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Day 174: The House Sit Hunt Begins

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Day 174:  Rockin' the House Sit Search

Day 174: Rockin' the House Sit Search

Many moons ago, Pat and I moved out of our Killara apartment and into his parents’ house. It seemed like a good move because our lease was up and then we had two big international trips to partake in.

We’re now back in Sydney, back in his old bedroom, and we kind of just don’t know what to do in terms of living space. We LOVE having our own place, but at the same time, we could really use a couple of months to pack away some extra cash… plus decide where in this gigantic, spread out city we even want to start considering as a future home.

It’s not easy looking for places in Sydney. When you consider the amount of money being spent on rent, you should choose wisely in my mind. That’s when I got the idea to start looking for house sits — the perfect way to save money, have a private living space and see other parts of the city.

It’s been a dream of mine…

…since arriving in Sydney 2.5 years ago to do some house sitting, only then I didn’t know the suburbs very well and looking was more confusing than anything. Now, I kind of have a better idea of what’s near, what’s far, what has a train line, what would require a car, etc. So, we’ve officially started looking!

Now, it’s easy to be excited about something like house sitting before you seriously start looking and seriously start applying. For one, you pretty much need to sign up for a house sitting website to apply to open “jobs”, and many people require a reference of previous house sits to even be considered. Hmm… well that’s no good. It’s like one of those jobs that requires experience to get, but you can’t get experience without already having some…??? Confusing, right?!

Still, I’m hopeful.

I think I’d be a perfect house sitter, especially for those involving dogs. Not only do I want a dog and have owned a dog in the past, I work from home! That means I’ll pretty much always be around to care for the little guys while the owner is away.

Besides that, we’re flexible with location as long as Pat can get into the city within an hour’s train ride. We also are quite considerate and tidy, hard-working and reliable. I mean, really, why am I trying to sell you? I digress…

I’ve heard of other worldly travelers taking part in house sits before, and dammit, I want in. But, apparently you need to have that first successful house sit under your belt to make it all happen. This could be a challenge, and I’ll let you know how it goes.

Have you ever house sat before on your travels, or as a way to save money for travels? I’d love to hear about your experience and how you made it possible.

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6 Responses to Day 174: The House Sit Hunt Begins

  1. cailin July 5, 2011 at 5:54 am #

    I am dying to house sit too!! and I was thinking about looking for one in Sydney!
    twinsies! haha
    but seriously I was.
    hectictravels.com and neverendingvoyage.com always seem to have great success. However my deal is no dogs, possible even no pets, well maybe a cat.
    haha
    happy hunting let me know how it goes!

  2. Matt July 7, 2011 at 2:49 am #

    Hey Brooke, I was recently reading another travel blog, the never ending voyage and they had an interesting article on house sitting. Here are two links you may find helpful
    http://www.mindmyhouse.com/
    http://www.housecarers.com/

  3. Lisa July 7, 2011 at 9:19 pm #

    Hi Brooke,

    We’ve been house sitting since mid March (and are booked until end of April 2012). As I’ve written in this blog post (http://goo.gl/US5xb) house sitting is helping us keep our costs down while my partner and I are starting our business AND it is also all part of the adventure! 🙂

    We hadn’t house sat before, so at first I was a little uncertain about how we could crack into the house sitting scene. But then I started thinking about what people really were asking for when they said they want references – they want to speak / communicate with people that know you, know your values etc.

    In our profile I encouraged people to look at our blogs. I also asked a family friend to write a reference for us. she had known me for about 10 years and us as a couple for 3 years. We had rented their holiday house a number of times and they were able to make comment on how we look after other people’s things etc.

    I would recommend that you just start applying for sits, even if you don’t quite fit what the owner is looking for. In my experience, owners wont have much experience in getting sitters and will just put down what they ‘think’ they should put down. But at the end of the day I think most owners want the same type of sitter – someone they get along with and they trust.

    We have a house sit coming up in the Clare Valley in October / November. The house sit job for this originally said they wanted an older couple. However, I saw and it and thought I would LOVE to live in the Clare Valley for 2 months, so I threw out hat in the ring! In the end we got the sit because we sounded a lot like their adult children and they got along very well with our referee. Asking for an older couple was because they wanted there dogs to have company during the day and of course we can offer that because we work from home!

    • Brooke July 7, 2011 at 10:58 pm #

      Thanks for the awesome tips!

  4. Bethany July 17, 2011 at 3:36 am #

    Ah yes, house sitting is something I want to do too!! It does sound fun for sure. This is kind of strange but you might want to sign up for wwoofing Australia.

    I am part of the italy one (you have to sign up for the membership of the country you want to wwoof in but it is cheap – like $25 or so)

    Anyway, the reason i suggest this is every month Italy wwoof sends updates of farms that are in SOS status, need help, etc. Every once and a while I see that places need a house sitting! Usually the owners want to go on vacation or to attend another wwoof conference or something.

    Farmers that are part of the wwoof network notify wwoof italia that they need someone to house sit and it gets sent out to all the wwoof members! I so wish I was back in Italy now because I saw one not too long ago for an entire month house sitting on a farm in Sicily. It sounded awesome. Usually you only need to do basic things – feed, cat/dogs, etc. and the owners usually have WiFi. You don’t have to do the farming work you would do if you were going there to wwoof – you just need to house sit.

    So anyway – it might be worth your while to sign up – you can write about it anyway and you might find some house sitting emails coming through. 🙂

  5. James January 14, 2013 at 8:47 am #

    Hey Brooke,

    I’ve been house sitting since I started travelling. Currently on a five month long one near the Pyrenees in France and before that looked after a farm of 18 alpacas. It’s a great way to travel.

    I know this is an old post so wondering if you and Pat ever found any housesits?

    James

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