Need long term petsitters because you are travelling away from home or because you are volunteering abroad? Why not find registered and trustworthy house and pet-sitters to live in your home? They can housesit care for your home and pets in your absence.
Most housesitting assignments tend to be short term between 2 days and 21 days. If you are going away for a longer period then it becomes important to find people you trust who will care for your home and pets as you would.
Volunteering couple – Sam and Pete – Need long term house sitters
Occasionally we are asked what are the reasons that cause people to register as long term house sitters. Why would you leave your home to someone you don’t know to housesit for a long period of time? And why wouldn’t you rent out your home for that period instead? In this case, homeowners Sam and Pete wanted to leave their elderly gentlemen cats at home for the duration of their year abroad.
So they need long-term house-sitters to care for them. And once in a while we write a blog, with our members cooperation, to tell their story so that we can bring to life the challenges people face and the solutions we can help to deliver. In this case we explore the need of volunteers who give one year’s service to a charity abroad but then need long-term house-sitters to care for their fur family and property left at home.
Take Sam and Pete. They are a young English couple, professionals who have in the past volunteered their time for charitable projects during their holidays.
They have previously committed two, three or four weeks at a time. Then one day they came across the CHIFCOD, a Ugandan Charity that runs several primary schools, a high school and a regional college in the Kanunhu region, with the ambition To empower children through education to rise out of the cycle of poverty in which they were locked.
Shorter visits abroad had been easier to manage with friends and family staying at home to look after their cars. But longer periods of absence meant they had to consider long-term house-sitters. What is more they were volunteering without salaries so needed an affordable option. Therefore, ideally they needed free pet care and home care for the duration.
CHIFCOD has several schools in the region and one in particular, Kirima Parents Primary School (KPPS), was started when three sets of parents wanted to ensure their children went to school somewhere that could provide them with a decent education. From this aspiration KPPS was born. Now just a few short years later children leave the school with some of the best grades in the region.
Last August Sam and Pete spent a few weeks in Uganda volunteering and helping out with this particular charity. They were very moved by the work of the volunteers. They could see the positive impact they could see it was having on the children. So that when they were asked if they wanted to return for a longer period they said, yes! In fact, they committed to at least 6 months in 2015.
It was then that they decided they needed long term house sitters.
That’s quite a commitment, especially when they already had careers, a home and pets near Cambridge in England. But such is their dedication to the children they would like to help. Indeed they are very committed to the charity that facilitates this support.
Sam and Pete have found suitable long term house sitters to help them care for their two cats – Wentworth and Windsor. They went online searching for trusted house sitters England, and house sitters, and cat sitters in Google and found Housesitmatch.com
By building a profile on our housesitting website we helped them find a long-term house-sitters as their cat sitting solution.
The long-term house-sitters
If you are looking for a long term house sitters, these are some considerations to bear in mind:
- Free Lodging – A house-sit assignment will provide you with free lodging in exchange for taking on the responsibilities of the house-sit assignment.
- Live Like a Local – a long-term placement gives the house-sitter a degree of security and an opportunity to live like a local and learn more about a particular geography than anyone else passing through with a shorter visit.
- Financial Savings – Staying in one sit such as this one for at least 6 months eliminates not only rent, but a number of other lodging related costs. However, it is important that you are clear on other related costs. Come to a suitable arrangement with your hosts e.g. utilities, comms etc.
- A Collaboration – In exchange for a no rent arrangement with your homeowners you will take on the responsibility of caring for their pets, managing their property and keeping them informed of any developments at home. Its a win-win arrangement.
Responsible long term house sitters
- Commitment – Long-term house-sits often need a formal agreement in order to fully engage both parties and to ensure all aspects of the assignment are well understood. As long-term house-sitters you need to be fully engaged with all the requirements of this assignment.
- Communications – If you are responsible, experienced with pets and property management then such house-sit assignments can be very good placements. Your house-sit hosts may want you to keep in touch with them with regular reports, especially as regards the pets.
- Respect for the Property – It is important that you respect the house-sit assignment and all its responsibilities maintaining the property to the best possible standard.
- Care for any Pets – If you decide you want to be long-term house-sitters the owners will prepare you in terms of how to care for their pets, make sure you secure information on the appropriate vet surgery, medication and any special needs for each individual animal. It is an equal responsibility on your part to make sure that you find out all the important information and responsibilities of a house sitter.
How to start as a housesitter
If you are thinking of housesitting as a fun thing to try, then you need to think carefully about your next steps. So here are my top 11 tips for getting started as an international housesitter:
- Join a small housesitting platform – Join one of the smaller housesitting sites such as HouseSitMatch. Posts on the larger sites can draw 30 or 40 applicants – daunting competition for a newbie! But the smaller sites offer less competition and increased customer service that is often personalized. I can attest to HouseSit Match’s unparalleled hands-on support. Other advantages of being with the right platform is they will have guidelines, templates and support documents to help you understand what best practice looks like. Make sure they have a responsive administration so you can ask questions about housesitting and petsitting. A good platform will support you in your endeavours.
- Start housesitting locally first before becoming long term house sitters – Be ready when friends ask ‘who knows a petsitter near me’ – This gives you a chance to meet the homeowners and pets ahead of time. This gives you a “leg up” on sitters traveling from foreign countries. It is worth doing if you possibly can.
- Engage your current network – Tell them of your aspirations to housesit. Let friends and family know that you are available to care for their pets. If you know an experienced sitter, ask for his or her help. I’ve offered repeat sits I’m not available for to my trustworthy friends to help them break into housesitting. It can be such a help.
- Housesit during high or peak holiday seasons – Apply for shorter housesitting assignments for holiday housesitting. During the summer and winter holiday more homeowners travel yet fewer sitters are available. This reduces your competition and increases your chances of securing a great housesitting assignment. It seems counter intuitive but it’s true. And it builds your experience to become long term house sitters.
Final thoughts on long term house sitting and becoming long-term house-sitters
If you are interested in holiday housesitting and house sitting for free rent then apply for shorter housesitting assignments. It is a great way to build confidence and start searching for adverts saying house sitter wanted further afield.
However, longer housesits are usually more desirable for most long term housesitters. This is because they provide more stability as you are in one place for much longer. They also offer more opportunities to explore a new area so you if you are in one place for several months you can live like a local, rather than hop to a new place week after week.
Longer housesitting assignments also offer a chance to amortize any travel costs incurred. A thought worth considering for long term house sitters. Thus shorter sits usually have less competition and give newbies a chance to build experience and references. But they can help build experiences and references towards longer term assignments.
Read about Sam and Pete’s voluntary work visit their WEBLOG.
For more information on the CHIFCOD charity and their work transforming communities watch this VIDEO.
By Lamia Walker, Founder of HouseSit Match
Start your housesitting adventure as long term house sitters or to define your house and petsitting solution register with HouseSitMatch:
Further reading about housesitting and trusted long-term house-sitters
At Housesitmatch.com we like to share useful blogs and practical advice about housesitters, housesitting and pet sitting. We hope you find this small selection of our blogs on house sitters and house sitting in London useful.