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House hunting for people with pet allergies

Boy have a cat on his hands

There are various levels of severity and sensitivity when it comes to pet allergies. Some people’s eyes water up but they can otherwise tolerate a house full of cats for a few hours. Others break out in hives if they so much as enter a house where a dog or a cat has been within the past year.

If you or someone in your family suffers from pet allergies, you know just how hard it can be to visit friends, relatives or go on vacation. As challenging as this is, imagine trying to buy a house. To say the least, allergies complicate the home-buying process. And if you have pet allergies, it can seem like absolutely every house you look at has a pet.

Move-in cleaning

The first thing you should do if you have pet allergies and are in the market for a new house is to talk to your realtor. Let them know the severity of your allergies and to what extent you are willing to consider a previously pet-friendly house. This will help them vet the properties they show you.

Now, what do you do if you find your dream home — we’re talking a home so perfect it’s impossible to consider any other home — but the previous owners had pets?

There is a solution. It might take some soap and scrubbing, but to make that one-time pet sanctuary livable, consider these steps:

  • Hire a professional to clean all the ducts. You might even need them to clean the AC coils and the furnace as well.
  • Wash every square inch of carpet with a high-quality carpet cleaner.
  • Replace all of the curtains, drapes and upholstery throughout the house.
  • Steam wash tile and other hard floor surfaces.
  • After all this major cleaning is complete, install and run air purifiers with HEPA filters throughout the house.
  • For extreme cases, repaint the walls and hire a professional cleaner or restoration service to wash the ceilings.
  • If cleaning the carpet isn’t enough, or if you just don’t like the previous owner’s taste, install new carpeting. If you have to go to this length, make sure to thoroughly clean the floorboards and use new padding, too.

Some of these measures may seem extreme, but pet dander is a near-invisible foe, and it can be very challenging to completely eliminate it.

If you have more questions about buying a house with pet allergies, or any other restriction, talk to a Coldwell Banker Hedges Realtor® today. No matter your situation, they have the experience to help get you in the home of your dreams.

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