Life

Here's how man's best friend can affect the resale value of your home

Twenty20

Homeowners' beloved pups may come with some unanticipated costs, like home repairs and increased homeowners insurance.

In fact, it turns out that having a dog may even decrease the resale value of your home.

Potential property damages made — like scratches on furniture or floors and necessary replacements after puppy mischief— may not be covered by standard homeowners-insurance policies. In fact, most are not covered, Scott Holeman, a spokesperson for the Insurance Information Institute, told the The Wall Street Journal.

Depending on the breed of the dog, some homeowners insurance companies may even charge higher premiums, or opt to not sell a policy at all, according to Holeman. Total cost of damages, preemptive furniture installments and accidents may cost a pet owner thousands of dollars.

And the costs may not end while you live in the home. A pup may impact the resale value of your home once you are looking to move.

"Pets could lower a home's worth if the pet adds to the wear and tear the home receives over the years," Gill Chowdhury, a real-estate agent at Warburg Realty, tells CNBC Make It. What's more, your pet could potentially sabotage an open house, he says.

"If your pet is home while people are visiting and can detract from your prospective buyer's experience, this too can lower your home's value."

Allison Chiaramonte, also of Warburg Realty, tells CNBC Make It that "for better or worse, pets can increase wear and tear on apartments, especially on hardwood floors and furniture. This definitely decreases resale value."

If a seller is a pet-owner, Chiaramonte, like other agents and brokers, says she typically asks for the place to be cleaned, with dog toys, beds, and crates hidden, before a showing. She says any potential distraction may hinder a possible buyer from appreciating what a property may have to offer.

But the impact of a dog on your home is more complicated than that, some real-estate experts have said.

For those living in cities, especially in New York, it is harder to find buildings that allow pets. For that reason, potential buyers might be more interested in a property from a pet-owner, because they know the space allows pets and is safe for them.

"Here in Manhattan or Brooklyn, co-ops and condos that allow dogs command a 10% to 15% increase of value," Martin Eiden, an agent at Compass, tells CNBC Make It.

But when it comes to buying a new home, pet owners may not be keeping resale value front of mind.

When looking for a home to purchase, most pet parents will put the needs of their pets above their own when analyzing pros and cons for a living situation.

Realtor.com found that 75% of pet owners in 2018 would pass on an otherwise perfect home if it didn't meet their pet's needs. A whopping 79% of those likely to pass were millennial pet owners, between the ages of 18 and 34.

"I loved living in a condo. It was great, very convenient, I didn't have housework, but the one thing that was really missing was my dog's happiness," millennial Jessica Evans told CNBC in 2018. As a real-estate agent working with millennial buyers, Evans revealed that outdoor space — a yard or at least a park within walking distance — is a top priority for her clients.

Evans put $12,000 into her home specifically for her pets, including adding a higher fence, a pet-door, and renovating her basement bathroom for her dog.

"Pet policy is huge," Chowdhury says. "[For some buyers] a very large focal point of their move is their dogs. They have to have a private outdoor space so that their dogs can be outside, and they have to live near green spaces."

A 2017 SunTrust Mortgage survey found that 42% of millennials who had never bought a home said their dog, or desire to have a dog, would be a key factor in their decision to buy a home.

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