Ally Bank, home survey

When pet owners are looking for a new home, pets play a pivotal role in their decision-making process, according to a new survey by Ally Home, the residential mortgage lending arm of Ally Bank in Charlotte, N.C. Of the 1,000-plus U.S. adults aged 25 and over surveyed, 44 percent said they consider their pets’ needs before renting or purchasing a home. In fact, 20 percent of Americans bring their pets to look at homes, with 24 percent of women and 15 percent of men welcoming their furry friends on the house hunt.

Nearly a quarter (24 percent) of respondents said having a dedicated space for pets is a major consideration when organizing a home, according to the survey. Millennials are more likely than other demographics to report that pets influence their home decisions, including making changes in a home because of a pet (32 percent), creating a dedicated space for their pets (26 percent) or buying a bigger bed for sleep time (11 percent).

“Purchasing a home is one of the most significant investments most Americans will make in their lives, so it makes sense that we want our four-legged friends to feel at home,” said Glenn Brunker, president of Ally Home.

Perhaps influenced by time spent at home during the pandemic as well as rising home prices and low inventory that make moving a challenge, renovations are top of mind for homeowners, officials said. Thirty-one percent of women and 24 percent of men said they spend a lot of time fantasizing about renovations. And the pandemic has impacted home layout preferences, too, with 8 percent of Americans saying they used to like open floor plans, but now prefer divided rooms.

“If it’s one thing we learned to value as we quarantined in our homes over the past year, it’s the importance of doors that close,” Brunker said. “But the time spent at home also helped us reevaluate what matters most in our living spaces. This awareness helps first time home buyers more confidently navigate today’s competitive real estate landscape to find a home that fits their lifestyle.”

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