House Sitting has become a prominent feature on our nomadic itinerary.

It has allowed us to better immerse ourselves in the locations we visit while giving our bank balance a little rest bite from financing the cost of our accommodation as we travel.

We’ve looked after properties in 6 different countries over the last 2 years and have learnt a great deal not only about the locations we’ve visited, but also the many benefits of house sitting.

Each assignment has presented challenges which have allowed us to learn a range of new skills and although some, such as alpaca herding, may not appear on our employment CVs, all have contributed to our list of life experiences.

Having spent so much time living like a local and walking a mile in the shoes of people all over the world, we thought perhaps we might have a few pearls of wisdom that we could share with anyone contemplating applying for their first assignment.

As a house sitter there are certain factors which you need to consider, questions that you may have regarding the application process or perhaps a break down of exactly what house sitting entails.

We hope our handy house sitter FAQs will offer you some answers.

WHO CAN BECOME A HOUSE SITTER?

The simple answer is anyone.

There are no prerequisites and no regulations defining who is eligible to become a sitter. The only requirements are those laid out by the home owners to whom you are applying.

With that in mind ensure you apply for assignment you believe best suit your skills set and interests.

WHAT IS EXPECTED OF A HOUSE SITTER?

house sitter faqs

Again this is determined by the home owners to whom you are applying.

For the most part a sitter is employed to maintain a presence at a property, they may also be required to care for animals, fulfil certain household chores and property maintenance. In some cases they may even be asked to take on some gardening and DIY however this is to be agreed upon at the time you accept the assignment.

Each opportunity is unique and you should treat it as such. Take the time to talk to the owners to understand exactly what they require from their sitter.

WHERE CAN I HOUSE SIT?

Almost anywhere.

Many services offer an international portfolio of assignments meaning that it is likely that you will be able to apply for an assignment in the location of your choice.

If you are considering applying for foreign assignments read our handy guide to house sitting abroad and ensure you are aware of the additional considerations involved.

WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF BEING A HOUSE SITTER?

There are a number of benefits associated with house sitting.

FINANCIAL //

  • Whether looking to subsidise the cost of self-catered accommodation during your forthcoming holiday, or reduce the cost of your monthly expenditure on rent, the advantages are the same. Predominantly house sitters incur few or no costs during their stay.

SOCIAL //

  • House sitting offers the opportunity to build new relationships with individuals across the globe. The house sitting community is bursting with home owners from all walks of life and all four corners of the globe so you never know who you might meet.

CULTURAL //

  • What better opportunity is there to experience life in the locations you visit than to walk a mile in the shoes of an inhabitant? Try them on for size and spend time exploring their world. Never be a ‘foreigner’ again. We are often introduced to friends and neighbours who welcome us into the community and share their local knowledge.

WHERE DO I SIGN UP TO BECOME A HOUSE SITTER?

Take a peep at our House Sitting Guide for more details regarding becoming a house sitter.

house sitter faqs

DO I NEED EXPERIENCE FIRST?

Experience is great but not vital, everyone has to start somewhere.

Take the time to construct an informative profile and detail your motivations for becoming a sitter. Source character references from your current landlord or employer.

The key to securing an assignment is to demonstrate to the home owner that you are the perfect match for their advertised requirements. Decide what ‘type’ of assignment you feel you would be most suited to and tailor your profile accordingly.

WHAT INFORMATION DO I INCLUDE IN MY HOUSE SITTER PROFILE?

Your house sitter profile is effectively an employment CV so treat it as such.

Maintain a professional tone but allow your character to shine through. Focus on attributes you feel best highlight you as a suitable candidate but be transparent about any circumstances that may inhibit your ability to accept some assignments.

For example if you are terrified of reptiles or allergic to cats it might be advisable to draw attention to that fact. In the end it will save both you and any home owners considering your application a lot of time in wasted correspondence.

For more information read our guide to creating a successful house sitter profile .

WHERE CAN I HOUSE SIT?

This is really down to your itinerary and personal preferences.

If you are totally flexible then apply for every assignment which you believe you can competently and confidently commit to. If you have some set dates and preferred locations then search using those criteria and don’t get distracted by assignments you are unable to take on.

Don’t forget to keep track of which home owners you enter into discussions with. As soon as you commit to an assignment inform any other home owners you had applied to and update your availability on your profile.

AM I GUARANTEED TO GET AN ASSIGNMENT?

house sitter faqs

The short answer is no.

No one is ever guaranteed to secure the assignments they apply for. Much like when applying for a job you will be competing against others who have similar qualifications.

The best course of action you can take is to construct a comprehensive house sitter profile, read the advert and understand the home owner’s needs. Following this take the time to craft a tailored application letter detailing exactly why you are the perfect candidate.

WILL I GET PAID?

When completing your house sitter profile this is something you will be asked to stipulate.

You can opt to charge for your services however we have decided not to. We believe that we increase our chances of securing the assignments we desire by offering our services for free.

Remember that if you do choose to charge for your services and you accept an assignment in a foreign country, you will need to apply for the relevant working visa.

WHAT COSTS ARE INVOLVED?

As with all other aspects of house sitting this is unique to each assignment.

