There is no question as to the amount of damage that pets can do to homes.
I am a little confused as to what possible value pets provide their owners that would justify the kind of damage they caused to this home—both inside and out.
What I envision is a very large, continually barking, filthy creature that the neighbors continually call animal control about. Even before I went into the house I knew there was likely to be interior issues as well as the obvious signs outside.
(At least they cleaned the door prior to listing.)
By the height of the mud on the side of the house you can see that this was a pretty big dog.
On the inside of the home the Main Floor Bathroom was obviously used as the “Dog House,” as the walls where covered with the dog’s body grease (even after recent washing of the walls and floor). The door was badly damaged on the inside, and the room smelled really bad. It takes a long time to build up this kind of pet damage in a home. I guess it is no wonder that this was a “distressed” property. Here are some pictures of the inside of the bathroom—-too bad they hadn’t trained the dog to sleep in the shower! Not to be too harsh, but perhaps without “dog-expenses,” the owner’s could have been able to make a couple of more mortgage payments?
I don’t think most people ever take into account the “actual” costs of owning pets: food, vet bills—-remodeling bathrooms.
With a little Googling, I was able to discover that the basic costs of owning a large dog start at about $1,000.00 per year, and then you have to add vaccinations, flea and tick control, routine veterinary care. All of this could add up to $1,400.00 per year or more. With all of this we still have not factored in daycare, dog walking, pooper-scooper services, pet show entry fees, organic treats/food, pet cemeteries, and pet cryogenic preservation.
Notice that there is nothing in this long to pay for damage to the home.
I wish I could say that this type of damage is an isolated incident—-but it is not. Pets can (and often do) reduce the real value of a property far exceeding the costs of owning pets.
So this is not really pets damaging these homes—it is the owners.
Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector
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