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How to Get Started House Sitting

How to Get Started House Sitting

How to get started house sitting is a lot less daunting than you think. Sure, there are some specific items that homeowners require before you will be considered such as police background checks and references. But once these are covered it has more to do with your confidence, adaptability and life experience. How you portray these skills to a homeowner is one of the keys to starting your house sitting adventure. And just to let you know, we have been where you are now. To help get you started on your house sitting adventure, we have put together some general ideas about house sitting and some ways to determine if a house sitting lifestyle is right for you. Maybe check out here Why Go House Sitting to learn of some of the great benefits. So, how do you get started house sitting?  

Who can be a House Sitter?

Well, anyone can be a house sitter. If you are a traveller, a homeowner who loves to travel, a pet lover or someone looking for an alternative lifestyle from renting or homeownership. Have you considered house sitting? Generally, an adult of 18 years and older can get started house sitting, but of course, it is entirely up to the discretion of the homeowner as to who they accept. When we first heard of the concept of house sitting, we were busy working the 9-5, paying the mortgage and taking the annual holiday each year. The idea of a homeowner inviting a complete stranger (us) to take care of their home, precious possessions and pets, piqued our interest to learn more. Was a house sitter a service, a job, rent-free accommodation, or something else. Whatever the title people associate with house sitting, our next step was to learn as much as possible to understand if we could be house sitters. Understanding why you want to be a house sitter can vary among individuals and their needs. For us, we wanted to travel and live life like a local. For others, it may be saving for their first home or wanting the comfort of adorable pets, not allowed where they currently rent. If you are still a little unsure of your reason, then take a look at this post to clarify your Why Go House Sitting. Your next step is to make sure you understand what is housesitting.  

What is House Sitting?

House sitting matches people leaving their homes for a period, with sitters who stay in that home while the owners are away. Often, but not always, there are pets to look after, and mostly no money changes hands. You can learn more here What Is House Sitting? So, what’s in it for the homeowner? A homeowner gets the security of their home lived in, their gardens tended, and their pets looked after. And for the house sitter? Well, rent-free accommodation, and the opportunity to stay in a different location. House sitting is a win/win situation, knowing both the homeowner and the house sitter benefit from the agreement. And for us? We were liking the house sitting information we were reading and thought “we can do this.” Did we feel we had the trustworthy factor? Yes. Were we confident enough to take on a house sitting assignment? Yes. There was only one way to prove it to ourselves. We needed to experience being a house sitter. And this is how to get started house sitting.  
How to Get Started with House Sitting

The pool and house, Castle Hill, Sydney Australia. One of our first house sits

What experience do I need to become a House Sitter?

The most valuable experience you can have to become a house sitter is a life experience. Homeowners want people they can trust to complete a house sitting assignment for them. A homeowners concerns are the wellbeing of their pet and the security of their home. They need to know their pets will be cared for and loved. And the greatest financial asset is their home, so it is vital they are confident of the maintenance and security of their home while they are away. It is why they are looking for house sitters. Your life experience is a good indicator to a homeowner of your ability to be a great house sitter. Pet care may include walking dogs, grooming, feeding, administering medication, nursing, or even tending a tortoise as he awakens from his 6-month hibernation. Generally, there are other tasks requested which can include watering plants, maintaining pools, mowing lawns, cleaning. Tasks you would generally do to keep your own home or flat neat and tidy. We felt we had the life experience, the trust factor, we loved pets and caring for pets, plus we had landscaped and maintained gardens for our own home. So what was the next step?

Try House Sitting for Friends

House sitting for friends is a great experience and will give you an appreciation of what attributes you need to have to bring to a house sitting assignment. Now don’t be tempted to house sit just for your Mum or Dad, who love you dearly and would probably turn a blind eye to some of your escapades. When house-sitting for others, it’s your credibility that is being critiqued. House sitting is more than just popping around to leave some pet food in a bowl, or ensuring the windows are secure. Yes, a homeowner could get a neighbour to help out, but as people’s lives get busier and when we often don’t even know our neighbour, house sitting is the ideal solution for home security and pet care. Just be aware of the tasks required by the homeowner. House sitting can require caring for pets, keeping to their routines, and offering love and attention. So, this becomes the priority to work around your daily routine. It can also mean watering plants, mowing lawns, and many other usual tasks to maintain a home. Making the pets and home the priority will ensure you feel confident that when handing them back over to the homeowner they will be satisfied, and they will give you a good review.

