By Jennifer Liu
This story originally appeared on LearnVest as “Young Homebuyers Are Moving Because of Their Dogs.”
I have a few specific occasions earmarked in my savings account: moving in with my boyfriend, a round-trip plane ticket to send my mom to Hong Kong, a wedding and/or a house maybe, and — my personal favorite — a puppy fund. In my mind, I’ve got my mid-20-something savings priorities in order.
I mean, If you can’t name at least 28 reasons why dogs are amazing off the top of your head, have you even met one? They love you unconditionally, they can cheer up your worst days, and they’re the No. 3 reason young people are buying their first homes — ahead of marriage or having a baby.
According to a new survey out from SunTrust, one-third of millennials who bought their first home said having a better space or yard for a dog was a major factor in their decision. That compares to 25% of those who said marriage was a motivating factor, and the 19% who needed to make room for baby.
“Millennials have strong bonds with their dogs, so it makes sense that their furry family members are driving homebuying decisions,” said Dorinda Smith, SunTrust Mortgage President and CEO, in a press release. “For those with dogs, renting can be more expensive and a hassle; homeownership takes some of the stress off by providing a better living situation.”
It’s good that first-time homebuyers are honest with why they’re seeking to own a larger space. Keeping those priorities top of mind can only help prepare them with the costs to expect owning a pet as well as owning a home (and how to budget accordingly).