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Working With A Real Estate Agent

Although TV shows make house hunting look effortless, most prospective homeowners have plenty of questions as they get started. However, with the right real estate agent by your side, things don't have to be so stressful. My husband and I have purchased seven properties over the years, and we couldn't have done it without the help of our realtor. In addition to finding us property that met our needs, our real estate agent also answered our questions and calmed our nerves along the way. We decided to create a website to help people know what it is really like to purchase property and to work with a realtor, so that you are ready to embark on your own adventure.

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Your First Apartment -- Is This The Right Time To Also Get Your First Pet?

by Natalie Jensen

You've just graduated from college and accepted your first "real" job. Now, you're ready to move out on your own and have been searching for suitable apartment rentals. You've also been thinking about getting a pet to keep you company in your new home. But before you commit to an apartment or to a pet, there are a few things you should consider first.

Are You Ready for a Pet?

The first thing you need to determine is whether or not this is the right time for you to get a pet. If you will be working long hours, your pet will have to stay home by itself all day. This is not fair to your furry friend. Pets are also expensive. So if money is going to be tight, you should probably forgo getting a pet for now. If you do decide you can afford a pet and will have enough time to spend with it, you will need to:

Pick Your Pet Carefully

If you expect to be living in an apartment for at least the next few years, choose your pet carefully. The size or breed of your pet could make it difficult for you to find an apartment.

For instance, you may be bullish on pit bulls, but not everyone is. In fact, it is illegal to own a pit bull in some areas of Canada, including Ontario (there is an exception for dogs that were already owned by an Ontario resident prior to August 29, 2005 or that were born within 90 days of that date).  

So if you needed to or wanted to move to Ontario, you would have to give up your pit bull. Other pet-related issues that could make it difficult for you to rent an apartment include:

  • Owning multiple pets. Some apartment rentals will restrict the number of pets you can keep in an apartment. In addition, some jurisdictions also limit the number of pets allowed in a household. For example, in the City of Greater Sudbury, households are limited to a maximum of two dogs or a total of four cats and dogs.
  • Possessing "exotic" or wild animals such as snakes or pet lions.
  • Having a large dog, such as a Great Dane. Some apartments are reluctant to lease to owners of dogs that weigh more than 35 pounds.

Be a Responsible Pet Owner

Being a responsible pet owner starts with selecting a pet-friendly apartment unit. While you may be tempted to hide that small cat or dog in an apartment that doesn't accept pets, chances are your furry friend will be discovered. That, in turn, could cause you to lose your lease or have to give up your pet. And as a responsible pet owner, you should also:

  • Make sure your pet is not noisy and disturbing your neighbors. If you own a dog that is a problem barker, consider hiring a trainer to break it of this annoying habit.
  • Keep your pets under control and at all times. Don't let your pet wander the apartment grounds unattended.
  • Clean up after your pet. Take the time to housetrain your pet. And if it does have an accident, make sure to clean up after it promptly. You also need to clean up after your pet when it is outside.
  • Provide entertainment and exercise for your critters. A bored dog can create all kinds of mischief, including tearing up carpeting. And if you have a cat, you should provide it with scratching posts so that it won't sharpen its claws on your furnishings.

Fortunately, the number of landlords today leasing out apartments to pet owners has been growing over the years. So if you do decide to get a pet, you should be able to find an apartment that will welcome both you and your furry family member.

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