Welcome to January's Homewatch post. In this installment, we discuss different factors Torontonians should be aware of when buying a new condo that they and their pet will share.
Virtually all pet owners consider their pets important members of their family – that's no secret. But mixing pets and urban living can be a challenge, especially when buying a condo. Will the space be big enough? Does the building even allow pets? Addressing these variables can help reduce the stress in your real estate search.
The good news is that thanks to a growing population of urban dwellers who also happen to be dog owners, condominium developers are paying more attention to this extensive niche market. If you're a pet owner considering purchasing a condo, here are a few suggestions to ensure your pooch will love it as much as you do:
Concentrate on Buildings that Allow Pets
Not all condos allow pets; many of those that do have restrictions on the number of pets allowed per unit, along with limits on their size. That’s why it’s important to let your realtor know you have, or are planning to acquire a pet so that we can make sure the places you view meet your needs. When buying a condo people often overlook whether or not their pet will be welcome or allowed in the building they are buying, but this oversight can be very costly, or heart-breaking, so it’s important to pay attention to these codes and verify this information. Always ask your realtor to look further into a building's policies on pets.
Match Your Dog to the Right Condo
Don’t forget that even if a building is pet-friendly it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s right for your pet. Just like people, all dogs are unique with their own different likes and dislikes, temperaments and energy levels. Living with a dog in a condo building, with multiple floors, halls and elevators, is nothing like having a dog in a house. Remember, you can’t just open the back door to let him out. You might be dealing with narrow hallways, noisy lobbies, long elevator rides and the presence of other dogs. It’s a different world out there in condo land with a new set of training needs.
Location, Location, Location
Want to make life easier for you and your pup? Give up the view for a shorter commute. Speaking from my own personal pet experience, while you might enjoy watching a gorgeous view of the lake or the city from a 20th floor balcony, taking the stairs down from a lower floor for that morning walk without having to wait for the elevator is much more desirable. Another location factor to consider is where the unit is located. A unit away from common areas might be preferable, for dogs are much more sensitive to noise. This in turn can aggravate other residents, who might find fault in you if your dog gets accustomed to making loud repetitive barking when you're out. Corner units are a great idea, as well as units further down the hall and away from the elevators. Remember – less traffic equals less barking.
Size is Not Always a Factor
Ideal condo dogs come in all sizes and vice versa. Whether they are big or small the adaptability of a dog to a small living space depends primarily on the dog’s energy level and exercise routine. A good way to ensure that your four-legged bestie will be happy in their new urban setting is to find a building close to a park or a dog run. Dog-friendly green spaces and off-leash dog runs are becoming increasingly popular and many urban neighbourhoods have at least one in walking distance. Besides the exercise factor, dog parks play an important part in socializing your dog and it’s also a great place to meet your neighbours.
Choose a Condo with Practical Finishes
Hardwood floors can give a space a high-end vibe, but are not scratch-resistant. Generally laminate or even polished concrete floors are a much better choice and significantly easier to maintain. Also noteworthy is the fact that lighter tones are much better at camouflaging paw prints and dog hair. Dark floors can look great, but be prepared to spend your free time with a Swiffer in hand. If you find a property that otherwise checks all the boxes, remember that if your budget allows, you can make a few changes to the interior that will make the space more practical and easier to maintain.
Finding the right urban dwell that fits your needs can be challenging, especially when you’re not just looking for yourself but also for your four-legged pal. But if you keep these five tips in mind, your search will be a walk in the park! Are you on the hunt for that perfect place to share with your pooch? Do you have questions or topic ideas about caring for dogs in the city? We’re here to help!
For more pawfect advice, check out Monika's Animal House posts on our blog, including her 8 Simple Rules For Moving With Dogs! Monika combines her love of real estate with her sixth sense for everything pet-related!