaning extra thoroughly to ensure there are no pet odors or errant fur, you’ll need to find a place for your pet to go during showings.
Leaving your pet roaming in your house during showings is never a good idea. It could put both your pet and visitors at risk. Plus, some prospective buyers might view your property as riskier, worrying about pet-related damage that could be present.
If you can’t keep your pet with you during showings, speak with family, friends or neighbors to see if they can help. Otherwise, consider a doggy daycare.
Pare Down Your Stuff Properly
As you downsize your stuff to prepare for a smaller property, don’t forget your pet’s needs. While taking a ratty pet bed or old toy with you might not seem necessary, bringing familiar, well-loved objects into the new house can make your pet more comfortable during the transition. So, make sure to keep a few older things that your pet adores. That way, they’ll be something familiar waiting for them in your new home.
Prepare For The Home Purchase
Before you start searching for a new home, you need to get your financial life in order. When you’re taking out a mortgage, the lender will examine your financial situation from several angles. Along with checking your income, credit score and financial assets, lenders will calculate your debt-to-income ratio to determine what you can afford.
You can check your own debt-to-income ratio by taking your monthly debt payment total and dividing that by your gross monthly income. Generally speaking, below 36 percent (0.36 for the calculation) is best. However, some lenders may go forward with a 43 percent, though that isn’t broadly the case.
Finding The Right New Home
Once it’s time to locate the right house for you and your pet, you want to be strategic. If you find a property that might meet your needs, take a moment to research animal-related regulations in that area. Some places have exotic animal and urban livestock restrictions. There can also be breed-specific legislation for dogs in some cities.
After determining that your pet is welcome in the city, examine the property with your pet’s needs in mind. Figure out if the property meets your cumulative requirements, as is, or if modifications might be necessary.
For example, you may need to add pet doors to allow your pet to freely enter and exit the house. Ramps might be a good addition if you have an aging or smaller pet and stairs could be a challenge. If a particular plant in the yard could harm your pet, you might need to remove it.
Another modification you might need to make is adding or replacing a fence. While this may seem like a simple undertaking, it’s actually incredibly cumbersome, especially if you’re working on it solo. As a result, connecting with local contractors in your area is usually a better bet.
Before you meet with a fencing contractor, discuss your needs and request quotes from several in your area. Read online reviews about Angi fencing professionals to learn more about the companies and make sure that they are licensed, bonded and insured and that they check for local utility lines before starting. On average, homeowners spend around $4,500 on a new fence (though the price does vary depending on materials, size and location). As a result, you want to make sure you get the best contractor for the job, ensuring it’s money well spent.
Downsizing and moving are difficult on their own, let alone when you have a pet involved. So, take some time to strategize the move, make sure your pet is well taken care of and be ready to embark on the next chapter of your life.
Whether you’re buying or selling a home, work with the experienced real estate professionals at Realty Network Group.