What’s in the stroller: A bouncing baby or a Shih Tzu? For NYC real estate brokers the species doesn’t matter, because they know that the demands from the client will be the same.
Increasingly, new and expecting pet owners have begun shopping for real estate exactly like the anxious new parents of homo sapiens. But instead of playgrounds, good schools and in-building playrooms, these one-day K-9 caregivers are looking for neighborhoods with great dog parks, businesses that welcome bowwows and buildings that will pamper their pooches.
“I want to be set up before the dog comes and do it now while there is still time. I don’t want to be rushing at the last minute,” future dog mom Kathleen Kelly, 45, told The Post.
Kelly, who works in pharmaceutical sales, currently rents a one-bedroom apartment in Astoria that does not allow dogs.
With plans to adopt a rescue, she’s looking for a pet palace with extras like a dog spa near a park.
Her broker, Corcoran’s Sheri Terry, steered her toward Queens neighborhoods like Bayside, where bang for buck runs high and dogs get plenty of fresh air.
But even in buildings that permit dogs, Terry warns that some are more welcoming to wagging tails than others.
“The vibe of the building and how the staff interacts with the animals is important,” said Terry.
She adds that Kelly is among several clients who are looking to change or have recently moved into apartments that can accommodate pets but don’t actually have any yet.
“Everyone talks about the huge surge of people getting dogs during the pandemic, but I often deal with apartment seekers before the fact,” she said.
Max Warshaw, 26, is another New Yorker looking to change his living situation for a future fur ball. The FiDi resident, who works for an architecture firm, has been intent on getting an English sheepdog for the last year — ever since he started dog-sitting for his friend who has an Alaskan husky named Ruby.
“I fell in love with her and became enamored with the idea of having my own,” he said. “But first, I need to move because my apartment is too small for a sheepdog.”
Warshaw says that he is interested in leaving Manhattan for Astoria where he can afford more square footage and be near dog-owning pals. Astoria’s abundance of greenspaces is another attraction.
“I want to be able to easily meet with friends for dog playdates and have nice spaces for us to have them,” he said.
“Getting a dog is a big decision, and I would have moved anywhere before, but that’s not the case now.”
Meanwhile, Ryan Neller, 34, who works in marketing for a fashion brand, signed a lease for a one-bedroom apartment at 100 House at the Enclave, a new building in Jersey City, NJ, because it prioritized pets. Prices range from $3,425 to $5,820 per month.
The property tapped the pet amenities provider Bark Buildings to set up services for residents such as dog walking via an app called Time to Pet. Bark Buildings also has a jar in the lobby filled with dog treats, organizes doggy group playdates and has a pet concierge who can help with everything from connecting residents with a veterinarian to giving them a list of stores in the area that sell dog gear.
“My boyfriend Jason and I were definitely going to get a dog, so we jumped at the chance to move in,” he said.
Now, Neller has added a mini goldendoodle named Archie to the family and says that his building has made all the difference in his transition into pet parenthood.
“I love how convenient it is to schedule walks, and their staff is so incredible that I trust Archie is in good hands as I spend more time back at the office,” he said. “We also love that he meets other dogs and has these great playdates.”
Amenities like the ones offered at 100 House have become the norm in new buildings as pet ownership rises, says Elisa Orlanski Ours, chief planning and design officer at Corcoran Sunshine Marketing Group.
“There are even playgrounds for pooches which allow people to exercise or groom their pet at all hours without having to go out to the street or to an outside facility,” she said of the buildings she sells. “[Perks for pups] are a real draw for people and help set a building apart.”
Even brokers are planning ahead for the arrival of their fur friends.
Warburg Realty’s Steve Gottlieb, who lives near Union Square, says that a dog is on his wish list too.
“When I was looking to buy a place, I only looked at dog friendly buildings even though I didn’t know when I would get one,” he said.
His current co-op has an incredible staff who dote on the four-legged animals, he says, and hand out treats. Plus, his one-bedroom has enough space for a pooch to freely move around.
“I’m still on my search for the perfect dog,” said Gottlieb. “But when I find one, I know that I’m already living in the right apartment.”
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