These homes are set apart by their amenities — for dogs.
Standard Pacific Homes is building and selling homes in 190 developments from Florida to California and is believed to be the first to offer a pet suite as an option in every one.
The most lavish suite is a 170-square-foot pet paradise with a step-in wash station, handheld sprayer and leash lead; tile walls and floors; a designated drying area with a commercial-sized pet dryer; a water station; automated feeders; a large bunk-style bed; cabinets for toys, treats and food; a stackable washer and dryer; a French door that opens to a puppy run; and a flat-screen TV set.
Standard Pacific, based in Irvine, Calif., decided to offer pet suites after conducting livability studies with homeowners. Pets were a constant theme, said Jeffrey Lake, vice president and national director of architecture.
"Devotion to pets is second to none," he said. "They are family."
The American Pet Products Association reports that 68 percent of Americans own pets and contribute to an industry worth more than $55 billion annually.
Real estate officials say building homes designed to cater to pets is a new concept but remodels for pet owners have been available for some time. Adam Cowherd Construction in Ozark, Mo., installs pet-friendly additions to homes. Cowherd said he recently finished a job that had an open shelf on the end of a kitchen island to hold pet bowls.
Melanie Dean lives with her family near Dallas in a Standard Pacific home with a pet package for their dog, Lola. Lola's room "makes life much easier," she said."
"We don't have to use the kitchen sink to wash yucky stuff anymore," she said.
Standard Pacific Homes' newest community, called Avignon at Blackstone in Brea, about 25 miles south of Los Angeles, features homes that start at $1.3 million. The pet spa option adds $35,000 to the price, Lake said. Pet washrooms can also be used as multipurpose mud rooms, which may attract buyers.