Our 5 Tips for House Sitting
1) Be open minded
Our first of our 5 tips for house sitting is, when you start looking into house sitting you will find that there are many options available from completely alternative homes to giant farm houses. You could be isolated in the Alps, crammed in a city apartment or even running a small holding. All of which offer unique experiences and have their pros and cons. Competition is tough so you really want to keep your mind and options open.
2) Be prepared to work
Most houses sits are not just a ‘free ride’ and many home owners will expect you to do the odd chores around the house or garden and I’m not talking about simply keeping the place clean and tidy. Some home owners will ask you to dig their vegetable patch, muck out their horses, gravel a drive or even contribute to a building project. This may sound more along the lines of work exchange programs but the difference is you have the whole time and place to yourself which most of the time is completely worth the effort. You have to weigh up your options and decide what the house sit is worth to you and how much you are prepared to do. It could be a simple as feeding a gold fish!
3) Shop around
Before you pay the annual joining fee on a house sit website, spend some time looking at what each site has to offer. There are many websites out there all offering the same service but have varied choice, varied competition and varying fees. Expect to pay an annual fee of £10-£100.
Remember, the better the choice the harder the competition, If you join one of the big boys which obviously has a high volume of traffic, remember to check it regularly for new ads and be first to respond.
4) Keep in touch
Number 4 in our list of 5 tips for house sitting; most homeowners want regular updates on how things are going. If you are looking after pets or farm animals, get in touch with the owners at least on a weekly basis to let them know everything is fine. It’s better that you contact them first rather than let them worry and have to contact you. You don’t want to put the home owner in a position where they feel like they have to keep pestering you.
Try to create a good impression and leave with a good reference for future house sits.
5) Commit a good deed
This is not compulsory (or else it wouldnt be a good deed, would it now?) but it certainly helps to maintain a good relationship with your home owner and could result in repeat house sitting plus a great reference. I’m referring to something you weren’t necessarily asked to do, for example; You can see that a door handle needs fixing, fix it. A flowerbed has become overgrown, weed it. A garden shed needs reorganizing, do it. Just little things that show you will go the extra mile to care for a home. Whilst in Spain, we plumbed in a washing machine and re-gravelled the driveway.
Thanks for reading our 5 tips for house sitting. If you found them helpful or have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below.
Happy House sitting everyone!