Got pets? How pets can impact your home...and your mortgage

In 2016, 40% of households in the UK reported owning a pet, meaning a significant part of the population has a furry friend trotting around on their carpets and on their lawn.

Whether your pet is there to keep you company, help you get more exercise, or teach your kids about responsibilities, it’s worth thinking about how owning a pet might impact your home and your mortgage. For some homeowners, owning a pet can translate into surprising losses in home equity - and in other cases, pleasant gains.

1. Home modifications for the win...or lose

Getting a pet might mean making some changes to your home that could affect your home value. This will mostly depend on the quality of the work that you do, and its consistency with the look and feel of the rest of your house.

Dog-proofing your garden could be a plus for some, increasing security and privacy with sturdier and higher fencing. If poorly done, however, it could be an eyesore or could block out light from your garden. Modifications such as cat flaps are also worth considering - you could remove them before viewings if you’re worried potential buyers won’t like them.

If you have renovated in significant ways - such as building a dog-run, or dog-proofing the garden - this could be a major benefit when trying to sell to fellow pet-owners, as it would reduce the amount of work they have to put in to making the property pet-friendly.

2. Persistent odours in surprising places

No matter how much you love your furry companions, you’ll know what we mean when we say that they can be a bit smelly.

Pets odours in carpets, upholstery and even floorboards can be really hard to get rid of. A Boston estate agent reported to a national paper a few years ago that he’d seen a flat sell for $20-30,000 less than its value because the owner’s cats had left such a bad smell. It’s not just cats and dogs though - pets in cages and tanks, such as rodents and snakes, leave lingering smells, too.

This is worth thinking about before you get a pet. Tile and stone floors are easier to clean and won’t absorb smells in the same ways as carpets and floorboards. And no one wants to lose thousands on their sale because they didn’t clean up after their pets to potential buyer standards.

3. Love marks on your furniture

If your pet loves you as much as it should, scratch marks will pop up anywhere you go where it can’t follow.

If you close your bedroom door at night or aren’t up to sharing the bathroom with your dog on a regular basis,  you might find them pawing at the door. As endearing as this trait might be, scratch marks on doors and walls are quite a turn-off for potential buyers, since these can be unexpected and frustrating extra expenses. When it comes to selling your property you might need to do a quick paint job to cover up this evidence of your enthusiastic friend.

Additionally, cats tearing away at carpets and door frames, or large dogs skidding across your hardwood floor for years can leave marks that other owners - whether they have pets or not -  don’t wish to deal with.

4. Garden chaos

Pets can wreak havoc on your lawn and garden, from digging up plants or under fences to peeing on the lawn and creating unappealing yellow patches in the wintertime. If you’re thinking of selling your home, move your pets out as long as possible before you start viewings. This will give your green space some time to recover - and allow you time to do some rescue work on the flower beds.

While lots of this might sound like it could be a problem when you’re looking to sell your home, you also never know when you’re going to come across a buyer with a furry friend of their own. In this case, the modifications you’ve made might just be the reason that your property is perfect for them. Check out these amazing animal interior design ideas to see what we mean!

Thankfully, even if your pets cause your home to sell for a little less than expected, you can still save money every month on your mortgage with Dashly. Learn more about this all-in-one mortgage tool today.

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