In today’s down economy, plunking down the money for travel expenses can be a luxury for those on a fixed income. Retirees who now have the time to enjoy the time off from the rigors of a full-time job but wish to travel can do so as a house sitter. Caring for someone else’s home in their absence offers the opportunity to travel without the expense and hassles associated with booking a hotel along with the cost of dining out in restaurants.
As a house sitter an individual can live rent-free in a home anywhere an opening occurs. Besides keeping a watchful eye on the house, occasionally homeowners may ask the sitters to perform any number of tasks. A house sitter can take in the mail, take care of a homeowner’s pet or keep the garden fresh. Some homeowners will even pay sitters in addition to allowing them to live in the home rent-free but typically this is just a straight swap luxury homes in miami.
The Benefits of Having a Professional House Sitter at Your Home
An unoccupied home is a target for vandalism. An occupied home is least likely to be targeted so this gives the homeowner peace-of-mind while they are away.
Sometimes homeowners have pets which need to be cared for and if a retiree is a pet-lover, as many are, homeowner’s pet routines are not disturbed when their proprietors travel. So the homeowner has the assurance that someone is available to care for their animals.
Many house sitting opportunities are wide-open in large cities such as Los Angeles, Chicago and New York where well-to-do homeowners often travel between more than one residence. So some house sitting jobs can last for entire seasons although the average sitting time is 1 week to 4 months.
Experience not required but good references are a plus
House sitting is ideal for retirees. There is no need to take a class or pay for house sitting training and since many retirees are homeowners themselves, this experience alone is just enough to become a house sitter. Some homeowners may ask for references but again, for a retiree, this is rarely an issue at all. House sitting is not physically demanding. Depending upon the location of the home, a car may not be required to get around or one may be provided by the homeowner for the sitter’s use.
Once a house sitting contract is signed between sitter and homeowner that spells out specific details and instructions, the sitter can travel the area and not have to pay for a hotel or extra meal expenses that can be associated with travel since there will be a home to return to.
If a retiree owns a pet, in many cases the animal companion can house sit too! Often sitter’s pets are welcome, which of course saves the sitter the kennel fees often associated with pet care when someone travels. House sitting can include families and spouses of the sitter so sitting opportunities at many locations is not limited to the single house sitter. But all of these details are worked out between the home owner and house sitter at contract time. A sitter can request pet-friendly or child-friendly only homes when looking for the right house sitting opportunity.
Good house sitters who are reliable and take care of the home for which they are in charge can obtain an excellent reputation. Many good house sitters are called upon time and time again. As time progresses, and word travels that someone is a reputable house sitter, this business can become quite lucrative. For a retiree, this is an opportunity to supplement a fixed income. And house sitting can be ‘like’ a vacation particularly if the home boasts any number of resort-like amenities such as a pool, a home theater, a sauna, tennis courts, an ocean view or use of a boat or a vehicle.
Comparing the cost and inconvenience of travel particularly to expensive cities, house sitting is an economic and desirable option to travel on a budget. With the right credentials a sitter can earn better paying jobs in nicer homes and more desirable or popular neighborhoods. So if you are interested in visiting Los Angeles, the possibility exists that you could house sit in upscale areas such as Beverly Hills, Malibu or Santa Monica for example. Some people house sit professionally for celebrities!
How can you get the word out that you want to house sit?
Although you can begin by placing an ad in the newspaper where you want to house sit, there are websites devoted to matching house sitters with home owners. House Sitters America is one such site where sitters pay a nominal annual fee of $30 to post an advertisement for US-only locations.
Another option is to house sit for homes which are for sale and unoccupied. ShowHomes which is a home staging company decorates a home and then hires a home manager to live in the home while the residence is on the market. Homes which are occupied tend to sell faster than an unoccupied home. A home manager, as ShowHomes refers to their sitters turns on the lights, keeps the air conditioner running, sweeps up the leaves on the porch and just keeps the place looking clean and lived-in for perspective buyers.
So if you are looking to do some traveling but do not quite have the funds for the trip, consider house sitting. It is a great way to see the world without the added travel expenses.
Contact me if you wish to discuss other ways a boomer or retiree can enjoy the next stage of your life without breaking the bank.
Take some time to write down the answers to the above questions. Remember, there IS no right or wrong answers. By writing these down, it can become evident very quickly what areas you need to begin to work on right now.