Housesitting and caretaking

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Housesitting and caretaking can be a great way to get find a comfortable place for a while. You get to stay in a house in exchange for watering the plants, possibly feeding the animals and just making sure the house looks inhabited.

Introduction

In exchange for free accommodation, homeowners hand over their keys to people willing to take care of their house while they're away.However, in some cases, they will require a straight swap with your house. They may not require a swap if they are simply worried about burglars, squatters or need someone to mind a pet or water the plants. in the Netherlands,it's called "anti-kraak" (anti-squatting) as it's a way to keep squatters out. (Funny enough many people have started squatting after living in an anti-kraak building for a while.)

Hints

  • Communication with the owners beforehand. Talk to them on Skype. Get a feel for their standards, and also put their mind at ease if they're new to having a house-sitter.
  • Ask about practicalities like how far the place is from the nearest shops. Sometimes homeowners lend me their car, or provide access to their internet.
  • Ask whether friends come to stay.

Global Sites

  • Mind my house requires looking after and living in people's homes while they are away. Membership costs $20 per year (£13, €15).
  • House it world is an international house sitting service for home minders, Caretakers & house sitters since. Sitters are wanted for Caretaker and Home minding jobs in the USA, Europe, London, England, Paris, France, Spain, Italy, Greece, Portugal, Australia, Canada, New Zealand.
  • The Caretaker Gazette is a unique newsletter containing property care taking and house sitting jobs, advice, and information for property caretakers, housesitters, and landowners. Published since 1983, it's the only publication in the world dedicated to the property caretaking field.
  • Trusted house sitters asks 59€ per year(£50) membership. Really too much for a budget traveller. It is well spread around the world, with a huge presence in UK.
  • Luxury House Sitting has a small 10$(£6.50, 7.50€) per year membership cost, which is much lower than the rest. Still a good idea to give a look from time to time, and spend a free vacation in a luxury house!
  • Counchsurfing have a few house sitting groups. They allows both homeowners and sitters to advertise.
  • TrustedHousesitters connects home and pet owners who need a sitter, when going away, with trustworthy people who are happy to sit for FREE.


Regional and Country Sites

There are also many house-sitting sites that focus on particular regions.

Australia

America

New Zealand