Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Finding a pet-friendly community

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Pets are important members of our households. Not just from an animal rights perspective, but from a human perspective. Just think of how miserable they can make us when they aren’t happy. If you have a howling Siberian husky, a tiny Chihuahua, a cat or even something more exotic, there are things you need to take into consideration before you move into a new neighborhood. 

HOA restrictions that can affect your pet

Most HOAs are fine with people owning pets. However, if you have an odd pet like a chicken, you may not be within HOA guidelines. Some HOAs restrict livestock animals even if the town you’re in allows them. 
Another issue may be the height of the fences. If you have a dog like a husky, look at the size of the fences in the neighborhood.  6-foot-tall fences are the minimum for a Siberian husky and similar escape artists. 
Are there restrictions on noise from pets?  Even in a condominium with a small dog, you may have some issues with your HOA. If your walls are thin and your dog cries when you leave, he could be driving your neighbors crazy. Neighbors irritated by your dog won’t always feel comfortable telling you about it, they may go straight to the HOA if the HOA has restrictions on noise. 
Even cats have some restrictions. Some owners like to let their cats have some outdoor play time. Unlike dogs, it’s almost impossible to keep cats in your yard. HOA’s often don’t like pets roaming the street and neither do city governments. If you want your animal to roam, it might be better to get some acreage in Brazos Valley rather than a home in a neighborhood in Bryan/College Station. 
However, an HOA could actually help pet owners. 

Pet-friendly communities.

Communities that are really pet-friendly are those where there are good places to walk your dog. Is there a nearby park?  Neighborhoods near parks are great for pets especially if they have plenty of trash receptacles for when your dog decides to leave a little present behind. 
Pet-friendly communities will also have fewer restrictions on pets and may let you have a fence taller than 6-feet. 
The important thing is to know the restrictions before you buy. Ask your realtor how to find the HOA documents before you buy. Sometimes, though, they’re available online. A quick search for the name of the neighborhood, the city, and “homeowners’ association” can often help you find the right place. There are a lot of great HOAs here in Bryan/College Station, so don’t let the fact that there is an HOA turn you away from buying in one. The benefits are often worth the dues. 

HOAs that keep your pet safe

When HOAs have rules on roaming animals, that isn’t always a bad thing for pet owners. For example, some cats like to go into their backyards briefly to snack on some grass or to lay in the sun before going right back inside. If there is a free roaming cat that climbs into your backyard, a fight could ensue leaving your cat injured. HOAs that have rules against letting cats roam can help prevent this to an extent. 

Also, dogs roaming around when you take your dog out for a walk could be a danger to your pet. Strict rules on pet control are good for everyone. 

As for noise, if you have the loud pet, it’s good to know when it’s bothering.  your neighbors. Most of us have likely been kept awake at night by a loud animal. 

Keep your animals safe by finding the right community for you. 

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