Downsizing With a Dog While Navigating the Housing Market Crisis

by Melody Keilig

As housing becomes increasingly difficult to come by and more expensive due to inflation, many people are choosing to downsize. Although the rental market has been hit hard by sharp rent increases and lack of availability, it’s the preferred option over investing in a house. 

The national median price for a house reached $416,000 in June, which is 13.4% higher than last year. Houses are still low in availability, but supply and demand are slowly balancing out. At the end of June, there were 1.26 million homes for sale.

This stat is an increase of 2.4% from last year and the first annual gain in three years. However, at this rate, it could take up to three months to exhaust the inventory of existing houses. Experts say a pace of six to seven months is a healthy level. 

 

According to the National Association of Home Builders, they don’t foresee building new homes if there are continuous signs of a recession. In July, home builder confidence in the housing market for new single-family homes dropped by 12 points.

Finding availability in the housing market is incredibly challenging, with most offers facing denial in favor of buyers who can pay higher amounts in cash. Because of the high expense and difficulty of buying a home, downsizing has become a slightly better option.

So, why should you downsize to an apartment? 

Why Downsize Your Living Space?

There are several reasons why you may want to downsize your living space.

Starting with the advantages of moving to an apartment from a house, it’s a lot less space to upkeep. Although more common for retirees and empty nesters, many young adults are opting for apartment living over a house. 

 

Even with rent rising in many major cities, renting is still not nearly as expensive as paying a mortgage and other housing expenses. Consider the costs of having to maintain an entire house yourself, which comes out to be a lot of work. In an apartment, the maintenance staff is there to take care of various chores on the property.

For more money-saving reasons, you only need the main pieces of furniture in an apartment. A bed, kitchen table, couch, coffee table, bookshelf, and perhaps a few other items fit perfectly in an apartment. In contrast, a house has a lot more space to fill. 

By opting for a house, you buy more furniture than you probably need. However, by downsizing, you can choose the furniture you need in your new place and sell any extra pieces.

In many ways, living in an apartment saves you time, energy, and money in the long run. Downsizing could take some time to get used to, but many people realize that they don’t need all the extra space in their house. 

 

So, how can you reduce your living space when your dog is used to having a home and a backyard to roam? 

Prepare Your Dog for a New Environment

It can take your dog more time to adjust to a new environment, especially if downsizing means you no longer have a backyard. 

 

But your dog can enjoy the apartment as much as you do! Of course, you have to make changes and find new ways of doing things, but it gives you a chance to try something new.

For instance, if you’re lucky enough to have an apartment building with a decently sized backyard, your dog will adjust much better. 

However, if there’s no yard or green space in sight, this gives you a chance to find a dog park. You can make new human and canine friends while hopping around different parks!

So, what happens when your dog needs to potty at your new place with no yard? After all, regular potty needs and emergencies happen. 

Create a Potty Routine

Investing in an indoor dog potty will be a lifesaver in your downsized living space. When you find the perfect dog potty, it’s like having a mini backyard in your home. The Porch Potty brings the best of both worlds: it’s compact for a small area and gives dogs a private potty spot.

When you get settled in your new home, you can fit the Porch Potty on a balcony or keep it indoors. With every sized model, from small to standard to premium, you get the option of synthetic or live grass for your dog’s best potty experience. With the adorable red hydrant accessory, your dog will use it as a scenting trigger to associate it with potty time. 

Not only is the Porch Potty a practical, daily part of your dog’s routine, it’s also built to last a dog’s lifetime. Hot summers are no sweat for its all-weather wicker design, and the coldest winter nights won’t freeze the sturdy steel understructure.

Because you won’t always be able to make it outside for your dog’s potty time for various reasons, having a backup plan saves you time and sanity! Imagine sleeping in on the weekends because your dog can climb onto the Porch Potty and go by themselves. 

During potty training or potty emergencies, your dog doesn’t have far to go to relieve themselves. Plus, you won’t have another accident to clean up!

Give Your Dog Plenty of Exercise

Once you’ve found the perfect dog park, this gives you and your dog a chance to get some exercise. However, similar to when your dog needs to go potty, you shouldn’t entirely rely on going to the park to get physical activity

 

Even though you have a smaller space, you can still get your dog moving when they’re restless. There are fun games you can play indoors with your dog, especially during chilly days when going outside isn’t a great option.

You can play fun, classic games like tug-of-war and hide-and-seek that can wear your dog’s high energy levels out. However, if you’re looking to teach your dog new tricks, there are plenty of fun ways to teach them a new skill while giving them exercise. 

When you downsize, you might feel a bit of cabin fever during the colder months when you aren’t going outside as much. Finding fun activities indoors that keep you and your dog’s mind sharp and body active helps you adjust to your new surroundings. 

Get Your Dog Comfortable Around Strangers

If your dog isn’t comfortable around new people or other pets, politely ask your new neighbors if you can slowly and safely introduce them to your dog. Setting up a play date with neighbors and their pets is a great way to get your dog comfortable around new faces. 

 

Even if your neighbors don’t have pets, getting everyone acquainted is still a good idea. That way, your dog won’t bark or become visibly uncomfortable if they see someone coming toward you. Often, apartment hallways are narrow, so there isn’t much room to spare.

When your neighbors know you and your dog, they won’t be quick to judge your dog as nervous or aggressive if they bark at them. If you have successfully introduced your dog to the other tenants, your dog may be happy to see them! 

Downsizing is becoming more common among homeowners looking to save money and maintain a smaller space. Although it might be more of a challenge for your dog to adjust, it’s worth the time and effort to get them on a new routine.

With the right tips and tricks, moving to an apartment has clear benefits, even in a daunting housing market.

So, tell us, have you recently downsized with your dog? Are you planning on moving into an apartment? Let us know in our official Porch Potty Facebook group

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