Tag Archives: House Sitting

5 Practical Reasons to House Sit (not one is a holiday!)

House and Pet Setting is a great way to find free accommodation, but it’s not only about traveling the world or taking vacations.

There are a number of other practical reasons why house sitting might be an option worth considering at some time in your life when your circumstances change.

Here are my top five suggestions:

Becoming an Expat

We don’t have to make huge, life changing decisions and long term commitments when services like house sitting allow us to test the water and acclimatise more gradually.

So, if you’re thinking of either temporarily or permanently residing in a country other than that of your citizenship, then house sitting gives you a great way to orientate yourself in a new environment.

It’s particularly difficult when relocating abroad to be sure that you’ve picked the best district to live in. If you organise a few consecutive house sits, you can compare the options and you’ll have immediate contacts. They might be able to give you invaluable advice about the best and safest residential areas.

House sitting is becoming popular around the world in many new previously unavailable countries. If there’s an expat community, there will likely be a house sitting community to cater for home owners who take extended trips home to visit family and friends.

Relocating to a new town or city

So you want a change of scene – a new town, city or maybe even a rural location. It’s stressful enough upping sticks and moving, so why add to the stress by rushing headlong into a long term property rental or house purchase before you know exactly what your new location can offer?

Signing up for a house sitting assignment will give you the opportunity to live in different parts of the town or city of your choice, so that you get to experience what there is on offer before committing long term.

But what about your stuff? Well remember that your accommodation will be free while house sitting so you’ll be able to afford to put your possessions into local storage. It’s likely that some of your utility bills and Wifi could also be free for a while.

If you have a dog to look after this will be a great way to meet the locals. My experience is that if you are walking a dog people will often stop and talk to you!

Completing a large project

Are you writing a book, creating a new online business, writing a dissertation, studying online or attending a long term course? Sometimes it becomes difficult to maintain focus in a familiar environment. It’s all too easy to pop round to the neighbours, invite friends over or simply cosy up on the sofa to watch a movie.

A great way to rekindle your enthusiasm and focus on a long term project is to settle into a new environment, away from the distractions of home.

This can be expensive if you turn to traditional options such as hotels and holiday rental properties. House sitting can give you the opportunity to take care of a property for an extended period of time, so that you can work on your project uninterrupted.

Lifestyle Living as a Global or Digital Nomad

There’s a growing community of people that have chosen to live a mobile, international lifestyle, travelling from one country to another without a permanent home or job.

My partner Ian and I belong to this category and we use house sitting almost exclusively as a way of experiencing different countries and cultures while making our living working remotely on the internet. It’s a liberating lifestyle and we are more than happy to give back to the house sitting community by offering our services to look after people’s properties, possessions and pets.

If you are considering opting out of mainstream society to become a global or digital nomad, then house sitting is a great way of finding free temporary accommodation within a homely environment.

Relationship breakdown

When a relationship or marriage breaks down you may find yourself in a difficult situation where both parties have no option but to continue living in one property together while trying to sell it.

When tensions are running high, it’s good to separate yourself from the situation. This gives you both the chance to evaluate the most practical options without continuing arguments or fallouts.

If one of you moves out to a local house sit, then it gives you the breathing space to deal with all the practical and legal issues, without the further expense of a rental property.

Of course you need to be of a sane mindset – house and pet sitting is a responsibility and you certainly don’t want conflicts to transfer from home to the house sit!


House sitting offers flexible options for living – if you want to find out more please check out our other articles. A great place to start is our website comparison that will help you get started, by subscribing to the best sites!

Best housesitting platforms

How to find the best house sit site

House sitting websites compared – If you are new to house sitting or pet sitting, then you’ve probably discovered that you’ll need to subscribe to a website to get access to assignments.

Which house sit website should I choose?

We compare house sitting websites and detail the best services provided. We review the top 5 international house sitting platforms and give links to some of the country specific sites in popular countries like the USA, UK, Australia and New Zealand.

