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What Is House Sitting?

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  • Written By: Jacob Queen
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 15 March 2014
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House sitting is staying in someone’s home and watching over things while they are away. In many cases, people may need to leave town for some reason, and they may not feel comfortable leaving their house empty during that time. In situations like that, a house sitter can come in and watch things. House sitters are often asked to take care of plants, pay bills, and watch over pets. It’s also pretty common for house sitters to take care of the yard work while the owners are away.

When looking for someone to handle house sitting, people are usually worried about finding a person they can trust. Many people prefer to bring in a relative or someone they know very well, but sometimes that isn’t possible. There are services that put people in touch with potential house sitters, and some people go this route. In some cases, it is possible to find someone that will do the house sitting for no charge.

Many people take on house sitting jobs as a way to avoid paying for a residence or as a way to take vacations in different locations for free. In those cases, they will usually handle the work for nothing. There are also people that can be paid to take on house sitting jobs, and they might be willing to do more work or take on more significant responsibilities.

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When people are trying to decide which kind of house sitter to use, it’s generally important to consider the kinds of things that will be expected in terms of responsibility. It may also be a good idea to ask for references. When people allow a stranger to stay in their home for an extended period, they will generally want some kind of minimal assurance that the person is reliable.

Someone taking on the job of house sitting will generally need a good, solid list of guidelines before being left to handle things. Sometimes owners forget to make everything clear before leaving their home in another person’s care, and then they may be disappointed when they find that things weren’t handled properly. It’s also usually a good idea for owners to make the rules of the house clear and not assume that the house sitter knows exactly what kind of conduct is expected. For example, if someone doesn’t want the house sitter to have parties in the house, they should probably mention that explicitly.

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Discuss this Article

backdraft
Post 3

Sabbatical house sitting is pretty common in college towns. Often, professors will go on sabbatical from their jobs and also leave the country to go do research. Many are gone for a semester or more and don't want their houses to just sit idle.

I actually got free board for an entire year in college because I house sat for a professor that had gone on sabbatical. We had developed a good relationship over the previous two years and he trusted me enough to let me live in his house for free for almost 10 months. It worked out for both of us.

ZsaZsa56
Post 2

How can I find house sitting jobs? I have always thought that this would be a lot of fun and a great way to make some extra money but I don't have the first clue of how to find this kind of work.

Is there a house sitting service that I can get hired on with? Do I need any special training or certification to make myself a more appealing candidate. And what kind of house sitting rates can I expect if I ever do manage to break into the industry? Thanks for the tips guys and if you happen to need someone to watch your house let me know.

chivebasil
Post 1

I have been a house sitter on several occasions and let me tell you that it is not as easy as it looks. People typically think that house sitters just sit around someone else's house and eat up their food, watch their TV and sleep in the guest bedroom. They think it's going to be like a free hotel.

But typically the people who use house sitters have very nice houses that they care a lot about that also need regular maintenance and supervision.

I sat at a beautiful house in Malibu one summer and there was work to be done everyday. I had to tend to the garden, watch after their pets and also supervise some minor renovations that they were having done. The home owners also required me to send them regular reports including pictures. It was kind of overkill but it was their house and they were paying me handsomely.

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