More Than 4 in 10 Americans Rent or Buy Homes With Their Pets in Mind

More Than 4 in 10 Americans Rent or Buy Homes With Their Pets in Mind

Homeowners plan ahead for pets and renovations, but are unprepared for other responsibilities
Dogs playing in a dog park

Animal lovers already understand how big of a role pets play in our lives, but new findings indicate they have a very real impact on how we search for and organize our homes. Sandy, Utah-based Ally Bank found that 44% of American adults take their pets' needs into account when deciding on a home to rent or purchase.

Two in 10 respondents go the extra mile to ensure pet-home compatibility by bringing them along to look at properties, with women (24%) more likely to do so than men (15%).

Pet needs and renovation plans are top of mind for many homeowners

Millenials are the driving force behind pet-friendly housing, as their animal companions influence multiple home-related decisions, including:

  • Changing the home for a pet (32%)
  • Creating dedicated pet spaces (26%)
  • Purchasing a larger bed (11%)

And whether influenced by Fido or not, homeowners aren’t waiting to upgrade their living situations. Almost half of homeowners (48%) said they have renovation plans set for this year, even though 49% of them know these projects almost always go over budget.

A different survey from home insurance company Hippo found that 54% of homeowners have worked on home renovation projects since the COVID-19 pandemic began, with the majority (66%) spending over $1,000 in home improvement costs and 10% spending upwards of $10,000.

Still, even with a high price tag, upgrading a home instead of buying a new one is an understandable trend — skyrocketing home prices and lack of inventory are forcing some consumers to temporarily set aside their home search in favor of home improvement projects.

Homeowners surprised by additional expenses

While the Ally survey found that many homeowners prioritize their pets and are eager to upgrade their houses, it also showed that respondents — especially younger ones — were caught off guard by other aspects of homeownership. As an example, about 4 in 10 millennial homeowners (42%) were surprised about the effort needed to maintain their yards.

Nearly half (48%) of homeowners said they were unprepared for the cost of home repairs, including 55% of millennials and 45% of baby boomers. In addition, 36% of all respondents experienced "sticker shock" after seeing what their monthly utility bills cost them.

These additional expenses may be giving younger homeowners second thoughts about purchasing a second property, especially after the pandemic wreaked havoc on the finances of millions of Americans.

Although 54% of survey respondents said they were unlikely to buy a second home as a result of the pandemic, this sentiment was greater among younger homeowners. Over 3 in 10 millennials (32%) have decided not to pursue second home ownership, while 64% of boomers said the pandemic hasn't changed their plans to buy another property.

Methodology: The Ally Home survey was conducted in April 2021 among 1,000 US adults ages 25 and up.

Feli Oliveros is a finance and business writer with experience covering personal finance, small business finance, and payment processing. In 2015 she graduated from UCLA, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in English and minored in Anthropology.