It’s no secret that Millennials love dogs and now their four-legged friends are starting to influence the decisions they make about housing.
A recent survey by SunTrust Mortgage found that a third of Millennials who had already purchased their first home said they were influenced by the need to have space for a dog.
The survey asked recent home buyers why they were buying their first home and their dog was the third most commonly cited reason, coming above children and marriage. Only more living space and the opportunity to build equity came above the furry companions. 33 percent of millennials between ages 18 and 36 said that they considered canine-related features, such as a large fenced yard and dog-friendly neighborhoods, as a huge factor in buying their first home, while 25 percent cited marriage and just 19 percent said the birth of a child, according to a SunTrust Mortgage survey.
“Millennials have strong bonds with their dogs, so it makes sense that their furry family members are driving home-buying decisions,” said Dorinda Smith, SunTrust Mortgage CEO. “For those with dogs, renting can be more expensive and a hassle; home ownership takes some of the stress off by providing a better living situation.”
The survey also found that 42% of Millennials who had never bought a home said that their dog, or the desire to have one, would be a key factor in their decision to get on the property ladder.
Some may find the survey results surprising, but Rachel Wingard, a millennial first-time home-buyer, says the results signify that Millennials are thinking practically.
“People were surprised at the dog statistic but it shows a level of responsibility that you’re caring for a living thing,” Wingard said. “It’s hard to think about children when you don’t have any, and owning a home doesn’t necessarily make marriage more plausible.”