Finding the Right Condo for You and Your Pet

Are you an empty nester thinking about buying a condo in Boston and having enough room when the kids come to visit, or are you a young professional couple thinking about buying a place and how it will fit the needs of a growing family? Well, there’s one more family member to consider… your pet or the pet you’re longing to have.

Condominium associations vary in their pet policies and most homeowners associations (HOAs) expressly state their policies regarding pets in their condominium documents. Some associations have restrictions by type of pet. For example, they allow cats, but not dogs. Or, they allow dogs, but exclude certain breeds that might be “unfriendly.” Some have restrictions on weight. For example, they may only allow dogs 50 pounds and under. Some have limitations on how many pets you can have: one may be allowed, but not two. And some just forbid them altogether.

So, what’s a pet lover to do? What impact does owning a pet have on your condo search? One of the first questions you should explore when searching for a condo, though, is the pet policy. When you see a listing on my website or from MLS, it might state, for example: “Pets with restrictions” or “ Inquire about pet policy” or “Cats, no dogs.” In most instances the details of the pet policy will not be specific on the MLS sheet.

If you see a listing that you are interested in and want to factor a pet in to your decision-making, ask me to get more specifics on the condo association’s pet policy, preferably before visiting the condo.  Knowing the pet restrictions of a condo association upfront will avoid spending time and getting emotionally invested in a place that ultimately may not work out because your pet, your beloved household member, not only won’t be welcome, but won’t be allowed.

Be assured that there are a number of pet-friendly buildings in Boston, from brownstones to luxury high-rises.  And many areas of the city offer parks and grassy expanses for your dog (if that’s you pet of choice). There are even establishments that welcome your pets to join you for cocktails—complete with “puptails” and special treats—so that they can enjoy the Boston lifestyle, too.