Every morning I wake up, check my emails, and take my dog for a walk. Now let me be clear: it’s not a long walk, it’s just a quiet stroll so I can stretch my legs and start thinking about the day’s activities.
But this morning was different. Something hit me about halfway through my route and I realized it’s a growing trend – not only in Southern California, but around the country: When it comes to real estate, dog parks are the new golf course.
Confused? Let me explain.
In the early nineties, a poll out of Denver, Colorado, claimed that 48% of residents would pay more to live in a neighborhood close to a golf course – even though a majority of those people didn’t own a set of clubs! People just liked the idea of being near a course for its intrinsic benefit to the neighborhood.
But that trend is slowly shifting towards a preference for our friends on four legs.
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, pet ownership has soared over the last few years. In fact, the number of single adults with pets increased over 16% from 2006 to 2011, and that number is sure to have grown since then. As the owner of a multifamily building, that number should make you sit up and take notice.
We’re seeing a new crop of renters who take their furry companions into consideration when finding a place to live. And if these folks are anything like me, they consider their dogs to be a part of their family and they’ll do just about anything to make sure Fido is comfortable, safe, and well-cared for. Sure, renters want safe neighborhoods, good schools, hip eateries, and the ilk, but a dog park within walking distance where they can go before or after work is making its way to the top of the list. But as a property owner, is it at the top of yours?
Now let’s talk La Jolla. It’s no secret that it’s fast becoming one of the most luxurious real estate gems on the West Coast, due in large part to its sweeping views, proximity to beaches, and the fact that it’s one of the dog-friendliest areas I can think of in the region. As a whole, the city boasts four dog-friendly beaches and 14-plus off-leash, dog-friendly parks and recreation areas, which means renters looking to find a new unit have plenty of opportunities to be near one of these parks. Sure, there are many reasons a neighborhood will appreciate over time, but builders are catching on to the trend and putting up new buildings in these communities because they know parks in general provide recreational value to our city while also enhancing property values.
In essence, the desire to live near a dog park translates into real dollars. That couple in search of the perfect apartment where they can settle down with their pooch will take notice of the exclusive clubs, upscale shops, and fine dining restaurants that line the La Jolla streets – but they’ll also be looking for a park where their dog can run and play. And the closer, the better, because many busy dog owners don’t have time to load up the car and drive to a park for their dog to get exercise both morning and night on a daily basis. If your multifamily isn’t located near a park or other dog-friendly space, they might drive right past your unit for rent.
But all hope isn’t lost. Why not do those local dog-friendly spaces one better and build a park directly on your property? Installing a dog park on the property of your multifamily can be done without displacing or disturbing existing tenants, and it offers an exceptional ROI. Give your tenants the option to wake up in the morning, make a cup of coffee, and take a ten minute stroll right outside their front door to throw the tennis ball for their loyal companion and you’ll see your choice start to pay off with better tenant retention and a slew of new renters. Plus, new units will fetch top dollar – pun intended – when you can tout your added amenity.
If you’re ready to cater to your four-legged tenants and the people who love them, REIG Construction can help you get your project underway. We have years of experience with progressive upgrades like this on multifamily properties, and we can manage the process from start to finish. Whether you need help with budgeting and estimates, design development, or the construction itself, our hands-on approach means your renovation will move seamlessly and quickly. Get in touch with us today if you’re ready to get started.