I’ve been listening to Mel and Brendan (aka Mom and Dad) talk about real estate for 10 years now, and I can’t hold back anymore. THEY ARE GIVING YOU BAD ADVICE.
I’m so tired of hearing them talk about granite countertops, knob and tube wiring and price per square foot; I can’t listen to another conversation about up-and-coming neighbourhoods, return on investment, great value condos and school districts.
Only ONE thing matters when you buy a house: making your dog happy.
So today, I’m taking over the blog and giving you the RIGHT advice – about how to buy a home for your dog. ‘Cause really, that’s what you’re doing. You’re just paying the mortgage and securing yourself a job as a professional door opener and closer.
Here’s what REALLY matters when you buy a home:
Location – It’s not location, location, location – it’s near-a-park, near-a-park, near-a-park. That’s what matters when you choose your neighbourhood. There are plenty of dog-friendly neighbourhoods in Toronto, so pick one of those. I also like trails (I live on the Humber River), beaches and the waterfront. Bonus if the street isn’t too busy (you know how I like to bolt out the front door). Nearby dog groomers, doggie daycare are awesome too.
The foyer – You know how muddy I get in the winter, so a nice foyer where you can wipe me down (curses to you) is useful. The foyer is a great place to store my leash and a giant bowl of bones too. A really giant bowl of bones.
OK, I’m back. Squirrel:1; Brella:0.
Size – You know I like to follow you from room-to-room, so I’m not fussed about how big of a home you buy. I’m good with a house, townhouse or condo. I do however like to sleep in at least seven spots every day, so make sure there’s room for at least two beds just for me and one for you that I can share. Space for my toys and dog accoutrement is important, as is separate eating areas for me and my brother.
Condo Rules – Speaking of condos, did you know that most Toronto condos have rules restricting the number and size of dogs owners can have? WTH? Make sure you find out about pet rules before you buy a condo. You can read more about dogs and condos here.
Stairs – Bet you didn’t even think about how your dream house’s stairs might affect me! As I’m getting older, I’m realizing that stairs are hard – especially wooden stairs. If you must buy a house with stairs, just make sure they aren’t that open kind (those terrify me).
OMG, SOMETHING IS HAPPENING! THERE’S A MURDERER AT THE DOOR
BARK, BARK, BARK, BARK, BARK, LOSE MY MIND, BARK, BARK, BARK
OK, I’ve successfully fought off the murderer – he was disguised in a Canada Post uniform and even had an Amazon box as a prop. Clever.
Flooring/Carpets – I love tearing through the house like a maniac, jamming on the breaks and sliding on hardwood floors – I bet your pup does too. Pay attention to the type of floors you’re buying – don’t buy unfinished hardwood like Mom and Dad did. I also love carpets – but mostly because it reminds me of grass and I can’t help but make a little pee. Every time.
Backyard – I love a private backyard! Especially if I can do zoomies around it when you won’t take me for a walk. I don’t understand all these concrete yards in Toronto – where would I possibly do my business? Get a yard with grass and plenty of room for us to play ball. BALL!
Fence – Ideally, there’s a nice safe fence around the home already, one I can’t sneak under. If not, make sure you can build one for me. If you’re on a big corner lot, you probably don’t own as much of the lot as you think, so be careful when you plan a fence.
The Neighbours – On behalf of all the dogs everywhere, can I make a request? NO CATS AS NEIGHBOURS. Other than that, when you’re househunting if you get a chance to talk to the neighbours and see how dog-friendly they are. I like to bark, and the last thing I want is angry neighbours. Can’t talk to them? Peek over the fence and see if there’s any evidence of canine residents.
See? These are the priorities your agent should be telling you about.