Housesitting is a booming popular trend worldwide, so what exactly is housesitting?
An increasing number of home owners are not comfortable leaving their homes empty when they have to travel for an extended time. Having a housesitter is one way of combating potential problems. Criminals and would be thieves will avoid a home if someone is in residence. Plus having someone full time in the house helps avoid any issues arising from frozen pipes & power outages.
A personal example of this is a recent housesit, within 10 minutes of arriving we determined that the fridge was not working, the breaker had tripped, we reset the breaker only for it to trip again. We tracked down the problem and reset the power. Two potential problems were solved, the kettle which had a slow leak, shorting out its base was a potential fire hazard and the tripped breaker if not found and reset would have meant throwing away $100’s of fresh & frozen food. Many insurance policies will not pay for this type of damage if the home has been vacant for over 72 hours.
A housesitter therefore is someone who stays in a home and looks after it and any pets while the owners are away. Typically there is no exchange of money, although some housesitters do charge a small fee for their services and sometimes do jobs such as painting while the owners are away.
Is an easy question to answer, how else would you be able to slot into a new community, a new country or a new lifestyle for just the cost of getting there?
For us it has been and is a truly amazing experience, since we started our “Great Escape”……. We have been fortunate to stay in a beautifully restored Tuscan farmhouse; we never tired of the astounding 300 º view, which shifted with the change of light and day. A small Casita in Spain with a fully enclosed private garden with pool, a working vineyard near Montpelier in France & a 15th century house near London, England!
No cramped hotel rooms or suites can compare to being able to enjoy a fully equipped complete home, with the added advantage of local knowhow and connections. Most homeowners are very willing to share the best places to shop, eat and visit!
The best part though has to be our charges, some of our house sits had no pet responsibilities and overs had what might seem an overwhelming amount……. Such as 2 dogs, 2 cats, 4 chickens and 3 chicks! If you genuinely like animals which we do it is not onerous at all, in fact it is a lot of fun, especially when the dogs take you on their favorite walks and the cats snuggle up for some quality lap time.
There is of course a serious commitment on your part to take care of the pets and the home, if you have agreed to feed them twice a day, then guess what…… your schedule has to revolve around that commitment. The owners of course want you to stay in the house every night which means that you are limited to day trips only, which meant that any planned trips would be early starts so that we could be back in time to feed our charges, it also meant that we usually missed the hordes of tourists who usually arrive later in the day.
The reality is that in many of the places we have housesat we have enjoyed being there so much that being there to fulfill our duties is not onerous at all, quite the opposite in fact.
These are the two Housesitting sites we use to save over $20, 000 a year in accommodation costs: