What could beat out an updated kitchen as the most important feature millennials are looking for when buying a home? Recent research from the National Association of Landscape Professionals shows that a nice-sized lawn is the No. 1 priority among those born between 1981 and 1996.
Seventy-three percent of millennials currently own a pet and, according to a 2018 realtor.com survey, 75 percent of pet-owning millennial homebuyers surveyed said they would pass on a home, no matter how good it is, if it didn’t meet the needs of their pet.
If you plan to boost your home’s curb appeal and backyard before selling, keep in mind potential millennial buyers – and their furry friends – with these tips for a pet-friendly yard:
- Muse on Your Mulch
Mulching can be used to create healthy lawns and add aesthetic value – but it can also be harmful to animals if certain chemicals are present in the material. Cocoa bean mulch, for example, can poison dogs since it’s made from cocoa shells. Instead, look for pine, cedar and hemlock mulches, which can be good alternatives and may ease the mind of a potential buyer with pets.
- Plant Purposefully
Planting a few flowers can go a long way in ramping up your home’s curb appeal. Adding a few different colors into the mix can help create an interesting and inviting atmosphere. While you’re at the garden center, consider taking a look at this list of toxic and non-toxic plants for animals and steer clear of potential troublemakers for future buyers. If your garden is already in tip-top shape, list and label as many plants as possible. This relatively simple step can have a powerful effect on buyers, whether they’re gardeners or not!
- Know Your Boundaries
There are a lot of variables to consider when questioning if a fence increases home value. Material, the neighborhood and whether it fits in with the style of your house are all important things to consider – but so is the condition you keep it in! A sturdy backyard fence may inspire buyers with escape-artist furry friends to make an offer.
- Be Chemical-Conscious
Many baits for snails, rats and other pests can be fatal for pups. If you must use them to get your backyard sell-ready, think of putting them where a pet couldn’t reach them. Did you know planting lavender, mint, rosemary and other companion plants can be a safe way to keep snails and slugs at bay?
- Make ‘Pawsome’ Choices
If adding some paths in your yard is within budget, consider materials that don’t get too hot on a sunny day. Materials should be easy to walk on for both owners and their pets. Concrete, brick, flagstone and smooth rocks are all good choices.