If you have any questions which are not answered here, feel free to get in touch! TrustedHousesitters.com have a very good FAQ section (both for home owners and house sitters) that you might be interested to look at as well.
What made you become international house sitters?
We went backpacking for 21 months between 2005-2007 and absolutely loved it. The freedom of being able to go where we wanted, when we wanted. The thrill of entering a new country and getting to know its landscapes, people, customs, flavours. The fact that no two days were the same!! After living a more “settled” life for the next 7 years, we decided we missed the excitement of a more nomadic lifestyle.
House sitting allows us to explore and discover new places again, meet new people and experience new cultures, but at a slower pace and with a smaller backpack. It also allows us to help someone out by looking after their most precious possessions during their absence, and in return we can live like locals for a few days/weeks whilst we stay at their home. It’s a win-win situation!
Do you charge for your services?
No, we don’t! We believe that house sitting should be a mutually convenient arrangement that benefits both parties and no money changes hands. Additionally, charging for our services would effectively make us either employees or contractors, which in turn would mean that we would need work visas for most countries we visit. Keeping it as a friendly, informal arrangement simplifies things for all concerned.
Who covers the costs of travel, electricity, food, etc?
In keeping with the “mutually convenient arrangement” philosophy, generally speaking we expect any house and pets costs to be covered by the home owner, and we will take care of our own expenses:
- Home owner covers costs of: service bills, pet needs (food, medication, vet bills…), cleaning products for the house, products for the garden (fertilisers, weed killers…), etc
- We cover costs of: travel to get to you, petrol if we have the use of your car, our own food, toiletries, etc
Having said that, each situation is different and each house sit should be considered separately on its own merits, so we are open to discussion should you have an offer we can’t refuse!
What animals are you happy to look after?
Almost anything! (including any visiting wildlife) We really do love animals and particularly Maria has shared her life with a good variety of pets over the years – cats, birds, tropical fish, terrapins, hamsters, mice, rats, a lizard, and a duck! We’d be happy to look after any of these (and hens, she loves hens!). We’ve recently looked after 2 horses but in all honesty when Mark got quite sick for a week, we felt a bit too much out of our depth (daily feeding, rugging up, brushing and dealing with hooves). We have no other experience with farm animals so it would all depend on your particular circumstances.
As far as dogs are concerned, well, who doesn’t like dogs! But we need to be totally honest and declare we don’t have a whole lot of experience with them, so for their own sake, and until we feel more confident, we’d only want to consider looking after one dog at a time (maybe 2 small ones), and only those that are well trained and of a quiet/gentle disposition. Our first official house sit involved looking after a border collie (an old boy) and we got on like a house on fire! 🙂
Do you have any specific requirements?
We have simple needs and are generally very adaptable and fairly low-maintenance, meaning we can feel at home pretty much anywhere. However these three factors are very important for us when considering assignments:
- We need a good, reliable internet connection so we can continue to work without major interruptions (see “who we are” for more information on what we do for a living)
- We have high standards of hygiene and general tidiness, so ask that your home is clean, uncluttered and free of mould (mould spores can make Maria asthmatic)
- Finally, we prefer peaceful environments that won’t interfere with our sleep, work or relaxation: everyday sounds are fine, but “noise pollution” (persistent/repetitive/loud noises) can be a problem (i.e. neighbour that likes to play loud music, a dog that barks for hours non stop, construction work, etc.)
Other than this, just give us a comfy bed and we’re happy! Access to a vehicle would be great too and very much appreciated (naturally we will pay for our own petrol), as rental vehicles can often be a waste of money for us since they tend to not move Monday to Friday whilst we’re working at home! We both have full clean driving licences and are experienced with both manual and automatic vehicles.
What do you mean by ‘good, reliable’ internet connection?
We mean a strong signal that doesn’t drop every five minutes. A modem that doesn’t require restarting daily. And a reasonable speed that doesn’t remind us of our dial-up days. Still not sure? No worries! Please do the following and we’ll advise (it’s really easy!):
1. Go to www.speedtest.net and click on Begin Test
(it should take less than a minute to complete if you have a good connection)
2. Email us the results for ping, download speed and upload speed, as per the example on the right (click on the picture for a bigger version).
It’d also be useful to know how much bandwidth you get every month – if you are normally a low user and we send you over your contracted threshold, naturally we’ll be happy to pay for the extra expense, but it’d be good to know beforehand whether doing so is going to have an impact on speed, for example.
How far are you willing to travel?
The world is our oyster! We’d love the opportunity to travel far and wide. Having said that, we do need to be practical – if we are in Australia and you want us to come and house sit for you in Canada for 3 days, then sadly the high cost of the air fare wouldn’t make the trip worthwhile. However, if we already had another long term sit booked near you, then by all means we could consider it!
As a rule of thumb, if it involves crossing borders, then ideally we’d like to house sit for a minimum of 3 weeks. If it involves crossing an ocean, then we’d like a couple of months to offset the high cost of flying. But as mentioned above, we might be able to be flexible on this if we find other house sitting opportunities near you around the same dates, so please do get in touch with your requirements and we’ll see if we can work something out!
What is the minimum and maximum house sit duration you would accept?
Similar to the distance factor, this would very much depend on how far we need to travel, whether we can get a tourist visa for your country for the entire duration of the sit, and how tied to the house we would be during that time. As each case and situation will be different, it’s difficult to give a definite answer here. Please contact us and let’s discuss!