Myth:   You can earn an income house sitting Australiahouse-sitters

Buster:   One of the most misleading house sitting myths is that house sitters are paid to provide live-in care in the home owners’ absence – not surprising, given use of terms like “house sitting jobs” and “house sitting ads” suggest this is so.

The fact is house sitting as a free service has exploded in popularity in Australia over recent years, as increasing numbers of people register with a House Sitting Website to List, Discover and Apply for house sitting assignments.

House Sitting Australia – a free service

There are two main reasons why the free model of house and pet sitting is so popular Down Under.  First, Australian home owners are spoilt for choice, with great house sitting websites to connect with registered house sitters.  Second, Australia is an egalitarian society.  Many countries in the world try to embrace the ideology of human equality, but nowhere in the world is the concept more engrained in the nation’s psyche than it is in Australia.

house-sitting-jobsAn important reason no money changes hands when house sitting Australia is liability.  When payment is made for services rendered, liability issues come into play.  But when no money changes hands, it does not.  To pay or accept payment and not have legalities in place would be foolish in the extreme.

In some countries house sitting as a paid service is commonplace.  South Africa is a country where, for reasons of security, the use of commercial house sitting services is the norm.  In the USA, home owners are accustomed to paying for the services of live-in house and pet sitters.

The Bottom Line:  House sitting Australia is the mutual exchange of services.  Aussie home owners invite house sitters to enjoy all the comforts of home in exchange for making sure everything runs smoothly in their absence.

house-sittersMyth:  You need to own a car to house sit

Buster:  Not necessarily!  In some cases, having a car can be a problem, such as house sitting Sydney inner city areas.  Also, some home owners allows their house sitter use of a car to transport their big, hairy dog (or two) to locations such as the dog park, local lagoon or the beach.  In the case of inner city suburbs, if the home owner doesn’t have access to off street parking and their house sitter needs to park a car, this will be the cause of ongoing problems and stress.  Trust me – I know what I’m talking about!


An inner city residence.

In 2014 we accepted what we thought was an easy house sit for a cat in a terrace house in the leafy inner Sydney suburb of Paddington.  Working in the city at the time I was happy to live in this convenient location. To our dismay, on moving in we discovered street parking was limited to 2 hrs from 7am to 10pm 7 days a week.  We were not able to use the home owners’ car permit because it displayed their vehicle’s registration number. On contacting the local council I learned they did not issue Visitor Permits.

Over two weeks I was twice fined $A105 by Council Rangers.  To add to our parking woes, for four consecutive days we did not have access to on-street parking within a 50 metre radius of our home because council were doing roadworks.  In theory, a great house sit.  In practice, stressful & expensive.

house-sittersMyth:  You can’t house sit consistently for years on end.   You need a home base.

Buster:  The founders of Compare Housesitting® have been house sitting Australia since March 2011.  We do not have a home base – read Our Story here.

The two key elements to house sitting continuously are:-

  1. Location flexibility.  Nine months of each year we seek sits in Sydney to work.   For the few months house sitting Sydney is traditionally quiet we give up our day jobs and house sit in coastal New South Wales and Southern Queensland.
  2. There needs to be two of you.   It is rare for house sit dates to dovetail perfectly.   When two or more house sit as team, the overlap period is managed by one remaining to finish a sit while the other moves on to the next.

On the rare occasion we don’t have a house sitting job we rent holiday accommodation.   This can be costly but hey, do the math!   Nine months out of twelve we save thousands by not paying rent or mortgage, so when we do have to pay for accommodation, it’s not a biggie.

house-sittersMythHouse sitters can’t work full-time.  Home owners expect house sitters to be home most of the time.

Time for my bedtime story.

Buster:  Not so.  Some home owners are open to house sitters who work full-time, because their primary reason for house sitters is to provide live-in home security.

It is no secret that empty dwellings are more at risk of being burgled than occupied homes, particularly over holiday periods such as Christmas and Easter.  With a house sitter in residence the home remains looking lived in.  The mail box is cleared daily, newspapers & periodicals removed from lawns & porches, grass mown, lights on at night.

Many home owners work full time themselves and their pets are accustomed to being home alone a lot.  This is especially so for cats: usually self-sufficient little souls who are happy for their human to be there when they need food or to provide a warm lap at night for their bedtime story.

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