Robyn-Lea, Founder, Compare House Sitting®
My house sitting story commenced in March 2011 when the property boom came to Sydney.
Home for the previous ten years had been a lovely little flat beside the seashore in an apartment block owned by friends. But when developers came knocking, this prized waterfront property was sold.
Keen to continue living in the manner to which I had become accustomed but reluctant to pay a large percentage of my income to a landlord on the open market, my thoughts turned to house sitting. I’d met people who told me they were “earning” free accommodation by house and pet sitting and wondered if it was possible to house sit long term.
House sitting Sydney
To my astonishment, within days of joining Aussie House Sitters I’d been contacted by home owners asking if we were interested to ‘sit’ for them. With every conversation it became clear the mysterious world of house and pet sitting was for real. Instead of lying awake worrying about paying high rent, I went to sleep dreaming of not paying rent at all.
Our inaugural sit was for a couple in search of house sitters to provide live-in home security during their absence over the next twelve months.
Soon to retire, their plan was to travel for months at a time, return home for a few weeks, then travel again. Their house sitter/s would have use of a self-contained flat for the year. The deal was when the owners were home their house sitter/s could come and go as they pleased, but were to remain living in the house when away.
Chuffed to have been chosen, I found it hard to believe my good fortune to have discovered house and pet sitting was the real deal.
House Sitting Long Term
Buoyed by this house sitting success we joined Happy House Sitters and House Carers and in 2017, added The House Sitters to our suite of platforms for house sitting Australia. For nine years these four country specific house sitting websites kept us happily housed. Then in February 2020 covid-19 brought the world to a standstill.
House Sitting during Covid-19
When covid-19 came to town, like thousands of house sitters around the world we needed to settle to ride out the pandemic. Living as long term house sitters for nine years made it possible to save money, and so we found a place to call home. No longer needing to house sit full time, we now search for sits for short breaks, a change of scenery and a dose of pet therapy. Currently limited to ‘sitting’ within the confines of a covid induced bubble means that, for the moment, we find houses to sit and pets to pamper in our State.
House Sitting Success
During the nine years spent living as long term house sitters, for ten months of each year, for work reasons, we ‘sat’ in Sydney.
Armed with verifiable references we were often offered sits for months at a time. No longer burdened by the financial pressure that comes from living in one of the world’s most expensive cities, we were able to live in nice homes, often in gorgeous locations, for lovely people with pets for pals.
Most years Andrew would return home to visit family & friends in England, and for those few months I found houses to sit on the South Coast of NSW or North as far as Queensland. Then when I accompanied Andrew to England we applied for houses to sit in the UK to explore different regions.
After all these years, having sat for 90+ first time home owners, done countless repeat sits, and come to know (and love) countless pets, I still consider it an honor to be selected by home owners and a privilege to live in their home in their absence. There’s no question, house sitting continues to enlarge and enrich my life.
Uni Grads on working holiday Down Under
Best friends Sharon & Alysha are excited that their dream of travelling and subsidizing accommodation costs as house sitters, is fast becoming a reality.
Uni graduates from the United States, at first Sharon & Alysha had reservations of being accepted for house sitting jobs. To give themselves the best possible chance they researched house sitting websites and joined one of the best house sitting sites for house sitting Australia
They followed the Top 5 Tips for house sitters to the letter and in their profile, list pets they’ve owned and cared for, their individual house sitting experience and sport and leisure interests.
They explain how they flatted together for two years, have references from past landlords and promise to “go above and beyond to ensure your home is maintained to your high standard“. Non-smokers, both girls claim to be “mature for their years, responsible, energetic, professional and honest”.
Keen to see as much of Australia as they can, they’re applying for ‘sits’ in their bubble on the East Coast of Australia. Available for interview via Skype or FaceTime, Sharon and Alysha report good success, with their Aussie house sitting schedule filling fast.
For the love of animals
David is 42 and single. An avid traveller, for the most part of every year he lives & works in third world countries, often volunteering for causes that involve caring for animals.
For a few months of every year for he returns to Australia to see his best mate, 72yo Dad and while here, he becomes an Aussie house sitter.
David told Compare House Sitting® that house sitting gives him the chance to have his own space & some first world home comforts.
“A travelling man, I have a deep love for and affinity with animals. This affection was forged as a child as my Dad & Mum were animal lovers and our home hosted an ever changing array of pets. I have lived with, owned and trained animals most of my life. More than a week without at least one animal close by and I start to get withdrawal symptoms.” David said.
House Sitting Australia to live like a local before settling down
Couple mid 60’s, on selling their Guesthouse in Queensland, decided house sitting offered the opportunity to live like a local in different areas before deciding where to settle.
Their plan is to seek houses to sit so they can stay a week or two and truly “experience” an area – the weather, people, proximity to lifestyle activities they enjoy. By house sitting they’ll glean insights into the local housing market: learn things only known to the locals that real estate agents won’t tell you, such as that recently released Estate near the ocean is re-claimed marshlands that floods during heavy rain.
Meantime, they’re having the trip of a lifetime exploring the land they call home; something most people dream of but few actually do.
House and pet sitting to visit family interstate
Recently widowed 70-something Susan lives in regional New South Wales. When her husband died two years ago she turned to house and pet sitting as a way to visit family interstate.
Susan told Robyn-Lea that house sitting has given her life new meaning.
“I adore dogs! The strata building I live in doesn’t allow residents to own a dog but by house and pet sitting I can seek out as much pet therapy as I want.” Susan laughed.
“I can’t imagine being stuck on my own in my small home town year round, waiting for my kids to visit when they have time off work. Besides, these days they have their own responsibilities. By house and pet sitting I can visit regularly without having to share the same space. Not only am I able to spend quality time with my kids, but I have pets to pamper for a while.”
“I enjoy looking through the alerts that come in every 24 hours. It’s a bit like buying a lottery ticket and waiting to see if I’ve won! When I see a house sitting job that appeals in one of my selected regions, I get my application off straight away and eagerly anticipate the home owner’s response. I’m constantly amazed at the great opportunities that pop up.” she said.
In the winter months, when it’s not too hot & humid at Australia’s Top End, Susan searches for house sits in and around Darwin to spend time with her son, daughter-in-law and first grandchild then before summer, changes her preferred area to Melbourne in Victoria to visit her upwardly mobile single son.
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