Find out if having a house sitter is right for you.
With over a dozen different websites that connect house sitters to the home owners who need them, a new demand for the market has evolved. Connecting home owners with house and pet sitters has become easier than ever. You can go on a weekend trip or long vacation and leave with the piece of mind that when you return your home and animals will be in the same condition that you left them in.
Home in MN during the winter
While we lived in Minnesota, we learned first hand about leaving our home during the winter. It was always a point of concern that our sidewalks remain cleared after a heavy snow fall. Sure we could leave it up to the city, or hire someone, but the costs could add up very quickly. There had to be an alternative.
Enter the house sitter. Leaving your home and pets in the hands of a capable person, and knowing that all the little day to day chores will be tended to, offers peace of mind. Having your house occupied is also a major deterrent to thieves who might see an empty house as an invitation to have a walk through shopping spree on your tab.
House sitting is the practice whereby a landlord (or “homeowner”), leaving their house for a period of time, entrusts it to one or more “house sitters”, who by a mutual agreement are entitled to live there rent-free in exchange for assuming responsibilities such as taking care of the homeowner’s pets, performing general maintenance (including pools, lawns, air-conditioning systems etc.), keeping trespassers off the property, readdressing the mail, and in general, making sure that everything runs smoothly just as if the owner was at home. Source: Wikipedia
People who perform house sitting services have different motives and reasons.
This motivation is key for helping the home owner select the person or persons who will be performing the house sitting task for them:
- The vacation getaway – A house sitter may see this short term job as an opportunity to visit a town or location that they might not have even considered otherwise. By alleviating the home owner from the day to day tasks for a few days or couple of weeks, the house sitter is able to explore a nearby area or town for a minimal cost.
- The digital nomad – Often they seek long term house sitting assignments. These are people who love to travel and want to do house sitting on a full time basis. They will have a detailed resume and references from previous house sitting stints. When you are looking for a long term house sitters, two months or longer, try to find a digital nomad to fill this position.
- The pet lover – Loves to watch Fido or Whiskers while you’re away. This might be a young couple or older person that can’t or doesn’t want to have pets of their own. You might even be able to find a pet sitter living in your home town that is willing to check on your pet on a daily basis.
One of the most bizarre things that we’ve seen while flying is dogs and cats in pet carriers sitting out on the tarmac waiting to be loaded onto the plane. Once these animals are deaf from the noise of the planes and either frozen or baked, they are shoved into a very noisy compartment that leaves them completely in the dark. Not just figuratively but literally as well. Are they being punished? How long will they be there?
Leaving your pet at home with a regular routine is not only cheaper, but also much less stressful on your pet.
Having a pet sitter watch over your animals and continue in your place will be better for everyone at the end of the day. Our own little Lily has been happily living with Nick’s parents while we’re trying out the nomadic lifestyle.
Is Having A House Sitter A Win/Win Situation?
It would seem that everyone wins in this situation, but yet, home owners may still have reservations about moving forward with this arrangement. There is originally a big ‘leap of faith’ which you can help alleviate with good communication. Get to know the people that will be assuming your role in your home, and find out as much as you can about them. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Extensive descriptions in your and the house sitters profile and a willingness to respond to e-mails will help create a communication platform that allows you to get to know each other better.
Silke and I have had this personal blog for a few years now and have documented ourselves extensively.
This little slice of our lives that we put on display acts as a precursor to actually meeting us in person. The transparency on our part allows people to get a feel of who we are and a better understanding of our motivation for house sitting in the first place.
If you are planning a trip out of town and would like to enjoy your trip rather than fret about your home and pets, give house sitters some serious consideration.
On top of the services house sitters provide, you may also get to meet some really cool people!
2017 Update – We now offer our house sitting, pet & lifestyle services and to you. Send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more the different services we offer.
Have you used a house sitter, pet sitter or care taker in your home before? Let us know in the comments below.