Don’t be Shy – Ask for References

When house-sitting for friends and colleagues, remember to ask them for a reference when they return home. It might feel a little weird to you, but just let them know you are considering house sitting in your hometown, maybe in your native country or even internationally. But don’t stop there. Let your friend know you will send them an email request for the referral. And in your email provide some question prompts for your friends, to help them understand what relevant information is needed to ensure you receive a great reference. And remember, these references are gold when you start to apply for house sits with total strangers.

Where can I find House Sits?

When we first started house sitting, our first house sits were for friends. Some friends asked us directly, others put a request on their Facebook page, and other friend requests came via our friend’s friend. Another great source of house sitting assignments is from work colleagues and your social network. We know of some workplaces where notice boards advertise for a house sitter. It certainly makes the meet and greets so much easier. Of course, the main source of the new house sits we now complete come via dedicated house sitting websites. You can read more on House Sitting Websites Reviews to give you an indication of the house sitting website locations and the subscription costs available to a homeowner and a house sitter. We have found, once you get started with house sitting, word of mouth and great reviews of your experience will see you getting asked to repeat house sits and receiving requests to house sit.

Thinking of house sitting overseas?

The options to travel with house sitting can open up so many opportunities to visit and experience the culture of life in Europe, Asia, Oceania and the Americas. As house sitting is becoming an alternative way to travel, being prepared with an awesome profile and house sitting references, is one of the best ways to get started house sitting. If you would love to experience House Sitting in France, then here is a link to Nomador, a house sitting website. They offer great advice on How to Get Started with House Sitting in France. If you have always wanted to see more of America, at a cost suited to your budget, then check out house sitting assignments at House Sitters America.

Ready to Get Started House Sitting? 

  Your profile is your first impression to a homeowner, and it must stand out from the crowd. You’re competing with a wide range of people like retirees, digital nomads, lifestyle travellers and locals. So, tell them something about yourself and give them the confidence to add you to their shortlist. Make your profile informative, well written, engaging and honest, but not too long. Like the job application process, a good profile will get you to the interview stage.

It’s Time to Write Your Profile

Go House Sitting has put together a FREE Profile Checklist to help you create your house sitting profile. Or perhaps you want to improve your current profile to get more of those luxury house sitting assignments. Either way, Go House Sitting is here to help you write an engaging profile.  

To create and improve your Profile, click below to receive our FREE Profile Checklist.

And join us in the Facebook group with any questions.
What Homeowners Look for in a Great House Sitter

What Homeowners Look for in a Great House Sitter

What homeowners look for in a great house sitter is important when applying for house sits.

To understand what homeowners look for when they advertised for a Housesitter, we approached a number of Homeowners for their feedback.

This is what they had to say, in their own words…….

Owners of two dogs in a small French village

We were looking for fit people who enjoyed walking and who had an empathy for dogs.

Also it was important that they didn’t mind living in a rural area far from the delights of city life.

As we walked for over 2 hours a day anyone who looked like this was possible for them was considered. We felt that there had to be at least a couple so that if anything happened the other person was able to help.

i was a little worried that our house was not considered ‘modern’ enough for some people and knew that it was important that transport was available for the sitters.

We have used home-sitters a few times over the years as we like to travel and we are always a little anxious taking our pets out of their home environments. Home-sitters seemed a good solution to us – our pets would be able to stay in their own home, plus we would have the security of having someone in our home whilst we were away.

Owners of a Dog and a Tortoise in a UK city

We decided to change from a house sitting site that paid their house sitters, to a site that no money changes hands. Our main concern was the cost – very little of which went to the home-sitter. Given the day-rate charges we were looking at adding thousands of pounds to the cost of the holiday.
When we started using online services our major issue was having to take a sitter on trust. Obviously with the old offline method the company concerned vetted the sitters; online it was all down to us and our judgement!

We selected on the basis of:

  • Availability
  • Commitment to the task (we had several applicants who saw this as a great way of sight-seeing all day – not great for our dog!)
  • References
  • Knowledge of the local area was not essential but an obvious plus
  • Experience with other sits
  • Experience with dogs (and indeed tortoises!)
  • Experience with life (we had one or two lovely younger candidates but we weren’t sure if they could manage in a crisis, plus several were really using the sit to look for work – see ‘commitment’ point)
  • We favoured a couple – for the same reason (they could help each other in the unlikely event something went wrong)
  • Simply – whether we liked them (we did face-to-face interviews over Skype)

Family in an English village with two dogs and a cat

When we go on holiday my dogs have never stayed in kennels, they are used to having freedom in the house and garden, and would hate to be shut in. Kennels can be very noisy. One of my dogs can be quite anxious and I think would be very unhappy in kennels.  This is why I prefer to have house sitters.

