Downsizing With a Pet? Here’s How to Make It Easier
While many people assume that downsizing with a pet isn’t any harder than downsizing alone, that isn’t necessarily the case. Luckily, you can avoid many issues by using the right strategy. Here’s how to make the process as easy on you and your pet as possible, presented below by Burnt Hills Veterinary Hospital.
Get Your Mortgage Squared Away
If you’re getting a mortgage to pay for your new home, it’s best to get that part squared away as early as possible. Then, you’ll know how much you can afford, streamlining your home search significantly.
It’s essential to understand what lenders look for when deciding whether to issue a mortgage. Along with income, they typically check your debt-to-income ratio to make sure you don’t exceed 36 percent. By doing the calculation yourself, you can make sure you’re in a good place to get a loan.
After that, spend some time researching the various mortgage options, including conventional, FHA, and VA loans, to determine which ones are available to you. Then compare rates to find the most cost-effective option, ensuring you can keep your budget in check.
Downsize Your Belongings
When you move into a smaller house, you may need to get rid of excess belongings. Since deciding what to take or leave isn’t always easy, consider using a strategy like the KonMari Method. That way, you have a simple framework to follow.
However, as you begin sorting through your pet’s belongings, don’t just assume that old or well-worn items should go. Your new home is going to feel unfamiliar to your pet, leaving them uncomfortable and anxious. By bringing their favorite bed, toys, and other items along, you can introduce familiar things into the new environment, making it easier for them to adapt. Your pet my be comforted by bringing along items that have their scent as well as your scent on them.
Get Your Home Sale-Ready
If you need to sell your current home as part of your downsizing plan, you need to use the right approach since you have a pet. First, understand that most buyers don’t want to see (or smell) signs that a pet lived in the home. As a result, you may need to go the extra mile to get your house sale-ready.
For example, you may need to hire a landscaper to handle holes a dog dug or damaged plants — in other words, to clean up your curb appeal. Bringing in a house cleaner specializing in tackling pet odors and hair is also smart, eliminating any signs that your pet called the house its home.
Also, if there are any renovation projects you had in mind, now’s the time since those can help boost your home’s appraisal value, as well! Renovation noise can be quite distressing to your pets. They may benefit from a separate quite place to hide out while projects are being completed. You may also wish to consult with your veterinarian about anti-anxiety meds to help reduce their stress level.
As you get prepared to list, you’ll also need a plan for your pet. Generally speaking, animals shouldn’t be present during an open house or showings. Not only will a pet potentially turn off buyers, but the experience can be anxiety-inducing to your pet. Plus, there’s always a chance of an incident, so it’s best to find some other place for them to go.
Ideally, you want to take your pet with you or have them stay with a family member, friend, or neighbor they know. If that isn’t an option, you could try boarding or doggie daycare instead.
Finding Your New Home and Planning Your Move
When you launch your home search, there are some extra steps you’ll want to take. First, check to see if there is an exotic animal or breed-specific legislation in your target area. Some animals or breeds aren’t allowed in specific towns or neighborhoods, so you’ll want to take a look before you place offers.
Do you currently work from home? If you’re downsizing, you’ll have less space and there may not be room for a home office. Consider renting office space after the move so you can maintain productivity while avoiding distractions.
Once you’ve found a home, you’ll need to plan out your move. On moving day, it’s best that you board your pet or have them stay with a friend. You can find reliable movers by searching for local moving companies online and then comparing customer reviews and ratings. Before hiring anyone, always insist on in-person estimates.
After that, make sure to keep your and your pet’s needs in mind as you search. Consider what home features may appeal to your pet, like whether they’d enjoy a yard or a window with a large sill for lounging. That way, you can find a property that will make you both happy.
Burnt Hills Veterinary Hospital is a full service animal hospital providing both emergency care as well as preventative, medical, surgical, and dental care. Our doctors have over 150 years of experience providing the best of care to the best of friends throughout the capital district. Call 518-399-5213.
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