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Do it for Bailey, Bella, Tigger, Chloe, and Shadow!

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Dog Fence

According to dogtime.com, Bailey is the most popular name for a male dog, while Bella is the top moniker for females.  Cuteness.com lists Bella, Tigger, Chloe, and Shadow as the most popular feline names for either gender.

So, what exactly am I suggesting we do for these furry friends – besides everything in the world they want or need? Buy or remodel a house, of course! All homes should be pet friendly! Don’t you agree?

As stated on aspca.org,

“It's estimated that 70-80 million dogs and 74-96 million cats are owned in the United States. Approximately 37-47% of all households in the United States have a dog, and 30-37% have a cat. (Source: APPA)”

Years ago, Louise, a top Loan Officer, worked for me in Florida. She did not solicit business from any Realtors, Financial Planners, or Builders. Instead, she got all of her clients via the Kennel Club where she volunteered, the cat shelter where she regularly donated food and found homes for stray cats, or from clients of her group veterinarian office. Louise closed many 203K or similar renovation loans. Get some ideas here or details here.

Many of the apartment dwellers Louise met decided to purchase homes and worked with her to obtain financing. And she sponsored many training and pet health seminars at the vets’ office.  Does that sound like it might not generate sufficient business for a top Loan Officer? This single mother retired at age 50 with enough money to have no mortgage on her 10-acre estate and plenty of investments that will surely take her through her next 50 years. So, yes, she did very, very well.

It’s clear how Louise built rapport with her clients and then became their choice for home financing. But why is there any correlation between home ownership and pet ownership?

Consider this.

According to rent.com, “Roughly 83% of apartment dwellers say it’s difficult to find a place that accommodates both themselves and their four-legged friends …” Here’s more specific data about that.



This post then goes on to list tips for pet owners to find pet friendly living arrangements. They include things like obtaining renters insurance (which is most often required), getting a recommendation from a former landlord or dog walker, addressing pet allergies (or lack thereof) in advance, and offering to pay an extra “pet deposit” (also often required).

If you need more advice, try “13 Steps to Finding Pet-Friendly Housing”.

Before the hate mail begins, yes, there are many people who choose pets other than dogs or cats. Those staggering statistics listed above do not include parrots, ferrets, turtles, bunnies, fish, snakes, pink fairy armadillos (look it up!) and any number of other cohabitating non-human forms of life.

And, many times, people tend to have multiple pets – 2 dogs and 1 cat, 3 cats and 1 ferret, a pink fairy armadillo and 10 horses, etc. But, rarely, you find someone with many, many, many, many pets. How many? How about 900? Yes, that’s right. Check THIS out!

Dreamy Costa Rica Sanctuary Is Home To 900 Lucky Dogs. (If you’re a dog lover, be sure to open the link for the ‘worth-it’ pictures and videos.) I would not want to pay that pet food bill or insurance bill. Insurance? Oh yes.

Truth be told, some people are allergic to cats, and occasionally dogs bite people, and every once in a while, a bird may deposit some waste material on someone’s priceless shoes. Oh no! Well, that’s why you need insurance.

Succinctly stated by esurance in “animal house: how pets affect homeowners insurance”:

“Even the best-trained animals can be unpredictable. And your insurer looks at every unforeseen risk when creating your homeowners policy. If there's a chance your pet could pose a threat to people in your home (or away from it), you may have an increased rate, need more liability coverage, or, sometimes, be denied insurance altogether.”

What else needs to be considered before you invest in a pet-friendly abode? How about these, all courtesy of the balance in “10 Tips For Buying a Home Pets Will Love”.

“1) Check County & City Code Restrictions

Imagine my shock when the city of Costa Mesa, CA, informed me that I was not allowed to own a goat. Notwithstanding, I did, in fact, own a Nubian goat. Even though my neighborhood was called Goat Hill, the city ordered me to find another home for my goat. Many cities restrict the number and types of pets allowed within city limits.

2) Read Home Owner Association Documents

Not every HOA allows pets. If the homeowner association permits pets, most likely the association bylaws will address restrictions on numbers, types, sizes, heights, noise factors and whether pets are allowed to freely roam the premises.

Many HOAs strictly enforce their bylaws. Don't fall into the trap of thinking the bylaws won't apply to you because they are silly restrictions or that the HOA won't enforce its own rules. Many homeowner association covenants carry severe penalties for those who violate their HOA regulations.

3) Consider the Home's Features

A Sacramento buyer was adamant that she would not buy a home with carpeting. She wanted a home for her Schnauzer with wood or ceramic floors throughout and did not want to deal with ripping up carpeting. Another first-time home buyer adopted a cat who ate fabric, so the home could not have drapes covering any of the windows.

Perhaps an outdoor faucet is important for bathing your dog? If so, check to make sure the home has exterior faucets; it's an easy thing to overlook. Make a list of your desired preferences before going home shopping to find the right home.

