One of my favorite ways to travel and live cheaply is house sitting. Some of you may have heard of house sitting or even jobs that are considered house sitting positions, but house sitting is much more than just staying at someone’s house. It is a place to live. The opportunity can be a paid opportunity. Most importantly, it can save you money on housing while traveling the world.
When I lived in the states, I always did house sitting or pet-sitting gigs. Friends would ask me to house sit or even be their dog sitter. It was fantastic to get away from my apartment and live in someone else’s house and to be able to play with some pets as well. Maybe you have hired someone to house sit or have done it yourself. It is a good time, but make sure you leave the house better than you left it.
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What is House Sitting?
House sitting is staying or watching someone’s house while they are out of town or away. This can be done by either staying at the house or even checking in at the house at different intervals throughout the day.
People ask for house sitters to protect their house from burglars or even to have people watch their pets.
I once house sat for ten days at a man’s home and fed the feral cat outside. My duty was watching over the place while the family was off in Europe. The cool part is that you can get paid to do this as well.
Sometimes house sitting is a part of dog sitting. Dog sitting was one of my favorite side hustles. I had a few good clients that always trusted me with their home and their dogs as I cared for both of them. Enjoying a side hustle makes life fun because you want the work and get paid.
Why Become a House Sitter?
House sitting allows you to have free accommodation like living rent-free. This will enable you to have a place to stay without paying for any additional accommodations. If you are traveling, you can look up different websites that offer house sitting as something that you can look into.
The other thing that may be great is getting paid to house sit as I said before. This is something that is often overlooked. People can get paid a small sum for their efforts to house sitting.
House sitting allows you to see new places, experience new things, and discover a slower pace of life. When traveling around, people will want to see places fast because of lack of time. If you are house sitting, time moves a bit slower. You can enjoy the scenery and a town longer because you know you have committed to staying in a place longer. The time to enjoy it is great when you are a Nomad. Sometimes being around other travelers can get exhausting.
House sitting does have some great perks. You may even create new friendships out of the house-sitting experience as well.
How to Become a House Sitter
A few steps would make house sitting a much easier step into this new adventure.
1. House Sit for Friends and Family
First, it would be ideal to see if you would like a house sitting in the first place. If you can learn how to take care of friends and a family member’s house, you will know how to take care of other people’s homes.
Learning and practicing can help create new skills for you to share when you are house sitting.
Working with your friends and families’ homes also allows you to gather many different references to help secure a future house-sitting job.
These opportunities will allow you also to get testimonials on how you took care of a home.
2. Sign-up With House Sitting Websites
Now is the time to start signing up for all the house-sitting websites. Signing up allows you to have profiles and see all the opportunities open to house sitting.
Here are a couple of house-sitting websites that you can get signed up for and register on their websites.
- trustedhousesitters.com ($129 annual membership fee) This has a lot of European house sitting opportunities, but it is gaining some momentum in the U.S. and Australia. They also are an excellent way for homeowners to connect to those who like to do pet care, such as dog sitting or watching over some cats.
- housecarers.com ($50 annual membership fee) There are many good spots to house sit, and they reach Australia, New Zealand, and the U.S.A. Due to some issues with the organization and even the website it may not be the easiest to apply for or even navigate.
- House Exchange– ($150 annual membership fee) It offers over four hundred thousand homes worldwide with plenty of opportunities to house sit.
- Luxury House Sitting ($25 annual membership fee) They connect homeowners with luxury homes to house sitters and even pet sitters to take care of their beautiful homes while away. It is a great deal because you get paid and stay in a beautiful home. Looking for a house that is in luxury, look no more, just sign-up. What more could you ask for?
- House Sitter– One more platform that can help those that need a house sitter. Homeowners can reach out to potential house sitters sometimes; the house owners will even post different chores they may want, such as lawn care and pet care. With these perimeters, you can choose which house you would like to stay at.
3. Create a House Sitting Profile
It is time to create a house-sitting profile for yourself. A profile can enhance the chances that you will get accepted by the homeowners.
Some things that you should include in this profile should be things like your experience level. A homeowner wants to know if you have had experience. They want to know that you will take care of their home, giving them some peace of mind. That is why in step 1, you should practice with friends and family to get plenty of experience.
Add any other skills like working with pets or even special skills like gardening, lawn work, and even speaking a different language can help.
Of course, make sure that you have optimism and enthusiasm reaping from this profile. It helps ease the homeowners into knowing that you will effectively take care of their property.
The homeowner wants to walk away from your profile, knowing that you are dependable. Their house will be in good hands. If needed, you can take care of their dogs and cats.
4. Quickness in Job Responses
Some of these homes will be a must-get for some people. They could be luxury homes or even have better pay. The quicker you are with responses, the more likely of a chance you will have to score a tremendous home-to-house sit. When the opportunity arises, be sure to take advantage of it.
You can start by signing up for email alerts to help you get the job opportunities quicker.
5. Be Ready for An Interview
With every job comes an interview. House sitting is no different. So when you are getting ready or even prepared to do some house sitting, be prepared for an interview.
Having experience and reference letters to help you with your interview allows you to have a better profile ready to be accepted for the job. They may ask for a criminal background check to have you checked out. They may ask for qualifications for any other chores or duties.
If there is a pet, you may be introduced to the pet beforehand. There may be some time for bonding with the pet and possibly some pet walking or other duties like cleaning a litter box.
That is why it is so important to gain some experiences with friends and family.
Tips on How to be a Good House Sitter
House sitting is all about taking care of someone else’s property. That may not seem so tricky, but think about it as your property, and you want to make sure it is taken care of.
Then you will also want to leave the house or property better than when you left.
If there are pets, then be able to take care of them, play with them, feed them, and love them. A happy pet makes a comfortable home.
- Make sure the house is clean and kept tidy.
- Spend time with the pets
- Do any errands that are needed
- Take care of the lawn if asked
This is a dream come true. So have fun with house sitting.
House sitting sounds like a dream job. You can travel the world and live in beautiful places around the globe. The ability to go and see new homes has heightened with these skills you may have gained with practice. The savings from house sitting can be significant.
Many people who are into travel hacking tend to enjoy doing house sitting. It allows them to travel cheaper and more extended. That is a huge plus to those trying to save money while traveling.
Remember, as we do house sitting, we need to be mindful of how we leave the house. Leave the house as you found it, or even better. Clean it, protect it, and take care of it. This is not your property, but it is a property and potential new reference for your next house sitting.
If this sounds like an excellent opportunity for you, it is time to sign up for house sitting. Find a house, look after it, and have fun with some furry friends and other new friends on the way. Travelers will enjoy the ability to stay at some great homes.
Is house sitting right for you?
I’m Steve. I’m an English Teacher, traveler, and an avid outdoorsman. If you’d like to comment, ask a question, or simply say hi, leave me a message here, on Twitter (@thefrugalexpat1). Many of my posts have been written to help those in their journey to financial independence. I am on my journey, and as I learn more I hope to share more. And as always, thanks for reading The Frugal Expat.