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10 Things to Know About Housesitting



Imagine, for a moment, being lucky enough to have properties scattered across the globe. A villa to call home on a trip to Spain, for instance, or a condo to crash in when you jet off to Tokyo. How about a mountainside cabin for those Rocky Mountain ski getaways? There’s a new travel trend that offers the next best thing: housesitting.

Housesitting has come a long way since the days of watering your Aunt Gertie’s flowers while she was off on holidays. Today, housesitting can take you virtually anywhere in the world, living rent-free and soaking up a totally new lifestyle. If this sounds good to you, keep reading: we’ve got the scoop on getting started as a housesitter.

Start Here
The first step to housesitting is figuring out if it’s a good fit for you. The most coveted house-sitters are exceptionally clean, extremely responsible, and excellent communicators. They are reliable, have flexible schedules, and are open to experiencing new things.

Find a Site
There are more than a few housesitting sites out there to match sitters like you with homeowners worldwide. Certain sites cater more to particular countries or continents, so do a little browsing to maximize your options. Popular housesitting sites include Mind My HouseTrusted Housesitters, and the Caretaker Gazette.

Build a Profile
Homeowners are understandably going to be a little choosy in selecting their home-sitter, so build a profile that will wow ‘em. Talk about yourself (and your family, if they will be housesitting with you). Discuss your experience with housesitting, your housesitting goals, and any special skills you might be able to offer, like gardening skills or farming experience.

Provide References
Somewhere along the line, the homeowner is going to request references. If you have glowing housesitting reviews, then you’re good to go. If you’re new to the world of housesitting, build your references by offering to housesit for friends and relatives who already know and trust you.

Start Browsing
It’s time to do a little window-shopping! Start browsing for potential opportunities that fit your schedule and interests. Check back often and if you see something you like, don’t wait to apply. Housesitting assignments get snapped up quickly, especially in popular travel locations.

Read Carefully
Before applying, be sure to read the homeowner’s description in detail. Most housesitting assignments involve taking care of a pet. Some require that you have your own car—an important detail in rural areas where public transit is not an option. Know what you’re signing up for.

Ask Questions
If the posting doesn’t have the details you need, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Housesitting is usually free, but sometimes a homeowner will require that you cover utilities during your stay—better to find this out ahead of time than after the fact. Going in with the right expectations is crucial for a positive housesitting experience for both you and the homeowner.

“Meet” the Homeowner
The homeowner is likely situated many, many miles away from you, but a virtual meeting or a phone call can go a long way in getting acquainted and building trust.

Over Deliver
If you’re lucky enough to nab a housesitting gig, go above and beyond to impress the homeowner—happy homeowners provide references, and good references mean more future assignments. Complete your duties as required, leave the place spotless, and don’t be afraid to contact the homeowner if an issue arises.

Live the Life
Housesitting offers an exceptional opportunity to truly live like a local. Use housesitting as an excuse to check out a random city. Plant your roots in the local community. Get to know the neighbors. This is the future of traveling!

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