The key things I was looking for in a house sitter were reliability to arrive and depart when agreed, experience with dogs and cats, a liking for animals, the ability to manage a large dog, willingness to look after the house too, people I felt I could trust.

I did have concerns that I could be let down, that the pets would not be cared for properly, that the house would be damaged.

I  was really looking for house sitters who had past experience with animals, travelling, house-sitting, references, and the opportunity to skype.

Also, it was really important the house sitter had the ability to walk the dogs regularly, especially a large dog, that can pull. I turned down an offer from an older lady due to this.

English Couple in rural France with two dogs

When we advertised, it was primarily for someone to look after our 2 dogs whilst we were away as we didn’t want to put them into kennels again. I guess the obvious and main concern was trust, letting strangers into our home and entrusting them with the care of our dogs, which was why we looked carefully into the vetting process undertaken by the house sitting website.

Once we were satisfied with that, we advertised and had several responses. The things that appealed to us about the couple we selected were;

  • they were are a couple rather than a lone sitter,
  • they had their own transport and could make their own way to our home,
  • they had good reviews,
  • their back-story, professional backgrounds and reasons for sitting were clear and appealing

We had the opportunity to Skype (and on that call we noted that they had taken the time to remember the dogs names, which sealed the deal!).

A lesser reason – but one which did contribute to our decision – was that they don’t charge for sitting, and it wasn’t so much the cost saving, it was their non-financial motivation for doing what they do which appealed to us.

Couple in a small English village with 4 rabbits

We wanted a house-sitter as we wanted our rabbits to be looked after in their own home rather than putting them through the stress of a boarding home. We also liked the idea that our home would be lived in and kept safe whilst we were away.

We wanted a sitter/s who had some experience with animals and would be attentive to their needs. We were keen to have a sitter who was physically active and not afraid to get their hands dirty as the cleaning of their large runs requires some physical effort and agility!

We wanted someone who was trustworthy and reliable and would put the animals needs first, but we did not expect the sitter to stay in all day. We wanted someone who would also enjoy the local area and what it has to offer to make it an enjoyable experience.

We wanted a sitter who communicated well, and who was genuinely interested in looking after our pets and home rather than just free accommodation. We also wanted a sitter who would keep our home (and the bunnies home) clean and tidy and respect our home. The ability to do some background research is also helpful e.g. googling the person to ensure they are genuine.

We were turned off by free range hippies and wacky pet healers! No reviews or not so good reviews. Also people who asked to invite grandma, uncle Jim and aunt Lilly too, we felt this was overstepping the mark a little.

What made the difference in our selection was being able to communicate with them beforehand and talk through needs and whether the sit is for them. Some people assume a rabbit just sits in a hutch all day and requires little effort whereas the reality is they are just as hard a work as other pets.

Family in an English town with 2 dogs, 1 cat, 1 parrot, tropical fish and pond fish

We wanted house sitters in order to keep our dogs and cat at home. From the great response we had we finally chose our house sitters . Why this particular couple? Well they were a couple which I preferred. We kept in touch as soon as dates confirmed.  The references provided were excellent and many house sits under their belts.

Arriving the day before we left our home was a good way of getting to know each other and leaving the day we arrived within the hour was brilliant. I like to walk into an empty house (my preference) as I find you have to turn into a host on your return. We just wanted our home and animals to be cared for the way we take care of them.

Updates and photos were always welcome. The more the merrier for me.

By choosing the correct house sitters is having peace of mind through your holiday.

One of things that put me off one couple was all they were interested in was speedy Wi-Fi, this made me think that they weren’t interested in my animals. Also, another put off was house sitters not responding in an appropriate time .

How to Choose a House Sitting Website

How to Choose a House Sitting Website

How to choose a house sitting website that meets your expectations and offers available house sitting gigs, requires some investigation.

To help you choose a house sitting website, we have researched the websites listed below. Fees to join range from USD20 to USD120 per annum for house sitting memberships.

