This Member of Your Family Could Decrease Your Home's Resale Value

We all love our pets and would do almost anything to make sure they're happy, no matter the cost. But sometimes, the trouble our furry friends get into can have bigger economic effects than we'd hoped for.

A new report from Realtor.com shows that being both a homeowner and a dog owner isn't always as fun as a scratch behind the ear or a belly rub — pet ownership can actually affect the value of your home.

Unsurprisingly, having a pet can cause homeowners to go to great lengths to protect their investments. Realtor.com interviewed people like Lexi Methvin, who estimates she has spent nearly $30,000 on dog-related home repairs, such as carpet cleaning and replacing wooden doors. She's also had to install baby gates to prevent her dogs from eating things like bananas and avocados, which make them sick.

Scott Holeman, a spokesman for the Insurance Information Institute, also tells Realtor.com that most standard homeowners insurance policies won't always cover damage to your house or any property caused by your pet. Meaning that when Fido breaks a window — or, in Methvin's case, destroys a wooden door — the money for repairs comes out of the homeowner's pocket.

Dogs can even affect your home's resale value if the damage is bad enough. Home appraiser Susan Martins-Phipps tells Realtor.com that she's seen her share of floors and carpets ruined by pets. If the damage is bad enough, a home could appraise at 2% to 5% less, Martins-Phillips estimates.

So while we obviously want our pooches to be part of our family, we might need to be more watchful about how they interact with our home.


Laura Ratliff

Laura Ratliff

Laura is a New York City-based freelance writer who writes about travel, food, and design. Her work has appeared in Architectural Digest, Bon Appétit, GQ, Condé Nast Traveler, and more. She's a sucker for a good curbside furniture find.