Travelling via Housesitting?

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VesperLynd
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Travelling via Housesitting?

Post by VesperLynd » Thu Feb 26, 2015 10:10 am

Have any of you tried travelled via housesitting? I just stumbled across an online group of people who do this and I had no idea how popular it is...

I like the upsides of an extended stay for little to no cost, but seems like a potential downside to being responsible for someone else's property.

Vesper

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avenger
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Re: Travelling via Housesitting?

Post by avenger » Sat Feb 28, 2015 6:38 am

Sounds like a total drag.

Nevermind the responsibility and potential legal ramifications (I speculate).
cheers ... -Mark | "Our life is frittered away with detail. Simplify. Simplify." -Henry David Thoreau | [3 fund portfolio: VTI, VXUS, SV fund (yield 3.01%)]

FredL
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Re: Travelling via Housesitting?

Post by FredL » Sat Feb 28, 2015 5:46 pm

Some documents say most of the house sittings require feed and walk the dogs. Home owners are usually hire through agency. They don't trust a total stranger while they are away. The agency will check your background.

redbeardman
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Re: Travelling via Housesitting?

Post by redbeardman » Sun Mar 01, 2015 6:24 pm

Last winter my wife and I signed up as house sitters and went off on a 5 month adventure thru Australia and New Zealand. The short story: It was great! We started by signing up with HouseCarers.com. Along the way we also joined TrustedHousesitters.com and KiwiHouseSitters.com. Each membership cost us about $50 but we were able to find 5 fantastic house sits, meet some great hosts and live almost like locals along the way. Caring for the pets was a bonus. Nothing gets you into the local scene faster than walking your dog in your adopted neighborhood.

Our adventure:
1. Dec/Jan: Bendigo, VIC, Australia: Pippa, Maggie and Keiko
2. Feb: Hervey Bay, QLD, Australia: Sarina
3. Mar: Waipapa, Northland, NZ: Olando, Pischa, Max,
Cloudy, Dirty and 60 Chooks
4. Early Apr: Russell, Northland, NZ: Yum Yum and Koko
5. Late Apr: Warkworth, Auckland, NZ: Milly and Tibbles

Before this house sitting trip, we've traveled to Morocco, New Zealand, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, China, Mexico, Guatemala and Belize using hostels, Airbnb and short term apartments. House sitting does come with some responsibility, mostly pet care. But we found the benefits to outweigh the costs. So much so that we have continued to seek out and accept new assignment including Ukiah CA, USA for September and Tombeboeuf, France for December and January.

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6miths
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Re: Travelling via Housesitting?

Post by 6miths » Sun Mar 01, 2015 7:43 pm

Wow that sounds fabulous.
'It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so!' Mark Twain

VesperLynd
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Joined: Tue Nov 20, 2012 1:09 pm

Re: Travelling via Housesitting?

Post by VesperLynd » Sun Mar 01, 2015 7:59 pm

Thank you redbeardman for sharing your experiences with housesitting - sounds positive! any specific tips to share? things to look out for, etc.?

Thank you. Vesper

FredL
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Re: Travelling via Housesitting?

Post by FredL » Sun Mar 01, 2015 8:12 pm


redbeardman
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Re: Travelling via Housesitting?

Post by redbeardman » Sun Mar 01, 2015 8:57 pm

Housesitting Tips:
The hardest thing is to get your first placement. Be ready to accept somewhere less than your ideal. No one is going to get that 3 month house sit on the coast in Southern France on their first try!

We managed to score our first housesit thru a personal connection while traveling in Mexico, several years ago. We accepted the job primarily because the host promised to write us a review in the future. When I started to plan our Down Under Adventure, I contacted the host and posted her review on our house sit profile page when I set up our account.

I've also heard that some people set up a profile page and apply for their first positions in their home city. This allows them to meet the host in person and goes a long way toward building trust and earning that all important first placement.

Be flexible. Our first Australian hosts lived about 10 miles outside town and the grocery store. We were concerned about being able to get groceries without having to rent a car. There was a bus that stopped at the bottom of the hill where they lived and ran into town. There was also a bike path and the hosts offered use of their bicycles. So we took a leap and agreed to the sit. We arrived a day before the hosts left. The next day before leaving, they handed us the keys to their second car saying have fun! They weren't ready to do that until after they had met us in person.

Be ready for a lot of rejection. We only hear back from about 10% of our applications. And most of those responses are just courtesy replies to let us know the position has been filled. So don't be afraid to apply to lots of places.

When planning the trip to Australia, I really wanted to go to Tasmania. Our first sit was in Bendigo, about two hours north of Melbourne. Most trips to Tasmania go thru Melbourne so part of the reason we accepted Bendigo was that we were placed well for a second sit in Tasmania. But despite 20+ applications, we never were accepted for a house sit in Tasmania. Eventually, I started looking elsewhere and applied to a sit in Hervey Bay and was accepted. This was up in Queensland and far away from Tasmania. But hey, four weeks in Hervey Bay in a brand new house only 3 miles from the beach. It was a great sit! And there was a cheap JetStar flight from Melbourne up to the Sunshine Coast so we figured we'd keep trying for Tasmania while in Hervey Bay. 20+ more applications all rejected before we finally gave up and applied to a sit in Waipapa, NZ and were accepted. Once we went over to New Zealand it was no longer cost effective to consider Tasmania. But that just gives me a reason to return Down Under in the future!

Microap
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Re: Travelling via Housesitting?

Post by Microap » Sat Dec 05, 2015 11:27 pm

We are planning to travel for a few months and possibly up to a year. The idea sounds wonderful but we are not sure of how to take care of our house when we are gone.
The mortgage is paid off, it is in a desirable location in an excellent school district. Also, the tax on the house is high (about 17k/year). So, we considered renting it. But the risks of renting seem to outweigh the rewards in this situation.

For those of you who travel for long spurts what do you do to take care of your house when you are gone? I would appreciate any suggestions.

Carefreeap
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Re: Travelling via Housesitting?

Post by Carefreeap » Mon Dec 07, 2015 4:56 pm

Microap wrote:We are planning to travel for a few months and possibly up to a year. The idea sounds wonderful but we are not sure of how to take care of our house when we are gone.
The mortgage is paid off, it is in a desirable location in an excellent school district. Also, the tax on the house is high (about 17k/year). So, we considered renting it. But the risks of renting seem to outweigh the rewards in this situation.

For those of you who travel for long spurts what do you do to take care of your house when you are gone? I would appreciate any suggestions.
Sounds like you might be a candidate for a house sit yourself. :wink:

There are also home trading services; you might check out this one: http://support.homeexchange.com/custome ... ng-started

We have a vacation cabin which is 500 miles away. We inherited from my FIL about 14 years ago and have it in vacation rental service because while we love it it's someplace we only use 4 or 5 times a year. I'm happy with it being used 1x-2x a month because it gets checked on. We do not make any money on it but the rental income offsets most of the cost. We've had no serious problems but have had to change property managers 3x. Nearby management is a must. Although I manage our other rentals a vacation rental is more like running a hotel than managing a rental.

I think the biggest challenge is that you have to be a flexible kind of person and not mind when people move your furniture or don't put things back where you had them. Even though we've had it in service for 13 years my husband still has some issues with those kinds of things. I figure it's just part of the price one has to pay to keep it.

Microap
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Re: Travelling via Housesitting?

Post by Microap » Sat Dec 12, 2015 9:29 pm

We've had no serious problems but have had to change property managers 3x. Nearby management is a must.
Thank you for the suggestions. How did you find your property managers? We live near a major metro area but cannot find any property managers for residential houses.

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