Take some time to explore as many as you feel you need to, asking yourself some of the following questions

  • How easy is the website to navigate? Do they make it easy for you to search by location, by dates, by house sit length?
  • Are you looking at house sits in one particular country, or are you seeking wider international opportunities
  • What is the cost of membership? Is it worth paying more if the site offers more opportunities?
  • What is the ratio of a house sits to house sitters? Some sites show you the number of applicants for each house sit.
  • Do you prefer a website that offers a more personalised service?
  • Do they offer additional support such as email alerts?
  • Is there a free trial offer?
TrustedHousesitters.com — The largest house sitting site on the web, and also the fastest growing. It has a lot of UK and European house sits and is also growing in Australia, New Zealand and North America.  We have used this site to get most of our European house sits.  They are the most expensive (US119 annually for both House Sitters and Homeowners) to join but do have a large support team to provide backup.

They have a comprehensive Trust and Safety system with three levels of verification: Basic, Standard and Enhanced.  Verifications include criminal background checks, I.D. verifications and I.D document checks.

Click to receive 20% off your membership

MindMyHouse.com — Has a good number of house sits, and a well laid-out website. House sits are primarily in North America and Europe. They have the lowest annual price for membership at US20 for House Sitters, and it is free for Homeowners.    Mind My House
Housecarers.com — Plenty of good house sits with a focus on Australia, New Zealand, and North America. This site has been in operation since 2000, making it the longest running site we have seen. They have a free limited membership option for House Sitters where you can be notified of house sits, but to apply a full membership is required at US50 per annum. Listings for Homeowners is free.  House Carers
Nomador.com – This site has a heavy European bias owing to its French origins, but has now a large number of international locations.  There is also a “Discovery Option” available for FREE which allows new house sitters to apply for up to 3 assignments. We also like the ‘Stopover’ feature which allows homeowners to offer free accommodation for house sitters in between house sits.  Full membership is US75 per year and free for Homeowners to list.  Nomador
HousesitMatch.com – This is a relative newcomer with the feature of having two different levels of membership for each House Sitters and Homeowners – Basic and Premium. The company prides itself on the personal touch and a team member calls all new homeowner subscribers to help with on-boarding and to share tips for building a compelling profile. Most sits are based in the UK and Australia, but more international locations are being added as the business grows. Membership – Basic £49 US65 per annum and Premium £79 US105 per annum.  House Sit Match
There are a number of country specific websites including:
Kiwihousesitters.co.nz – Focussed on New Zealand house sits, and they had a good amount of house sits when we were looking to book house sits in New Zealand. An annual membership is NZ84 (US60)  Kiwi House Sitters
Aussiehousesitters.com.au – The largest house sitting site for Australia. Very much a sister site to Kiwi House Sitters with the same website layout. Annual membership is AUD84 (US62). Aussie House Sitters
HouseSittersAmerica,com – Focussed entirely on the USA. A very similar layout to HouseSittingUK. Annual house sitters membership is only US30 per annum and is free for homeowners. House Sitters America
HouseSittersUK,co.uk – Focussed entirely on the UK. A sister site to HouseSittersAmerfica. Annual house sitters membership is only £20 per annum and is free for homeowners. House Sitters UK
We hope this has been of help to anyone thinking of house sitting. If you have had some experience housesitting, please share in the comments. You can read about some of our housesitting experiences here Our House Sits

Why Go House Sitting?

Why Go House Sitting?

WHY GO HOUSE SITTING? This question is easily answered if you enjoy helping others, adore pets, have a love of travel, and are excited to experience new places to live.

House sitting can offer you a lifestyle where you can even save for a new home or a lifestyle of living like a local in a small village. And for homeowners, house sitting has become a new way to have security for their home with personal carers for their pets.

So, why Go House Sitting?

House Sitting can offer a new way of living, a new way of travel and a change in lifestyle at any age of your life journey.

If you are unsure of what House Sitting is, you can learn more here by clicking on this article What is House Sitting?

Here are a few reasons why

Go House Sitting is a Popular Lifestyle at any Age

Go House Sitting is an Alternative to Increasing Accommodation Costs

Hotel and Airbnb accommodation is becoming more expensive when travelling. And if living in large cities, rental accommodation costs are on the rise. These are some of the reasons people are turning to a new style of living and Go House Sitting.

For younger people who are saving for their first home, house sitting is an option to use while they save for a deposit. Imagine working in a large city and not having accommodation costs.

And if you adore pets and your rental landlord doesn’t, then house sitting can have the bonus of caring for pets, often not allowed when renting.

