Q&A with a Reader
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I am very interested in this housesitting, anywhere.
Is this “club” yours? Tell me more.
House sitting has been around for years. These days it’s been organized into businesses of putting together homeowners with sitters and is a pretty good deal for both sides.
This isn’t our personal business – we hold memberships and the opportunities available have been astounding.
First, you join a house sitting organization, deciding whether or not you want to be a sitter, have your house available for sitting or doing both. Then you fill out your “profile” along with personal references, a police report if available and photos of who you are. If you are listing your home, you add photos of your house online.
If you are interested in sitting — you fill out the questionnaire selecting areas in the world where you would like to house sit and how long at a time you are meaning to do this exchange (long weekends? 2 weeks? a month? 6 months? a year?).
You also check off whether or not you are willing to watch pets. Lots of people have more than just dogs and cats, some have mini-farms with horses, ponies, ducks, goats and such. Some want you to garden, some want maintenance, and some don’t need a thing! You pick your parameters all the way.
That’s pretty much all there is to it!
When you begin to get matched up with home owners (or the other way around, getting matched up with prospective sitters) you correspond back and forth working out the details. This includes dates needing to be covered, what is expected of you (or them), all questions about transport and the availability of a vehicle, how far you are from amenities, shopping, the beach and the necessary particulars of daily life.
Because of our style of travel we are interested in long sits of several months or more, and we have been contacted for places in Mirabella, Spain, country homes in Italy (for a year!), garden “estates” in Costa Rica, even gorgeous places in Sedona, Arizona, homes in San Francisco or apartments/flats in New York City.
We have been promoting this opportunity to our Readers because we think it’s great for everyone involved. Using these services can save a lot of money for those who might want to travel and see more of the world without staying in a hotel. You can have more of a local experience by living in a neighborhood or right in the middle of an international city like Paris.
Memberships usually run about $50 for a year. What one saves in the cost of housing easily makes the fee worthwhile.