Expenses that you can expect to incur may include but may not be limited to;

  • Utilities such as gas, electricity, water and internet
  • Maintenance of the property ie plumbing, repairs, pool maintenance etc

We have found that most owners only ask their sitter to pay utility costs if they are in the property for longer than a month. However some choose not to ask their house sitters to contribute anything. You must ensure you discuss this with the home owners before accepting an assignment.

Always ask the question ‘What financial responsibilities will I have during the assignment’.

CAN I HOUSE SIT WITH MY PETS?

This is at the discretion of the home owner and will most likely be determined by whether they have their own pets and allow animals in the house.

Should you desire to travel with your pet be sure to discuss this with the home owner and make your intentions clear in your application.

WILL I HAVE TO SIGN A CONTRACT?

house sitter faqs

Some home owners find it beneficial to sign a short agreement detailing the responsibilities passed over to the sitter and any agreements made prior to their departure.

If presented with a contract / agreement read it th

oroughly and don’t be afraid to voice any concerns or suggest amendments.

WHY HAVEN’T I HEARD BACK FROM A HOME OWNER?

Very often home owners are inundated with applications so do not be disheartened if you do not receive a response.

Should you wish send them a short ‘did you receive my application’ message to prompt a reply then do so, however don’t forget to focus your energy on applying for further opportunities in the meantime.

We have signed up for daily email alerts and make a point of applying for an assignment as soon as we see the listing. In our experience it is those we apply for promptly with which we have the most success.

WHAT HAPPENS WITH CANCELLATIONS?

It is a fact of life that plans change and life’s little surprises sometimes land on our doorstep. If you find yourself unable to honour a commitment alert the home owner immediately to allow them to source a suitable replacement.

If you find yourself unable to attend at very short notice do try and work with the owners to find a replacement. It may be that a member of your family or one of your friends can cover you but present this option to the home owners so they can approve your representative. Don’t just send them in blind.

You may find that it is the home owner cancelling last minute. If you have booked and paid for flights or transport with their knowledge, talk to them about the possibility that they could assist you with the financial burden.

If you are contemplating becoming a house sitter and your question or concern has not been covered in this guide then please feel free to contact us. We would be more than happy to share our thoughts and experience with you and would be thrilled to add the additional information to this guide.

✈ ✈ ✈

What are your thoughts on becoming a house sitter? Will you be signing up and house sitting in properties all over the world?

Share your comments with us below.

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18 Responses

  1. Jessie Broad

    Hi Charli :)
    You are inspirational! I love your blog already :)
    I had never thought of house sitting as a feasible long term answer, but you really make it seem like the way to go. My question is, do you go from one assignment to another? Or what do you do in between? My partner and I are beginning our travel plans (HOW?!?!?! Lol) and trying to kind of figure out the logistics. Do you live off savings in between and for getting to the next place?
    Thanks heaps for all your great info – I look forward to reading a lot more!
    Jessie

    Reply
    • Charli Moore

      Hey Jessie, thanks for your comment! Ben and I try to incorporate house sitting assignments with periods of travel. We find a balance of the two works really well for us and we love arriving at a sit after a month or so on the road just as much as we do when we leave a sit to travel again. Sometimes we do schedule assignments back to back, it depends on the location, cost of travel in-between etc. We do have some savings and investments which keep us going day to day but we also pick up freelance work to top up our fund. Wishing you guys the best of luck with your plans and travels. Just shout if you want to chat in more detail.

      Cheers, Charli
      Charli Moore recently posted Dive Sites That Will Inspire You To Save Our SeasMy Profile

      Reply
  2. Jenna

    Hi Charli, good to see other people spreading the word about house sitting! We did Our first house sit in Thailand in July, and loved it. We can’t think of a better way to save some money and have a break from hostels. We aspire to have a house sitting profile like yours, if we can get as many as you two in the next few years we’ll be happy people! Jenna
    Jenna recently posted Discovering Penang: China House, George TownMy Profile

    Reply
    • Charli Moore

      Asia is somewhere we’d love to house sit. To date we’ve been so fortunate in our application successes, we’ve met some great folks and now have good friends all over the world! I’m pleased to hear you’re enjoying your house sitting adventures!
      Charli Moore recently posted Insights From An Expat In TaiwanMy Profile

      Reply
  3. Jay Nixon

    Hi

    Great site. We started Pet sitting full time 8 months ago. 10 fantastic pet sits later and we have never looked back. We love it.

    Reply
  4. Angela Laws

    Great article Charlie, house sitting’s the ONLY way we travel. Five years, five continents, too many homes and four legged furry kiddies to count and amazing new found friendships all when we’d retired and thought life would become TOO normal …. not a chance we have more requests than we can manage, cloning’s the answer, have they perfected it yet?

    Reply
  5. Dag

    Hi! I just want to know if you can get a job while you are house sitting. Kind regards!

    Reply
    • Charli | Wanderlusters

      Hey Dag, Thanks for your question! There are two things you should consider if you’re looking to get a job while you house sit.

      The first is to discuss your intentions with the homeowner and ensure they are comfortable with you being away from the property each day. Many assignments are advertised because the owner would like a presence at their home for the majority of the day.

      The second is to find out what visa requirements are put in place regarding employment for visitors to the country. It is likely you will have to apply for an employment visa if you are not a native.

      Hope that helps!

      Reply
  6. Kate | 30Traveler

    Now that we’re actually traveling, housesitting is seeming more and more appealing. Would be great to have a month or two of no rent to top up the budget.

    Reply