Serving Real Estate in Austin Metro area and Central Texas. Contact Betty: (512) 785-5050 | Connect with Betty:      

Pet Friendly Realtor

Dogs, cats, or other pets can become important members of our family, and it’s important that a Realtor® consider their needs when you’re looking to buy or even sell a house. Your furry friends might be very friendly, but certain homes and neighborhoods are more pet-friendly than others.

Betty Saenz Pet Friendly Realtor

Betty Saenz Pet Friendly Realtor

I’m a life-long animal lover. We have two dogs and a cat in our home, and we often babysit other pets in our family. Horses have also been an important part of my life. In my career as a real estate agent, I know how important pets and farm animals can be to my clients because they’re also important to me. I’m very familiar with the local regulations and domestic logistics of maintaining happy pets.

Many of my clients find me through our mutual connection with animals. More specifically, I am so glad I was able to meet and get acquainted with my clients’ beautiful Akita. Such a magnificent, sweet and gentle dog! She just passed away, so I want to post these photos as a memorial and tribute to her. Already a teenager, she was past her prime physically. Sadly, it came to be her time to go. Rest in peace sweet lady-

In addition to our four-legged family, I also maintain a peaceful koi pond in my backyard. (See the photo below.) I have written specifically about how to find a koi pond-friendly home here on this website. I have owned and maintained aquariums my entire life, and built my own backyard koi pond in 2009. My family and I having been enjoying their backyard pond ever since.

Here are some questions that we should keep in mind when finding a place for every member of your family.

1. What are the local pet laws?

Even when you own your own home or land, it’s not guaranteed that your pets will legally be able to live there. Homeowner associations, condo developments, or the city ordinances may have restrictions on the breeds or number of pets in any given home. As a pet-friendly Realtor®, I’m familiar with these regulations and know where pets of any size, even horses, are welcome. If you have a dog that tends to bark a lot, your HOA or city may have noise ordinances you’ll need to know.

Betty Saenz Horse Friendly

Riding a Welsh Mountain pony at the family ranch near Seguin

2. Is the neighborhood good for pets?

With dogs and horses, finding a community that’s good for walks and exercise is critical. In Central Texas, we are fortunate to have a number of parks, dog runs, trails, and other green spaces for animals (and humans) to exercise. Sidewalks and pocket parks are also important for everyday bathroom walks.

You may want to avoid busy roads or highways or places with loud noises that can upset dogs and cats. Traffic can also be a danger. Coyotes and foxes can also be a threat to small animals in some areas.

3. Does the house have pet-friendly floors?

Pet-friendly flooring is a big issue. Solid hardwood, for example, can be refinished when it’s scratched. Very light or very dark wood can be triple-sealed with a high-grade polyurethane. Water-based polyurethane for light floors, and oil-based polyurethane for dark colors. Pet scratches can actually add character to reclaimed or distressed wood. Poured concrete, tile, luxury vinyl, or laminate are also good flooring options.

Daisy, our house cat

Daisy, our house cat

Carpeting is not great for resale value with pets inside the home. Cats will claw it, dogs track in mud and dirt. Carpets will also trap the hair, odors from accidents, and stains easily. If your dogs, cats, or humans need something softer, try an area or throw rug that can be easily cleaned or replaced.

4. Does the house have a pet-friendly floor plan?

If you have a large dog, or several dogs, consider the size and layout of the home. Is the space big enough for your dog’s breed? Is there enough room for a cozy dog bed or cat tree? If you’re downsizing, you should take into account how a tighter space may stress your pet.

5. Can your pet handle the stairs?

If you’re moving from a single to multilevel home, consider whether your dogs will be able to climb the stairs, particularly as they get older. Look for a house that has a carpet runner on the stairs, or is ready to install one. That added traction can avoid future accidents.

My Backyard Koi Pond