Only gaining more space and building equity were more compelling reasons to buy for the generations.

Puppy love has millennials thinking about buying houses above anything else.

Thirty-three percent of first-time home shoppers were looking due to wanting a dog, according to a recent study from SunTrust bank. Only 25 percent said they were looking because of marriage and 19 percent because of a future child. The only reasons more motivating for the generation were more practical, a desire for more space (66 percent) and an opportunity to build equity (36 percent).

“Millennials have strong bonds with their dogs, so it makes sense that their furry family members are driving home-buying decisions,” SunTrust mortgage president Dorinda Smith says. “For those with dogs, renting can be more expensive and a hassle; home ownership takes some of the stress off by providing a better living situation.”

It’s a dog-eat-dog world when it comes to buying your first home, but how does man’s best friend play into the purchase? Turns out, they’re part of a trend of millennials buying more houses.

Who’s buying?

It’s not just dogs that are driving millennials into these life changing purchases, but some economic factors like a second income. According to real estate site Zillow, 25 percent of married couples bought a home compared to 15 percent of unmarried couples. But the number is going down as more unmarried couples get homes before tying the knot.

That doesn’t seem like a slowing trend either, according to the Franklin B. Olin College of Engineering. More people are getting married later, as 88 percent of men and 81 percent of women born in the 1990s are unmarried at 23 compared 25 and 66 percent, respectively, for those at the same age born in the 1940s.

On top of that, millennials still have favorable odds of good home loans. Real estate brokerage Redfin reported that the generation, of which 34 percent own homes, has some of the lowest fixed rate mortgages in history thanks to the Great Recession.

Those factors are favorable for millennials, who have historically been a rent-driven generation so far. But what does that mean to you, the dog lover who happens to want a house for your pooch?

What should I do?

When it comes to buying your dwelling, there are a few steps you can take to make the process easier for you, your dog and/or your new marriage. Those include:

  • Make a reasonable timeline: Getting your credit score in shape and securing a loan takes some time, so get started as soon as possible.
  • Pre-qualify for your mortgage/loans: pre-qualifying for a loan can help you get an offer in before everybody else, in addition to forcing you to figure out what you can afford and can pay for in the future.
  • Stay organized: Don’t let your finances fall into disarray due to your move. Make sure you organize everything to easily fetch documents when needed.

Not sure whether you should continue renting or buy? Do your homework on likely payments and think about how long you plan to stay in the area. Worse comes to worst, you can always check with our expert to see if buying is right for you. Your potential pup awaits your home purchase.

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Meet the Author

Ryan Lynch

Ryan Lynch


Lynch is a freelance writer for

Family, Home

homebuyers, homeowners, pets

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Article last modified on September 7, 2017 Published by, LLC . Mobile users may also access the AMP Version: A Third of Millennials Are Becoming Homeowners for Dogs Instead of Marriage - AMP.