If you’d love the chance to stay in exotic homes all over the world then house sitting could be perfect for you.
It’s not going to make you a millionaire. But, if you enjoy travel, have a passive income and would like to see more of the world then it is something you may want to seriously consider.
If you’ve never heard about house sitting before, take a seat whilst I explain everything you need to know.
How does house sitting work?
House sitting generally means you’re expected to look after the owner’s property whilst they are away.
Your tasks may include basic security, some light maintenance and looking after the family pet.
Usually you wouldn’t be required to do anything more that a couple of hours work per day. The rest of the time you are free to explore the local area and take in the culture.
If you play your cards right you could even be residing in the luxury of a millionaire’s house!
Does house sitting pay?
Yes but it is usually low. £10 a day is a fairly common rate and in some cases there is no fee paid at all.
However, travel costs to and from the property are often covered and you wouldn’t be required to pay any accommodation costs.
Obviously with such low pay it is essential you are prepared to control spending. Think of the necessities you need every month such as mobile phone bills, beauty products and haircuts, so you can cut any unnecessary spending where available.
Do a trial run with friends
What better way to test the water than on friends and colleagues? It’ll give you a bit of experience in what tasks you’re required to perform from fixing a leaky gutter, security checks or walking the dog.
If you enjoy the experience then you can ask them to provide you with references for you to attract other potential clients.
If you decide that house sitting really is for you then you should start by registering yourself with a reputable agency or website.
They can hook you up with thousands of properties and owners all around the world.
Just as importantly they will be able to offer you sound advice on drawing up contracts with the homeowner. Covering things such as how much you’ll be paid, what happens if there are any breakages or damage to the property, your food allowance and what tasks you’ll be expected to do.
Make yourself attractive to potential clients
Be sure to take the time and put in the effort required to your personal profile. Include plenty of photographs of yourself, relevant experience you have had caring for other people’s homes.
What tasks did you undertake at previous properties? Pets, gardens, any language skills you have are all important things to include.
Most important of all, get references from reputable people you have sat for.
You must get a criminal record check. It’s not a requirement, however, with one you will give potential clients the reassurance and peace of mind that their property is in safe hands. Knowing you have been vetted by the police takes a weight off the homeowners mind.
Be as flexible as possible. It’s unlikely that you’ll land a millionaires luxury home right from the start, but just like any job, you need to build your CV and reputation. Once you’ve got a few under your belt those properties will become available for you.
Stay alert. It can be competitive out there and the best jobs tend to get snapped up quickly, so be ready to get in your application, especially if you have a dream location in mind.
Ask the right questions
Making sure you ask the homeowner the right questions before you agree to take on the job is imperative.
You need to be fully informed of the tasks you’re required to do, as well as practical matters such as local transport, use of the household private vehicle, distance to local shops and other amenities, internet availability and other vitals.
Come prepared to deal with any problems or emergencies that may crop up during your stay. Be honest and upfront with the owners about anything that happens.
House sitting is not suitable for people with too many responsibilities such as children, pets of their own or somebody who needs to know where the following month’s income is coming from.
Tolerance of other people’s eccentricities is also going to be required if you’re going to be good at house sitting.
OK I’m sold, how do I start house sitting?
There are some great reputable agencies that you can register your details with.
Trusted Housesitters: 01273 358769: Specialises in pet-sitting opportunities
Mind My House: Accessible international site linking homeowners and potential sitters
Nomador: Pet-sitting community site, with emphasis on free house-sits
Housecarers.com: Australian firm, established in 2000, with global coverage
Homesitters: 01296 630730 Covers many higher-end properties
If you have a passive income and the flexibility to travel when and where you like this would be perfect for you!
As a freelancer it is the opportunity to travel as you work and cut the costs of accommodation at the same time.
Have you ever done house sitting?
He is also a contributor to Clear Debt, ICOUNT Money and M1 Debt Advice blogs discussing all things personal finance.