Moving Together: How to Downsize With a Pet
When it comes to downsizing homes, there’s enough to worry about before you’ve even given thought to the pets. But this transitory period can prove to be stressful and sometimes even dangerous for your resident non-humans. To ensure everything runs smoothly, you’ll want to keep them in mind and carry out plenty of research.
Prepping For Sale
Before you can even think about listing your property, you’ll need to strip it and prep it. But this process of clearing out and cleaning the house can often be stressful and confusing for your pets. Luckily, there are plenty of tried, tested techniques to ensure that they’re comfortable as you begin to move things around. A good first step is to try stacking and putting things away gradually, so they have time to acclimatize. You can even keep empty boxes weeks ahead of your move, so they get used to the sight and change in landscape.
Much of the cleaning and preparation work is actually dangerous for pets. Some fumes pose a risk to ground-based animals, for example. The best tactic for protecting your pet during this period is to remove them from the situation entirely. You can use services to help with this, so that, whilst the professionals are doing their thing, you’ve got an eye on the little ones. This should count for garden maintenance too - gutter cleaning services, for example, can safely, efficiently remove debris that poses a risk to pets and alert you of any potential repairs or replacements required (these typically cost in the range of $106-167, with larger projects as much as $350).
Finding The Right Property
When downsizing, it can be a hassle to find a property that suits your needs and is large enough for your pets. Before you make any moves, it’s often possible to assess the property’s floorplan - this may give you an idea of its suitability for your pets. Alternatively, you can ask your realtor to seek out properties that are pet-suited and that have had previous tenants with pets.
It’s important, during this process, not to lose sight of the market. After all, you want to downsize efficiently and invest in a property that will give you cash to spare and hopefully even appreciate in value. Ask yourself what is most important to you in property - space? Accessibility? Or even close proximity to a park so that your pets have space to roam. All of these factors are not only of relevance to you but also a property’s value.
The actual process of moving can be either exciting or stressful for you and your pets, depending on the contingencies you have in place beforehand. The first of these is an overnight bag, which should include any toys, treats, and tools you need to keep your pets happy. It should also contain any prescription medicines they need for the foreseeable, in case there are any complications when you arrive. Make sure to contact your vet to have this arranged ahead of time.
It’s also important to keep your pet on hand during the journey. Let them travel in your vehicle so that they have a pillar of familiarity. If you’re transporting cats, a good cat crate with a view of you will do the trick. If you’re transporting dogs (and they can’t be trusted in the car), try a dog car crate. Remember, once you’ve arrived, give them some time to get used to their new surroundings. A good run around their new home is healthy for them and will help them settle.
Downsizing can feel overwhelming but it’s important for you and your pets that you stay on top of things and try to remain enthusiastic. After all, a fresh start can also be a new adventure for everyone.
Alec Salameh is a realtor with Coldwell Banker Realty, amongst the most respected real estate companies in the world. For modern, trustworthy, and highly professional realtor services, visit his website.