Do you maintain a residence but stay gone a lot?Someone providing house sitting services may be your answer to
- keeping your home looking lived-in and
- doing agreed upon tasks in your absence.
The reasons why you may engage a person for this include protecting your investments (your home and household possessions) while also providing him or her with a place to stay.
Sometimes, house sitters are looking to be in a place only long enough to vacation.
Others may be looking to stay for longer periods of time.
You will need a process by which to vet who stays in your home.
For your own protection, please make sure that you lay down some ground rules ahead of time.
- what areas of your home are off-limits and how you will protect them;
- what liberties your guest is allowed to take in your absence (food and drink, having friends over, washing dishes and laundry, watching specific TV shows or movies, making long distance phone calls or surfing the Internet, etc.);
- what services your guest is to perform (watering plants, putting out garbage, bringing in mail and newspaper daily, feeding your pet(s), etc.); and
- what manner of exiting is required (locking and double-checking all doors upon leaving, where to leave the keys, how to set the thermostat, etc.).
It is a good idea to inform your guest about emergency measures (such as the locations of the first aid kit, fire extinguisher, water and gas turn-off valves, phone numbers for local police and fire department, etc.).
If you are married, please consult with your spouse about this situation ahead of time.
We recommend that you get these things in writing with signatures on both ends, yours and the housesitter’s.
If there is rent to pay or other gratuity, you’ll also want to get that in writing.
Consider how you will pay your bills from the road — especially monthly bills — if you’re gone longer than, say, three weeks.
Some businesses may allow you to pre-pay without penalty.
Other businesses may charge a credit card or make an electronic funds transfer directly out of a checking account.
Please bear all these things in mind before opening up your home for the first time.
Money saving tip: Having someone in your home can help reduce the potential for burglary or damage to your property.
Engaging someone skilled at house sitting at your home can be advantageous in other ways, too.
Emergencies – such as those brought on by the weather — can also be dealt with more quickly.
Also, you can save money by being the housesitter in someone else’s home.