Before we returned to Australia, I searched for another house sit to give us a base to work from as we house hunted and re-established ourselves here. We had a positive experience with house sitting last December, (click here to read that post) and knew it was a cheap and comfortable option worth pursuing, far better than expensive short term rental choices, or depending too heavily on family and friends.
This time, we again found something near to perfect for the dates we needed. The home we are currently ‘sitting’ is nestled between a koala sanctuary, a beautiful beach and The Coolart Homestead and Wetlands on the Mornington Peninsula. Gardens in the area are largely native, and there is an abundance of eucalyptus trees, banksias, wattles and she oaks, plus plenty of local fauna and bird life to fulfill my need to immerse myself in Australiana.
An added bonus is the lovable dog we have to care for in this beautiful and comfortable home.
I’d recommend house sitting to any expat returning to their homeland, or even if you’re at the other end of the adventure and have an upcoming move overseas, or interstate, or anywhere unfamiliar. House Sitting is a great way to experience an area and discover if it is right for you before you buy.
My brother and his wife also House Sit as an inexpensive way to holiday somewhere new and different. They’ve House Sat in Queensland, Tasmania, and England and are currently looking into another UK experience, as well as one in America. Each Sit has been a positive experience for them as well.
About House Sitting:
- There are many House Sitting sites online to choose from, so the best option is to Google House Sitting along with any specifics you want, such as a particular area.
- Depending on what your needs are, there is a fee for House Sitters to join these sites and I imagine those fees vary from site to site. We needed two separate House Sits within one year, so happily paid the annual fee of $95.00. Considering what the alternative cost for ten week’s accommodation would have come to, the fee was great value for our money!
- Naturally, there are safety measures to protect Home Owners and House Sitters. References are usually requested from House Sitters, and a profile of yourself is necessary. Understandably, if someone is going to entrust their home and pets to you, they want to know as much as they can about you before handing over the keys.
- The benefits work both ways. For Home Owners, the service is free and you have the security of knowing that your home is being lived in and cared for while you’re away, but it also eliminates the need to find suitable care for pets, something that can be both a trial and expensive. I imagine an even bigger benefit for the Home Owner is the reassurance they must feel leaving their pet/s in their own home which no doubt would reduce the animal’s stress levels.
House Sitting Sites (Click on the name to be taken to that page):
- Happy House Sitters
- Aussie House Sitters
- House Carers (International)
- Trusted House Sitters (International)
The first three focus on Australia, but I accessed them all from the UK. I’ve no doubt you will find many other sites unique to the country you live in, where ever that may be.
We chose Happy House Sitters mainly because we found the house we ‘sat’ in December via the email notifications I received of homes available in the area we were interested in. It’s free to join and receive email notifications, but the fee applies when you wish to connect with a Home Owner.
If you give it a try, I hope it works as well for you as it has for us.
If you’ve already tried House Sitting, I’d love to hear about your experience. Please comment below.
- First home buyers turn house sitters (newsmaker.com.au)
- Trying to be good travelers (nomadiccycling.com)
- Pay No Rent Working as a House Sitter and Reduce Your Credit Card Debt Quickly (expertspages.com)
- Nicole’s rent-free mission (rss.feedsportal.com)
- First Impressions of house sitting (tjpadventures.wordpress.com)