Social Engagement: Medium
What’s What: Homeowners all over the world need someone like you to look after their house and possibly pets while they’re away on vacation or extended assignment. In exchange, you can stay in their homes for free. It’s a great way to travel, make new friends and save a ton of money.
Amava Take: Interested in opportunities to experience culture, history, and community all over the world? House sitting is an amazing way to get to know a place in a deeper way and make closer personal connections. Assignments can be as short as two weeks or as long as six months and there are many different housing situations to choose from.
From the Front Lines:
Who would enjoy this job?
People who are friendly, flexible, pet-friendly and calm. You don’t get paid, so you should either have money to live on or work remotely.
Are there special qualifications?
House-sit duties vary widely depending on what the homeowners are looking for. It helps to be a little handy since things can go wrong in a house.
Any tips to get started?
Join a service and create a great profile so you get the best match for your personality and desires. Be prepared for a background check and interviews. The more flexible you are about when you can travel, the faster you can pack your bags.
From the Trenches:
What’s the most satisfying part of the job?
The ability to live like a local in a new corner of the world.
How would you describe the hard parts?
Dealing with unexpected housing repairs or weather-related problems.
What’s the most memorable experience you had?
I learned how to speak French while teaching neighbors how to speak English. Three of us started unofficial afternoon tutoring sessions that became potluck suppers and field trips. We’re all now great friends.
Special requirements: Depending upon where you go and how long you’re staying, you may need a visa. Additionally, some networks require you to sign a contract. Most have a trust badge system, wherein if you submit to criminal background checks and provide information about yourself, they’ll list you as a trusted house sitter, which increases your chances of being chosen to housesit.
Finding a Position: The best way to find opportunities is to join a network. Nomador.com (free or $89 USD annual fee) has the highest number of house-sits in Europe and is growing worldwide. TrustedHousesitters.com ($130 USD annual fee) is heavy on UK and European house-sits but is also gaining ground in Australia and North America. MindMyHouse.com ($20 USD annual fee) has house-sits primarily in North America and Europe. Housecarers.com ($50 USD annual fee) has house-sits in Australia, New Zealand, and North America. This article in U.S. News & World outlines the different ways people approach house sitting in retirement and House Sitting Magazine explores more how-to tips.