  • Trusted House Sitters
  • Nomador
  • House Carers
  • Mind My House
  • House Sit Match

Without doubt Trusted House Sitters is the largest and most popular international house sitting website, with a wide range of assignments in countries around the world.

HOUSE SITTING WEBSITES COMPARED

All of the subscription costs are shown in USD $ unless indicated


www.TrustedHouseSitters.com

Operated Since: 2010
Price: $119 USD per year (special 25% discount offer – see link below)
Average Active House Sits: 1500 – 2000
Countries: International
Photo Upload: Yes 13
Video Upload: Yes
Reference Upload: Yes
Police Checks: Yes
ID Check: Yes (3 different levels of check available)
Facebook Group: trustedhousesitter
Twitter Page: housesitting

TrustedHouseSitters is the largest and most well known of the international house sitting websites. You will find house sits from all over the world, but they are particularly strong in Europe, Australia and the USA.

They have the most house sitting assignments to choose from. Although they are the most expensive, the huge choice will increase your chances of selection. Home owners are charged the same rate as house sitters for membership – this means that home owners are generally committed to the assignments they list, and less likely to be “testing” the water as can happen on some sites where home owners list adverts for free. If you want to join as both a house sitter and a home owner, the combined subscription is $149.00.

This website is also run as a professional business with a team of 26+ people including a 24/7 customer care team. The website has been improved and updated time and time again over the years.

There are a number of helpful filters, including the option to select house sits that are “family friendly”.

A possible downside for the “newbie” house sitter is that it might be more difficult to get on to the house sitting “ladder” due to the number of members. Make sure you set up “email alerts” and apply to house sits as soon as possible. Spend some time creating a stand out profile and video. Our advice would be to select an additional regional site to increase your chances of selection until you get established.

Definitely one to have at the top of your list. Some of our best house sits have been found through this platform!


www.Nomador.com

Operated Since: 2014
Price: USD $ 89 year / $ 35 qtr
Average Active House Sits: 500 – 1000
Countries: International, specialize France & Europe
Photo Upload: Yes
Video Upload: No
Reference Upload: Endorsements and badges (no external references)
Police Checks: Yes
ID Check: Yes
Facebook Group: nomador.community
Twitter Page: Nomador_Com

Nomador is newer to the scene but is already gaining ground on the three other most popular sites. This site was originally operated as a French house sitting site called Ilidor. Its French connection means there are still a lot of house sits in France, but the business is now truly global. So, international registrations are becoming much more prolific. We found the site a little more difficult to navigate in terms of pre-registration browsing, but once signed up it is full of great tools and helpful advice for house sitters and home owners alike..

The website’s modern design has a unique trust-based identity upload area for passports, driving licenses and other forms of ID. This identity check provides extra reassurance for homeowners. Your uploaded information is not shared and it is disposed of once the verification is complete.

Nomador also has a unique “Stopover” feature where home owners can register to offer free accommodation to members in-between house sits, or simply to build friendships. They also have a filter for assignments that are suitable for persons with reduced mobility. The ethos of the platform is to grow the sharing economy and build “community” – we think they have really succeeded with this!

The rate is the same for both home owners and house sitters. There is also a “Discovery Option” available FREE OF CHARGE which allows new house sitters to apply for up to 3 assignments. This free option extends to home owners too, but with some restrictions.


www.HouseCarers.com

Operated Since: 2000
Price: USD $ 50 year (free for home owners)
Average Active House Sits: 300-400
Countries: International
Photo Upload: Yes (14 images)
Video Upload: Yes
Reference Upload: Yes
Police Checks: Yes
ID Check: Being introduced (2017)
Facebook Group: housecarers
Twitter Page: housecarers

HouseCarers is another long-standing, highly rated international site, with listings in countries around the world. Definitely worth considering, and the website has had a major overhaul so the user interface is much easier to use and with more features than before.

They have a limited FREE TRIAL although you can’t upload photographs or contact home owners. You will get daily alerts so it could be worth a try just to see what you get offered. There is no charge for home owners on this site.

