House-sitting: See the world and save

Saving for a house? You know how it goes; cut back on dinners out and weekends away, and as for that overseas holiday – forget it! Getting a deposit together while paying rent feels like putting your life on hold.

But does it have to?

Imagine travelling the world without accommodation costs. Now, imagine living in Amsterdam! Outback Queensland! Upstate New York!

Welcome to the world of house-sitting. In recent years, house-sitting has emerged as a cost-effective, and adventurous way of seeing the world while saving.

How does it work?

  • Join a reputable online platform such as TrustedHousesitters[1] or MindMyHouse[2].
  • Complete the profile questionnaire about:
    • who you are,
    • your occupation,
    • experience caring for animals,
    • hobbies,
    • references.
  • Search the platform’s listings for opportunities where and when you want to travel. Having identified a suitable match, you and the homeowner communicate and agree on the terms.
  • Make your way to the property and complete the house-sit. Homeowners provide a handbook of emergency contacts, local shops, restaurants, activities, and much more. Some even include the use of a car. In exchange, you mind the property and care for pets. You might also be asked to perform other tasks like watering gardens, collecting mail, etc.

Pros of house-sitting

Besides living free of rent and utilities costs, house-sitting offers benefits like:

  • living in residential neighbourhoods and enjoying life as a local.
  • pet companionship.
  • flexibility of travel destinations and dates.
  • experiencing different cultures and lifestyles.

Think it sounds like a win-win? Read on…

Cons of house-sitting

When considering house-sitting, be aware of the downsides, such as:

  • Commitment: house-sitting is not a carefree holiday. You’re responsible for someone else’s property and pets. You’ll be expected to manage any problems that arise, including pet health issues.
  • Duration: assignments may range from a few days to a couple of months. If you can’t commit to the entire stay, you must be upfront with the homeowner before accepting the assignment.
  • Calendar: assignments generally don’t connect seamlessly; ensure you have alternative accommodation between house-sits.
  • Have a Plan B: assignments cancelled or changed at short notice can disrupt your travel plans. Flexibility, including alternative accommodation, is essential.
  • Competition: popular locations can attract interest from numerous house-sitters. Homeowners will select the house-sitter they feel is most suitable for their assignment.

House-sitting, as a ticket to experiencing an inexpensive and varied life, speaks for itself.

If you can work from home, love interacting with animals and are keen to travel, how much could you save towards your own home if you didn’t have rent or utilities bills?

What if you chose a house-sit close to home? Think: no travel costs, continue working as normal, staying close to friends and family. How quickly would your savings grow, then?

House-sitting may well be the financial opportunity you’re seeking!