I am increasingly getting asked a LOT how to find a house sitting job. Which I guess in my world is the equivalent of asking “who are you wearing?” I swear that no one is going to be asking me that unless there is a publication out there for skort aficionados (if there is – hit me up!), but I really do love getting asked where we find our sits. That means so many of you are considering exploring house sitting and I LOVE that!
There are just so many benefits to house sitting, for both the homeowner and the sitters. Pets can stay in their own environment where they are most comfortable, the homeowners don’t have to pay to board, and they have peace of mind that the maintenance and security of their home is being taking care of. As for house sitters, well there is the opportunity to take care of houses and pets in parts of the world that you might not have even considered. Want to take care of an estate in the English countryside or a finca in Spain? How about care for a cat in a loft in Brooklyn or perhaps in Chile? Or how about care for dogs in Thailand, South Africa or the United Arab Emirates? Those are just a few of the sits I saw listed today.
So with so many opportunities available and so many people asking, I thought I’d write a post to more broadly share this information instead of only corresponding with you guys one on one. In this post I’ll share how we secure our sits as well as a few tips, tools and suggestions for those of you who might be considering pet and house sitting. And for the rest of you, I’ve included some fun pics from our various house sits over the years.
Some people who house sit have home bases and might be retired or have flexibility with a job so they sit over the summer, during holidays or even just once or twice a year for opportunities that interest them. For us, and many other people, pet and house sitting is a full-time gig. We move from sit to sit and do this year round with no permanent “home” to return to. We are currently returning each year to the same sit in Mahahual, but when the homeowners return to enjoy the property and pups themselves, we use some of the following ways to find where we want to spend our time away from here.
Websites – There are a million and one (at least that’s what it feels like) websites devoted to house sitting out there. You pay a fee to join and then either list your sit as a homeowner or your profile as a house sitter (some people do both!). There are pluses and minuses to each website but here are a few that we’ve used at one time or another.
- Trusted Housesitters – This site offers the largest number of sits as well as the most diversity in sits. That being said, getting those sits from Trusted Housesitters can be challenging because while they have the most sits listed, they also have the most house sitters signed up and therefore the competition to get sits in desirable locations can be fierce.
- House Carers, MindMyHouse, Nomador (and probably even more that I don’t know about) – All of these are on a smaller scale than Trusted Housesitters, but they all offer house sits around the globe. And the bonus is they are all cheaper to join than Trusted Housesitters. There are fewer house sits offered on a day to day basis, but there also seems to be less competition for the sits.
- HouseSitMexico, HouseSittersAmerica, HouseSittersUK, HouseSitters (insert country here) – There are many house sitting websites that are dedicated to a specific country and are tremendously resourceful if you know what country you are wanting to house sit in. Sometimes we don’t know where we want to go, only when, so it can be limiting, but especially if you want to start house sitting close to home to get some experience and see if you like it, this is a great place to look.
Facebook Groups – As hard as it is to believe, Facebook is useful beyond being a place to take quizzes, post back-to-school photos or find out that one of your relatives is incredibly racist. There are a host of house sitting groups that sits are regularly posted in. Beyond that, there are expat groups for different parts of the world with members that might go back and forth between homes and frequently post for sitters. I’ve joined house sitting and expat communities for areas that we are in, or might want to be one day, and am amazed at how many sits get listed and filled that way.
Word of Mouth – And by word of mouth I mean ours as well as others. When we meet people for the first time our conversations will typically include mention of house sitting. We’ve learned over the years that many people are genuinely curious – and surprised – about how we are able to live this way. Some just want the logistics, others are surprised that it’s a “thing” and still others are on the lookout for house sitters of their own. And it’s that last group of people that we never know when or where we’ll meet, so we’re not shy about talking about what we do. We even had business cards made up so that we can pass those on as needed.
And word of mouth works. We were offered a long -term house sit on the island of Hawaii after bonding with a nearby table while watching American Football (we were the only people in the place pulling for the Kansas City Chiefs). Another time we were offered a house sit in the Philippines while watching a parade from a street in New Orleans (that’s a bizarre story that probably requires it’s own post). Point is, we talk.
And in addition to talking to people while we travel, we talk to people within the communities we house sit in. The majority of our house sitting over the last five years has been in Mexico. During those sits we have spent time getting to know other home owners in the area and so one house sit in a town has often led to many, many, many more offers.
These days, word of mouth is how we’re securing most of our house sits. But if we want to go to a region we’ve never been to or know no one, I get proactive and start searching and applying. We have found that having experience as well as excellent references leads us to some pretty incredible sits.
So that’s kind of the “how we house sit.” I could go on and on about the “why” although this should give you some idea.
I hope this info helps in some way for those who are thinking about house sitting, or even those who are looking for a house sitter themselves.If I didn’t answer your question, or this just led to lots more about house sitting, shoot me an email. I’m always happy to help people navigate this fun (although sometimes frustrating) world. And now I’m off to start searching where our next place is going to be. The world is waiting.