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People downsize their houses for a variety of reasons, whether they’re looking to save money on living expenses or spend less time maintaining their homes and lawns. But when you’re downsizing with an animal companion, the process isn’t quite so simple — especially if your pet has damaged your home and you need to fix these issues before listing your house. You’ll also need to take the time to find a new home that’s suitable for you and your furry friend, and keep your pet comfortable throughout the oftentimes lengthy downsizing process.

To explore some of the best practices you’ll need to follow when downsizing with an animal companion, check out this article from Lonnie Shapiro Real Estate. You’ll learn how to prepare your house for sale, find a smaller home for you and your pet, and keep your animal companion safe and happy from start to finish!

Prep Your Current Home

Selling a home with one or more animal companions requires a great deal of deep cleaning and deodorizing, and you may also need to repair any pet-damaged walls or floors prior to listing the property. For example, you may need to replace damaged carpeting, refinish scratched hardwood floors, or repair chewed baseboards, walls, or furniture. It’s also important to eliminate pet stains and odors, replace your air filters, and remove all evidence of your pets prior to any real estate showings — including litter boxes, dog beds, chew toys, and crates.

Additionally, you may need to perform other types of routine maintenance when preparing to list your house. For instance, Better Homes & Gardens notes that having good curb appeal is crucial when selling a home — and it’s important to spruce up your front door, mailbox, house numbers, and lawn. You’ll also need to examine the following and determine whether they should be repaired or replaced:

  • Roof
  • Foundation
  • Plumbing
  • HVAC system
  • Electrical wiring

Moreover, your gutters are one of the first things potential buyers will see when viewing your home. As such, it may be necessary to clean the gutters before selling your house — especially if your gutters are sagging or the downspouts are disconnected. Most professional gutter cleaners charge anywhere from $106 to $167, but larger jobs may cost upwards of $350. And if you’re wondering “where can I find residential gutter cleaning near me?”, you can visit to search for top-rated professionals in your area.

Downsize Your Belongings

As you prepare to downsize, you’ll need to declutter your personal belongings and sell, donate, or toss anything that won’t comfortably fit in a smaller space. If you won’t have room for all your photos and albums, for instance, try scanning them onto your computer and passing the hard copies onto your loved ones. And if you won’t have room for all your furniture, you could donate them to The Salvation Army, Goodwill, or American Veterans (AMVETS).

Find a Smaller, More Affordable Home for You and Your Pet

One of the greatest benefits of downsizing is the financial savings of moving into a smaller, more affordable home. You can typically reduce your monthly mortgage payment when downsizing your home, which in turn lowers your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio. However, your mortgage lender will look at your monthly recurring debts and gross monthly income to determine how much you can comfortably afford to spend on the purchase of a new home.

Once you’ve set your housing budget and you’re ready to search for a single-family home, pet-friendly townhome, or condo, Lonnie Shapiro Real Estate can help you to look for properties that meet you and your animal companion’s housing requirements. Some things to consider include:

  • Outdoor space for you and your pet.
  • Storage space for keeping pet food, litter, treats, and toys.
  • Hardwood floors versus carpeting.
  • Stairs versus one-level living.
  • Fenced-in yards.
  • Access to pet services such as veterinary care, grooming, and dog parks.

Comfort Your Animal Companion

You’re familiar with the benefits of downsizing, but your animal companion is not. Updater points out that many pets become stressed and anxious when moving into a new space, and it’s important to comfort your companion and help him to feel safe throughout the entire process.

Moving is never easy — even when it’s for the best — and it’s even more of a challenge when you’re downsizing with one or more pets. However, it’s made a whole lot easier when you have the right real estate team by your side!

Are you ready to downsize your home? Contact Lonnie Shapiro Real Estate at 203-731-7722 today!