According to a recent opens in a new windowNational Association of Realtors report, millennials — defined by the report as adults age 36 or younger — comprise the largest group of today’s U.S. home buyers, at 34 percent.
What’s a millennial? Roughly someone who began their adult years after the year 2000.
It means the younger end of today’s adult workforce and population are at the point where many of them are establishing or juggling careers, starting families and may be tired of renting or living with roommates or family members. They’re buying their first homes.
One trend-within-a-trend with this group? Aside from the traditional factors such as marriage, the birth of a child or that weariness with renting, millennial home buyers are being influenced by their pets. Yet another recent report, opens in a new windowa Harris Poll survey on behalf of SunTrust Mortgage, found that 33 percent of respondents considered pets when buying a home.
Per that same Harris Poll survey, 42 percent of respondents said a current or future pup would help determine their home-buying course.
With that interesting data in hand, what can millennial dog owners expect when house-hunting in today’s new communities? We’ll show you.
Dog parks are a big draw
A fenced-in back yard will be a big house-hunting draw for any dog owner searching for a new home. But, recreational amenities are equally important in today’s master-planned communities.
Dog parks are especially popular — fenced-in areas where dogs can play safely off-leash, both with other dogs or their owner. Obstacle courses are common features. So are fresh water stations for thirsty dogs. Benches or chairs for lounging dog owners are a nice touch.
Many community designers will site the dog park(s) near other recreational hubs such as playgrounds, open green space and athletic fields, swimming pools and community centers.
Dog-loving homeowners also need fitness trails on which to walk Fido. Those are de rigor in today’s new amenity-rich communities.
So are pet care stations
Hosing down Fido in the driveway probably isn’t most millennial dog owners’ idea of bathing their pet. Younger homeowners are more accustomed to customization — their generation grew up with computers, the internet and social media — so tailoring their first home to specific functions is more their style.
Enter the pet care station. It’s incorporated into a home’s utility or laundry room. Builders install a roomy basin big enough for most dog breeds, then equip it with a hand-held shower head. Fido’s muddy backyard adventure gets washed right down the drain.
Builders also can install bins for cedar shavings and dog food, and handy hooks for Fido’s towels and leashes.
Doggie condos rock, too
Know that often-wasted space under a staircase? Turn it into a lounge for Fido. Millennial home buyers who’d like to place Fido’s dog bed out of constant view will go bonkers.
Builders can cut a custom “door” opening and extend flooring into that space under the stairs. Hint: it should be large enough to access it for cleaning. Savvy owners also can install a gate.
Ready for your pooch-friendly new home? opens in a new windowTalk to ICI Homes here.