Is this sounding good?  Then house sitting is your perfect choice.

Live Like a Local with Go House Sitting

Perhaps you have dreamed of life in Italy, enjoying the beauty of France or exploring the countryside of England. Or experiencing the traditions of America, with wonderful cities in Canada or the warmth of the Caribbean and Mexico.

Is Asia calling you to enjoy its wondrous flavours of food? Can you see yourself living in countries like Vietnam, Thailand or Malaysia?

As a house sitter, all of these countries and many more can become a reality to visit, live and explore.

Securing an international house sitting assignment can give you exciting experiences and when you Go House Sitting you can live like a local.

Go House Sitting as a Lifestyle for Freelancers

With the increase of Digital Nomads or Location Independent Entrepreneurs and Freelancers, the opportunity to work while caring for a house and pets makes house sitting the ideal lifestyle.

Without the financial worries of home ownership, landlords and utility bills, to Go House Sitting is the ideal solution for a lot of younger adults.

House sitting is becoming a lifestyle of choice.

And, for us older ones, to Go House Sitting is a way of starting an early retirement or even a gap year.

Making the decision to rent your home or even to sell the house is liberating. For one thing, decluttering is so liberating. Freeing yourself of responsibility will allow you the opportunity to escape the 9-5 and enjoy a lifestyle with a difference.

You can read more of our story here at TravelKiwis.

Reduce Costs of Pet Care with House Sitting

Getting a house sitter or using kennels or catteries?

With the low cost of house sitting versus the expense of housing loved pets in kennels or catteries, homeowners now have an alternative to engage a house sitter to care for their pets.

The advantage for the pets, is they get to stay in their environment and with their own routine.

Homeowners can then relax knowing their pets will be more settled, eating their favourite foods, enjoying treats and sleeping on their comfort rugs.

And for those homeowners who have pets like rabbits, horses, chickens or a tortoise, there are many house sitters ready to help.

How to Enjoy House Sitting Worldwide

TV documentaries, magazines and now the internet, has made the world so much closer. Where to travel, how to spend longer in one country, experiencing different cultures, needs time and money.

So how can you see more of this beautiful world?

As house sitting is becoming a worldwide opportunity there are now many websites offering homeowners a platform to showcase their home and pets needing a house sitter.

To learn more about the various house sitting platforms, click here House Sitting Websites.

With house sitting growing in popularity, homeowners need to be aware that there is competition to secure the in-demand house sitters.

For a homeowner, knowing how to attract quality house sitters to their home and areas outside of the popular towns and cities, a great profile is a necessity.

Are you ready to create an awesome Profile?

Just click on the link below for your FREE Profile checklist.

Choosing a House Sitting Platform for you

Since we decided to Go House Sitting, we have seen an increase in the number of house sitting platforms connecting the homeowner with the house sitter.

Our first house sitting assignments were for friends in our home country of New Zealand and for friends who had moved to Australia. We found this trial a great way to help us in our decision to see if house sitting would suit us.

Choosing the right house sitting platform is important for your experience.

House sitting platforms act as the go-between the homeowner and the house sitter.

Therefore the right one is important.

Here is a selection of various house sitting platforms for you to compare.

Just click to learn more here on House Sitting Websites.

Travel for Longer on a Reduced Budget with Go House Sitting

House sitting is the win/win for both the homeowner and the house sitter.

Homeowners no longer have to worry about paying expensive kennel fees or catteries. The money that would have been spent, can now be spent on making their travel experience better. Maybe a private sightseeing tour, an overnight stay in New York, are just some of the possibilities.

House sitters no longer need to book hotel or Airbnb accommodation. The money saved can now be spent on extending their travels, enjoying a wonderful candlelit dinner on The Seine in Paris, are just some of the possibilities.

What a great win/win.

Can a Homeowner Go House Sitting?

Homeowners can be house sitters too.

What better way to experience life in a French village, a Spanish festival, the warmth of the Caribbean or the beauty of New Zealand. Whether planning for a two-week vacation or a month-long stay, house sitting can work in favour of a homeowner.

Homeowners make wonderful house sitters as they understand the expectation of caring for a home. And if they also are pet owners, they know the care they would expect for their pets.


So Why Go House Sitting?

We believe the option to Go House Sitting will provide house sitters and homeowners with a win/win for both. The cost savings are significant for each while providing a wonderful alternative for pet care and accommodation.

If you are ready to learn more about Go House Sitting, we have a Guide to House Sitting to help you along in the process.

