At Coyle Construction Company, we love our dogs. We have a 5 year old Westie named Duffy who loves to chase bunnies in our yard, bark at the UPS driver and has an odd habit of watching TV for hours waiting for animals. Once any animal appears on the screen (cartoon, real, etc.) – he jumps on the nearest chair and stares intently at it waiting for it to play. Odd. We also have a stray that found her way to our driveway and into our hearts. Lily is a 6 pound snuggler and perhaps the worst dog on the planet. Even after 8 weeks of doggie Boot Camp – Lily will not go outside in inclement weather. This is a real problem in Chicago. However, we can’t imagine our lives without these furry friends and we are not alone.
American’s love their animals and they have no problem spending money on their companions. In 2017, American’s spent $69.3 Billion dollars on their pets. That is BILLION – with a “B”. Now, the trend is picking up speed and pet owners are using their buying power on perhaps their most expensive pet purchase – a new home.
A recent study by SunTrust Mortgage published in Money Magazine listed pet ownership as the 3rd most important reason a Millennials will purchase is a home.
While many Millennials stated they wanted room for Fido to roam, they also cited concerns over high rent for dog owners and a “stable home” for their dogs as a motivator to purchase a home.
The reason for the rise in pet ownership in this group is pretty easy to understand. This “ME” generation is used to instant gratification and anyone who has ever owned a dog understands that the unconditional love that comes from every breed. It makes you feel good when someone is happy to see you; consoles you when you are sad and keeps your bed warm. Cats may be more temperamental – but they are a low maintenance source of love, affection and hours of smiles.
Another, and perhaps more compelling reason, is the Social Nature of pets. Pet photos on Instagram and Facebook generate more likes than non-pet photos. It is fun to pose them and pose with them. YouTube is filled with hilarious cat videos, dog videos and even some reptile tricks – these social media forces drive Millennials. We are, again, guilty and our rescued Lily has her own Instagram page (Duffy is camera shy and prefers to keep a low Social Media profile).
Whatever the reason for pet ownership, you cannot overlook the buying power of Millennials. This generation spends close to $200 billion dollars a year and drives over 40% of the US Economy. The housing industry is taking notice and catering to these buyers and their furry influencers.
In our experience, the majority of our home buyers own dogs or cats. The needs of these animals have influenced selection decisions in housing. Some of the more popular custom home features that cater to pet owners are:
Do Not Overlook the Importance of Pet-Friendly Flooring
- Hardwood is a popular option for pet buyers due to the fact that it is easy to clean and can be re-finished to its original perfection. Make sure that your hardwood floors can handle pet traffic. Large, heavy breed and multiple large dogs racing around the floors can scratch the surfaces. Make sure to opt for the extra coat of poly to provide extra protection from nails. Also, watch the color of your hardwood stain. With the trend of darker hardwood floors continuing, make sure that you are comfortable with the ever present pet hair that even the “non-shedding” breeds leave behind.
- Tile floors are a great option for pet owners, and many of the new “wood look” tiles are durable, cleanable and hide pet hair. However, tile is slippery when wet and this can cause a hazard to both pets and people. If opting for tile flooring, place area rugs in high traffic areas and access areas for pets.
- A new trend in residential carpeting is the use of Carpet Squares. Carpet squares have long been a staple of commercial construction due to their ability to be changed out without replacing an entire room. This design trend in residential construction allows for an incredibly durable surface that can be customized by color or pattern.
Dedicated Pet Spaces
Since people are actually buying homes for their pets, it makes sense that the pets have a special place to call their own! Luxury dog beds are a popular product, but custom builders are also customizing rooms for pets. Often times, a laundry room or mudroom is fitted with special pet friendly features such as:
Cabinetry Built Pet Enclosures
Integrated food and water bowls
Pet showers for large breeds
Extra deep laundry sinks with faucet sprayers for bathing smaller breeds
We’d love to see your pets and your ideas for pet-friendly spaces! Please feel free to reach out to us on Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest and make sure to follow _LilyCoyle_ on Instagram.