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Pet parenting needs are pushing millennials to buy homes

Fido a key reason millennials are buying homes
Fido a key reason millennials are buying home... 01:32

People have all kinds of reasons for buying their first home. but when it comes to millennials, many are thinking about their four-legged friends first and foremost.

Paul Hughes from Little Rock, Arkansas, has dreamed for years about adopting a dog. "I met her and it was love at first sight," the 30-year-old said.

That would be Fiona, a 4-month-old pit bull terrier that Hughes found at a shelter. But before he made the final call to adopt her, he had to find the right location for his new family.

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"One of the biggest things was having a yard," he said. "I also wanted to have enough space for it to not be too cramped -- my previous apartment was so small."

When it comes to millennials getting ready to purchase their first home their reasons for buying are often different than they were for previous generations, and one of the key factors in making a decision is – yes -- a dog.

In a recent survey from Suntrust Mortgage, a third of millennials said having a better space or yard for their dog influenced their decision to purchase their first home.

Sam Lazar, a realtor at Triplemint, says especially in cities where owning a pet can make renting more expensive, dog owners may want to look at home ownership.

"Renting with a dog can become a more expensive enterprise, since buildings charge fees like pet deposits and pet rent, so you're actually paying a higher rent just to have a dog," she told CBS MoneyWatch.  

"If you're going to keep your pet and pay those premiums to own them in the first place, buying might be a better option for you," Lazar said.

Hughes admits he's had to adjust his lifestyle a bit since adopting Fiona, but says "without a doubt" it was well worth it. 

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