I have clients that no longer need the four bedroom house. A condo would be perfect. But they have three indoor cats and a deaf-and-blind toy poodle. They don’t qualify.
Hmmmmm, what if I want to buy a condo and I have two kitties and a gerbil? What if I have two gerbils and a parakeet? Or two parakeets and a guppy? Or the gerbils have babies? Where does the HOA draw the line? This is a problem, especially with the current housing market and for my buyers.
My friends, George and Patti, recently sold their home. They are responsible and meticulous. They also have four rescue dogs that they saved from being gassed. George walks the mutts daily, picks up poop in the yard and on the streets. He takes the furry critters to convalescent hospitals to interact with the residents, who cannot have animals. George and Patti are model citizens, but because of the pet rules, they can’t buy a condo.
One yip-yip can out bark three quiet pugs. A big bad Rottweiler, even on a leash, may be worse than four indoor felines. A sweet dobie may be better. One loud, bratty mean kid can be more destructive and disruptive than most canines. An obnoxious, bully parent or neighbor, can be less desirable than junior. Rules help, but when you look at specifics, they may not compute.
Patti came up with a creative, if expensive, idea: offering a HOA money to make an exception. “We’ll give you a $10,000. non-refundable deposit to accept us and our current pets. We promise not to adopt any more. Our number of animals will diminish in time, as will we.” This, along with letters of reference, might work in a small complex, but a large complex will have problems with the exception because it would set an example or precedent. Still, it’s interesting.
George and Patti found a small home on a condo-sized lot, very close to their neighbors. They’re all pooch lovers and happy campers, without HOA rules. But, my clients with the three indoor cats and the deaf-and-blind toy poodle are still looking for a place that will accept them all. Their price range dictates a condo or a mobile home; hence the dilemma.
Folks that nurture animals usually make good neighbors. It’s horrible to make people give up Fido, Biscuit and Mocha to find places to live. As our population continues to grow, we need housing that accommodates reality. Perhaps the rule makers can be encouraged to take all this into consideration. The solution is hopefully not limited pet selection, like three gerbils and a boa constrictor.