We secured our first long term sit of 2016 with HouseCarers. We looked after a beautiful luxury property in Australia, with a pool and a fabulous view! We were very happy with their service and the ease of use of the website.

We’ve also negotiated a special 10% discount for house sitters.

 


www.HouseSitMatch.com

Operated Since: 2013
Price: GBP £ 35 / £ 75 (basic and premium plans)
Average Active House Sits: up to 50
Countries: International but good for UK
Photo Upload: Yes – 2 on basic / 7 on premium
Video Upload: Yes – on premium plan
Reference Upload: Yes
Police Checks: Yes
ID Check: No
Facebook Group: housesitmatch
Twitter Page: housesitmatch

HouseSitMatch is another relative newcomer to the house sitting scene. Initially the site focused on house sits in the UK and Australia but new countries are being added all the time. Their strength in Europe is currently in the UK and Spain.

They don’t have so many house sitting assignments, but founder Lamia Walker, offers a very personal service and their current ratio of home owners to house sitters is only 1:1.5, so your chances of securing a house sit assignment are much higher.

The premium subscription is worth the extra money as you can load more pictures and a video. The website offers lots of great resources, has a new member chat facility and we’ve heard that this is a good website to contact if you are interested in family house sits.

Home owners pay the same as house sitters. There are often special offers in the Facebook group, so it’s worth checking there if you are thinking of joining.

We will be definitely be trying out House Sit Match when we return to Europe.


www.MindMyHouse.com

Operated Since: 2005
Price: USD $ 20 year (Free for homeowners)
Average Active House Sits: 200
Countries: International
Photo Upload: Yes
Video Upload: No
Reference Upload: Yes
Police Checks: Yes
ID Check: No
Facebook Group: not active since 2013 – use twitter
Twitter Page: MindMyHouse1

This is another good international website that gets regularly updated and improved. The site is inexpensive to join at USD $20 a year and so we would suggest it should be added to your top three as a matter of course. You’ve nothing to lose really at this price!

It has a good messaging system and a great search system with a useful map locator. There’s lots of relevant information to help you get started and they have some good downloadable resources. Home owners join for free.

House Sitting in the UK

It was tough leaving the USA and even tougher selling the RV, our home for six months while we traveled around the southern states. But now we were back in England looking forward to house sitting in Reading.

I had grown up close by, so it was interesting to see how Reading had developed from my memory of a dingy, soulless town into a vibrant, modern city.

We were looking after an apartment that overlooked a park and the River Thames, just a short walk across the bridge to the city center. We had no car but we really didn’t need one here as the we could almost see the train station from our balcony!

This is one of those house sits that nearly didn’t happen. We were scheduled to look after Karen’s country home and her dogs for three weeks while she traveled. But a personal issue meant that she had to cancel and so no longer needed a sitter. However, she knew that we were flying in from the US and that it was too short notice for us to easily secure another assignment, and so she offered up her second property that was in the process of being sold.

Our house sitting home in Reading
Our house sitting home in Reading

This is what’s so lovely about the house sitting community. On the whole, and I believe because no money changes hands, everything is handled on the basis of trust and respect. People don’t want to let each other down, and Karen was amazing in this respect. When we arrived at the apartment, she’d even stocked up the fridge for us and put the heating on. What great hospitality.

So what exactly is house sitting?

House Sitting is a trend that’s become extremely popular over the last few years. It’s now a recognized alternative to a regular vacation and a great accommodation option for longer term travel.

Some people (and we’re almost in this category), house sit as a way of life. It’s an inexpensive way to visit and live temporarily in different countries and cultures round the world.

Sunny morning on the River Thames
Sunny morning on the River Thames

Instead of leaving a house vacant, home owners use house sitters to care for their property, possessions and pets. This can be anything from a few days to a few months, or even longer. By registering on international house sitting websites such as Trusted House Sitters, you can choose properties all over the world to stay in free of charge!

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