Wednesday, June 25, 2014

My foray into the realm of house sitting....

So back in November I decided that house sitting might be a great way to spend less money while residing overseas.  So, I joined, paid my fee, created a profile, uploaded photos, etc., etc.  So for a few months I would get emails, almost daily, from the site telling me there are people in Australia who need a house sitter.  I'd sent emails to 8 different people in response to their postings, but nothing had worked out.  Then out of the blue I had a man contact me about house sitting for them.  The house sitter he had scheduled had backed out and he needed me in May for about 7 weeks.  Several exchanges later I decide that even though the situation isn't ideal (mostly because it doesn't start in March, so I'd have about 2 months to fill somewhere), I'd be willing to do it.

So here I am, months later, nearing the end of my first house sit and I don't really have much advice to impart.  My biggest piece of advice is that if you're not a huge animal lover, you might want to refrain from doing a house sit that also involves pet sitting. I know that sounds like a no-brainer, and maybe it is...

Watching other people's animals can be difficult if you're not crazy into animals. Thankfully the animals I was watching weren't needy, but from some of the house sit postings I've read, many of them need special attention. I don't mind dogs, but being a neat freak I don't like having them in the house, and most house sits (including mine) have indoor dogs.  The postings often don't tell you if the dogs are indoor or outdoor, so you might want to check first.  Depending on the length of the house/pet sit I would also make sure that the home owners leave you money to purchase additional pet food (unless, of course, they've bulk purchased in advance).  I'd also suggest asking if a neighbor or friend has a spare key to the house just in case you lock yourself out or lose your key; and if they do, make sure you get their name and number.  At the end of the day patience, common sense and some emergency phone numbers should be all you need for a successful house sit.

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