If you have dogs, cats, or other pets in your family, you need to know several important facts when you're looking to buy a home. Some communities are more pet-friendly than others.

(On the end of this post we listed several Pet Friendly gated neighborhoods in West Palm Beach Metro area with links to their home listings).

Here are six questions to ask the realtor.

1. What are the local pet restrictions?

Buying piece of property, it's not guaranteed that your pets will be welcome there. Very often there are HOA or condo regulation restricting the pet size and bread.

Some developments restrict the number or type of pets you can have and rules how your pet must be restrained in common areas.

In condo developments, there is often a limit on the number of dogs allowed per unit, or even per floor. If you have a breed that tends to bark a lot find out if your HOA or city enforces any noise ordinances.

2. Do you need to have big yard and fencing?

Having a yard where pets can roam is amazing, but if you want to keep your pets out without the leash you need to have a fence—or build one. I’ve seen covenants that only allow underground electric fencing, restrictions on the size or materials allowed to install the fences. Most neighborhood covenants outlaw animals running, so if you’re looking for a country setting where you dog can run free, you need to look for community with no HOA restrictions or read them carefully.

3. Is the neighborhood have designated walking area?

For dogs, finding a location that's good for walks is important. That might mean being close to a dog park, dog run, trail, other green space and community with streets having sidewalks need to be considered. Cat owners should also think about the local wildlife. In some areas, proximity to a green space means being closer to coyotes and foxes.

4. Does the house have a pet-friendly floor plan?

If you're looking at a multilevel home, consider whether your dogs will be OK with the stairs, particularly as they age. When dogs get older, they can get joint problems that make it difficult for them to do steps. Open floor plan and tiled floors will be the best option for easy run and easy clean.

There are several pet friendly gated communities of single family homes in price range up to $400,000 in West Palm Beach metro area and one of the best are Capistara (no wait and number of pets limit), Andros Isle, Lakes of Laguna, Briar Bay, Nautica Isles, Olympia, River Bridge, Riverwalk, Terracina, Smith Dairy, Stoneheaven, Victoria Woods, Wellington Edge and Winston Trail.