4) Examine the Home's Layout

Aging pets might have trouble climbing stairs, so for some home buyers with senior pets, a single-story home is ideal. Cats like windows, and those with window ledges or low to the ground are preferred by felines. Is there a playroom for your pets? Plenty of closet space for storing pet supplies? Your cat will appreciate a private place for a litter box, and you may prefer to keep the cat box out of sight.

Pets love to run and chase each other in circles -- will your home allow a race around the house? If you keep your pets confined to certain rooms, is the layout conducive to that arrangement? It can be expensive to pay for a pet-friendly home remodel.

5) Inspect Street Traffic

Sometimes, even the most well behaved dogs bolt when the front door is opened. Cats are inquisitive, and a curious cat can find a way to push open a screen door to get outside. In an unfamiliar surrounding, pets can dart into the street. To prevent tragedy, it's better to pass on buying a home that is located on or near a busy thoroughfare.

6) Ask About Previous Pets in House

If the seller is selling a home where pets live, check for pet damage, especially under rugs. Look at the backs of doors for scratches or gouges. Ask about pet accidents. Inquire about fleas in the house.

Pet odors are almost impossible to eliminate from a home but might not be noticeable to you, so bring along a friend who does not own a pet to act as your official sniffer. Cats, especially, mark territory; and if you own a cat, you don't want the process of improper elimination to repeat itself.

7) Find Out if the Neighborhood is Pet Friendly

Drive around the area to see if you can spot neighbors outside walking their dogs or notice cats sleeping in sunny windows.

Look for community-placed receptacles for waste deposits. Consider whether you would prefer an area where dogs are on leashes and the owners carry plastic bags, or a community where dogs run free, chasing cars, while the pet owner, say, staggers behind, slurping from a can of beer?

Very important, does a dog live next door who will bark all day at your dog? Talk to the neighbors.

8) Locate Pet Services

If you are buying a home in a new area, ask your agent and the neighbors for referrals to pet vendors. For example, where can you find the best:

Pet food store

Veterinary clinic

Doggie day care center

Pet sitter


9) Search for Local Dog Park

A great way to meet your neighbors and make new friends is at the local dog park. Here are few questions to ask about the dog park:

Will you be expected to keep your dog on a leash?

Are dogs encouraged to play with one another and socialize?

Who maintains the park?

Does the park provide stations and containers for picking up after your dog?

Are you restricted from going to the park during certain hours of the day?

Can you hear dogs barking at the park from your new home?

10) Is the Yard Fenced?

If the yard does not have a fence, and you want to provide a safe play area for your pets, find out how much it will cost to construct your own fence. If the home has an existing fence, make sure it is gated, the gate latches, and the fence is high enough so your dog can't jump over it. Inspect for loose fence boards that may need to be replaced.

Moreover, if you plan to buy a swimming pool home, either get a cover for the pool or install a security gate around it.”

Laughing Dog

I like to think (be nice!) that each blog I compose adds a little value to the reader – well … some readers, some of the time. But if thoughts of Fido in the snow or Twinkles on your pillow don’t resonate with you, here are some bad animal one liners and jokes you can repeat to friends, family and coworkers – courtesy of funology.com. Now, don’t say I never gave you anything!

Q: What do you call a fish without an eye?

A: Fsh!

Q: What do you do if your dog chews a dictionary?

A: Take the words out of his mouth!

Q: What do you call a cold dog sitting on a bunny?

A: A chili dog on a bun.

Q: What goes tick-tock, bow-wow, tick-tock, bow-wow?

A: A watch dog.

Q: How does a dog stop a video?

A: He presses the paws button.

A team of little animals and a team of big animals decided to play football. During the first half of the game, the big animals were winning. But during the second half, a centipede scored so many touchdowns that the little animals won the game. When the game was over, the chipmunk asked the centipede, “Where were you during the first half?” He replied “Putting on my shoes!”.

Q: What does a cat say when somebody steps on its tail?

A: Me-ow!

Q: What do you call a baby bear with no teeth?

A: A gummy bear!

Q: What do you call a pig who knows karate?

A: Porkchop!

Q: Why was the cat afraid of a tree?

A: Because of the bark!

Q: What do you call a sleeping bull?

A: A bulldozer!

A duck, a skunk and a deer went out for dinner at a restaurant one night. When it came time to pay, the skunk didn’t have a scent, the deer didn’t have a buck so they put the meal on the duck’s bill.

Now go buy a house or refinance or renovate the one you already have with the help of www.ratezip.com.

About Kathleen Heck

Kathleen Heck has worked with hundreds of top sales professionals, authors, corporate executives, educators, and management level professionals. She started her career as a college and high school educator. Later she changed industries and moved to financial services, first as a Mortgage Loan Officer and then rising to lead of team of over 2000 financial professionals. She is the author of "After the Beep" and "Meltdown: I Need a Plan". Currently serving as the President of the Croyance Group, Ms. Heck is a Certified Professional Coach and holds several Masters Degrees and a PhD. See more at Croyancegroup.com

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