Just enter your name and email address below to download your FREE Guide to Go House Sitting.

What is House Sitting?

What is House Sitting?

If you have ever asked the question “What is House Sitting?” you are not alone.

Even Wikipedia has a section on “what is house sitting”.

You may be asking yourself:

  • Is house sitting only looking after pets?
  • Do you have to stay in the owner’s home while they are away?
  • Does it entail going to the house daily to feed pets and clear mail?
  • Will you have to check if the property is secure?
  • Can you look after a home (without pets)?
  • Is the service free or is it a paid assignment?

So, What is House Sitting?

House sitting is a mutual agreement between a homeowner leaving their home and pets for a period of time, with a house sitter who comes to live in their home while they are away.

The homeowner makes their home available for a house sitter to stay rent-free in exchange for care of the homeowners’ pets and property.

The house sitting arrangement (or assignment) can be formal (with an agreement) or informal. This depends on the combination of responsibilities between the homeowner and the house sitter.

What is House Sitting?

Relaxing with Marcie in Cambridge, UK.


House Sitting – paid or unpaid?

There are two types of house sits – paid and unpaid.

For paid house sits, there is a formal agreement between the homeowner and house sitter. The agreement is often drafted by a third party organisation that bought the two parties together. In fact, there are two agreements:

  • one between the company and the homeowner, and
  • one between the company and the house sitter.

So, the house sitter is effectively employed by the company for these house sits.

In unpaid sits, the homeowner and house sitter reach an agreement between each other regarding expectations for the house sit. Generally, no money changes hands, although gratuities may be given.


What does a House Sitter do?

House sitters usually stay in a homeowner’s house while the owner is away. They are often nomadic lifestylers, travellers, semi-retired or retired who understand the responsibility of the role.

Depending on the agreement between the homeowner and the house sitter, the homeowner will specify the responsibilities of the assignment.

For pets: feeding times, number of walks, medication, grooming.
For property: garden maintenance, pool maintenance, cleaning, house rules.

If there are tasks that are more than light maintenance and cleaning, a fair hourly rate should be negotiated.

What is House Sitting

Walking two Schafpudels (German Sheep Dogs) in Adendorf, Germany.

Who can be a House Sitter?

Any adult can be a house sitter, but of course, it is entirely up to the discretion of the homeowner as to who they accept.

We have seen young couples, singles, retirees and everyone in between take up house sitting as an option. All that matters is that the homeowner is confident the house sitter is trustworthy and responsible. They will be entrusted with caring for the homeowner’s major asset, their home, property and pets.

We asked a number of Homeowners what they were looking for when they advertised for House Sitters.

Click the button to find out what they said.

What should I expect from a House Sitter?

The house sitter’s responsibilities include taking care of pets, the house and the property in the owner’s absence.

It can include collecting mail, mowing lawns, general weeding and pool maintenance. As well as keeping the house clean for the owner’s return.

House sitters supply their own food and toiletries, though many homeowners leave supplies of these for house sitters to use. It is not unusual to have several days of food supplied by the homeowner. However, homeowners should supply items for cleaning and maintenance.

What should I expect from a Homeowner?

The homeowner’s major responsibility is to provide communication with the house sitter to ensure expectations of the house sitting assignment are clear.

These can include:

  • A tidy and clean house for the house sitter arrival
  • Leaving a list of requirements for pet care (including medications), as well as vet contact details
  • Providing a booklet on home appliances, rubbish collection
  • Identifying food items available to the house sitter
  • Return dates
  • Emergency contacts

Clear communication between the homeowner and the house sitter ensures expectations are met, no one is disappointed and a great relationship is formed.

How House Sitting can be so much more …..

For both the homeowner and the house sitter, house sitting is a relationship of trust. If a good relationship is established, it makes the arrangement between the homeowner and the house sitter fulfilling.

Homeowners will find their pets content and happy on their return home, and the house should be in the same condition as when they left it. House sitters get to spend time in a new location, with fur babies as company, while keeping a property secure.

The building of the relationship starts right at the application and interview stage. Being open and honest before the house sitting assignment begins, allows for peace of mind and enjoyment.

What is House Sitting?

Great friends we made in France through House Sitting.


What a House Sit is Not

House sitters are not expected to act as cleaners or gardeners to spring clean your house or tame a large garden. Or act as specialist pet carers for sick and infirm pets. Of course, this may be the case and needs to be clearly stated in the house sit advertisement.

