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How Homeowners Can Downsize with a Pet

Downsizing is typically a challenge in its own right. However, when you add a pet into the equation, it can be a bit trickier. If you’re a homeowner who needs to downsize with your pet, here are some tips to get you started.

Start by Exploring Financing Options

Before you take any other step, you need to consider how you’ll finance your new home purchase. In some cases, the profit from selling your current house could be enough. But if it isn’t, you’ll need to know your options for covering the cost.

In most cases, getting a new mortgage is your best bet. You’ll want to research the best mortgage rates today and the requirements on several options, including conventional, FHA, and VA loans. Then, you’ll be able to choose the one that gives you the best deal.

Also, review your income, credit score, and debt-to-income ratio. In most cases, you’ll want a debt-to-income ratio below 36 percent. However, you might be able to move forward with one as high as 43 percent if you choose the right mortgage.

Prepare for Your Home Sale

You need to use a two-fold approach when preparing your home for sale. First, you need to make

sure that your home is ready for showings. Since you have a pet, a thorough cleaning is essential. You need to eliminate all pet odors, fur, or other signs of an animal’s presence, ensuring evidence that a pet lives there doesn’t turn off buyers.

Second, you need to get your pet’s needs addressed for upcoming sho

wings. You should leave your pet in the home even if they are contained. Not all buyers are comfortable around animals, and they may wonder if there is unseen pet-related damage simply because your pet is present. Also, invest in a sturdy escape-proof harness to ensure your dog doesn’t get loose if you decide to keep them outside during the show (you can find great suggestions on sites like Pets Digest).

Find a place for your pet to be during showings. If you can’t take them with you, see if a loved one could keep them for a period. You could also try hiring a pet sitter from Preferred Pet Sitter to ensure you have someone looking out for your friend at all times.

Downsize Your Belongings

As you prepare to move, you’ll need to pare down your belongings. While reducing your possessions might seem straightforward, be cautious when it comes to items your pet enjoys. Keeping toys, beds, blankets, or other things they find familiar is usually a good idea. You’ll be able to bring them into your new house, giving your pet a source of comfort during what could be a traumatic period.

Find the Right New Home

As you search for a new house, keep your pet’s needs in mind. You may need a large yard and pet door if you have a dog. A nice window with a wide sill and a place to stash a litter box could be priorities if you have an indoor cat. By keeping those requirements at the forefront, you can make sure your house meets your pet’s needs and your own. You also want to review local ordinances before making a home purchase.

It’s important to note that some areas have banned “backyard breeding,” though the new rules

could apply to reputable smaller breeders that don’t follow the right approach. If you were hoping to breed your dog or cat in your new home, review the rules before choosing a property. That way, you can decide if a house within the city limits is the best choice.

Guest Blogger Jessica Brody (of



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