Homeowners are not expecting a house sitter to treat their home as a free Airbnb, using the home as a base to spend hours each day away from the home sightseeing.

The House sitter’s primary purpose is to care for pets and ensure the property is kept safe and secure. Most homeowners expect the house sitter will spend a certain amount of time exploring nearby places, but a maximum time away from the pet should be stated.

Homeowners need to understand the house sitter is to care for their pets and keep their property safe and clean. They are not hired help expected to spend hours each day gardening, cleaning the property or other tasks, unless an hourly rate has been agreed.

Why go House Sitting?

House Sitting saves money – for both house sitters and the homeowner.

The main benefit of being house sitter is the accommodation savings that will allow your travel budget go further.

How would you like to:

  • Stay on the south coast of England for two months?
  • Spend 6-weeks exploring the white villages of Andalucía, Spain?
  • Live like a local in a small village in Italy?
  • Visit London for a month without blowing your budget.

As a house sitter, all these options can be a reality. In fact, we have enjoyed all these wonderful places and many more.

We have completed more than 60 House sits in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, the UK, Australia and New Zealand.

The main benefit for the homeowner is the money saved using a House Sitter instead of paying for kennels or catteries.


  • Your house is occupied keeping it safe and secure
  • Your pets stay in their own home keeping to their routines
  • You feel reassured with your arrangement with your chosen house sitter
What is House Sitting?

Enjoying the sunset with dogs in rural south France.

But what is the true benefit of house sitting?

It has to be the relationship developed between the homeowner and the house sitter.

When you care for a homeowner’s fur babies safely in their own home, it is a stress free alternative for both the homeowner and their pet. Their appreciation of seeing their pets happy and safe is priceless.

And having a homeowner trust you to care for their property and pets, offers a house sitter an authentic travel experience. You get to live like a local.

House sitting enables you to travel the world while looking after pets in a comfortable home.

To pay or not to pay for house sitters

We often get asked by homeowners new to housesitting, is there a fee for the house sit?

While there is a fee for house sitters to join house sitting websites, the exchange of services between the homeowner and the house sitter is a free service. It’s why we use a 25% discount with Trusted HouseSitters.

You can get paid house sitting assignments, but they come with heavy restrictions. 

We researched being paid house sitters but decided the small payment you received, did not compensate for the demands placed by the house sitting company. The majority of the money paid by the homeowner was not passed onto the house sitter.

The major differences are:

  • the non-paid house sits the contract is with the homeowner directly
  • the paid house sits the contract is with the house sitting company.

We prefer to deal directly with the homeowner.

As a result, we have made some great friends and have often stayed at home when we have been ‘passing by’.

And when homeowners appreciate the services of the house sitter, they may provide gratuities, gift baskets or dinner with the house sitter.

What does it Cost to be a House Sitter?

Membership of house sitting sites varies in cost.

The popular TrustedHouse sitters range from US$95-US$204 depending on the level of membership. Both the homeowner and the house sitter pay a fee to TrustedHouse sitters.

Other popular house sitting websites only charge the house sitter a fee.

Most house sits are free to the house sitter. But question the homeowner if they make requests for payment to cover utilities like power on long term house sits.

We have never paid for any utilities, and we do not feel we should as the savings for a homeowner are huge compared to the alternative e.g. pet boarding establishments.

If homeowners require specialist services, they may seek to hire a professional service, for example; window cleaners, spring cleaners or pet specialists, especially for sick pets.

Click here for a guide to some well known House Sitting websites.

Wrap Up of What is House Sitting

House sitting is a temporary arrangement between two parties – the homeowner and a house sitter. The arrangement is generally free for both parties.

Often, but not always, there are pets to look after. The house sitter, while caring for pets and the property, has rent-free accommodation. And often the opportunity to stay in a different location. Sometimes there are gardens to be tended, or pools to be maintained.

The homeowner benefits from having the security of their home occupied, with their pets receiving one-on-one care.

The arrangement is mutually beneficial where the owner entrusts their pets and property to the care of a house sitter for a period of time.

And open communication is the key to the relationship to enable the agreement of responsibilities.

House sitting is a rewarding role to care one on one for the owners’ pets allowing the homeowner to relax and enjoy their holiday. And the pets, they love staying home making their time with a house sitter stress-free.

It is a win/win situation.



Sign up here and we will send you a PDF about how to write a great profile that will secure your first house sit.