Publié le by NmNomador
How to Choose the Perfect House Sit
Choosing the right house-sit is a very subjective and personal event, almost akin to choosing where you want to eat dinner when you are very hungry. And with such a bevy of house-sits available at any given minute, it can seem like a daunting task.
But after house-sitting for four years in a dozen different countries around the world, we’ve gotten pretty good at choosing the perfect house-sit for us, and it’s easier than you might imagine.
So what IS the perfect house-sit?
First, you have to define what you want. Ask yourself right away why you want to house-sit. What you are looking for, and maybe more importantly, what you don’t want.
Right now we are planning our next year of travel, and have a month-long blank spot open between two fixed commitments – one on the east coast of the United States and one in Scotland. We have some constraints with visa requirements and we don’t want to travel all the way around the world only to come back again. We may be tired of the cold after a winter in Cape Cod, so we would prefer a warm location. I work online, so I need consistent Wi-Fi.
Being aware of those narrowing factors, we can objectively evaluate the house-sits that come up and apply only to those we are a good fit for. Basically, we’d like anything within a 4-hour flight of London to a warmer location that isn’t in the Schengen visa zone (northern Africa or the Middle East maybe).
We can then check through new listings rather quickly to see if anything fits the bill. If we find a match, then we can jump into action quickly, and hopefully, our experience gets our foot in the door.
Tips for how to choose
If you are new to house-sitting and need to build up your portfolio of experience with a handful of reviews, you’ll likely want a string of shorter sits with a diversity of types of pets and locations. This would help demonstrate to any future homeowners your flexibility with dogs, cats, urban and rural house-sits. If this is the case, you may be a little less concerned about details like location, ambiance, and weather.
If you are an experienced house-sitter working on your novel or have a full-time remote job, you may be looking for a longer house-sit with great Wi-Fi and a quiet place in which you can work.
In short, the “perfect house-sit” is whatever you need at the moment you are looking. Back to the metaphor of dining: if you are hungry, everything looks delicious. It’s important to give yourself some guidelines to narrow down your options, which will help you as you browse the open opportunities on Nomador.
It may be helpful to make a list of your actual requirements. Do you need a car? Do you feel safe in rural areas? Do you want to be in the middle of all the action so you can explore? Knowing what you want and what you need are essential.
Important: Getting to know the homeowner
How well you get along with the homeowner is also a factor in choosing the right house-sit. You may sense from the listing itself that you won’t fit in – maybe they are hyper-detailed and have strict requirements for the house and pets that will be in your care.
If you aren’t a detailed person, you may not do a great job, leaving all parties unhappy and regretting their decisions. Some homeowners are very specific in their listings – from expressing an aversion to political beliefs, to a preference for vegans or couples only.
You can learn a lot from what the homeowner posts in the listing, but there are things you can’t know until you video chat with them – things like how clean the house is, how wild the dogs might be, how often they would like updates from you, or their preferred methods of communication.
I once had a mentor who coached me before a job interview. She told me that the interview process is as much about me interviewing them as it was the other way around. The same thing should apply to your consideration of a house-sitting opportunity. Be prepared to ask them as many questions as they may ask of you.
Make a match!
It’s easy to get really excited about a house-sit you see. An adorable kitten in an exotic location in a beautiful apartment – it can ring all the bells. This is a good sign. It’s important to be excited about an opportunity, but the key to success is to pull back a little bit and to review the listing in detail, and match it against what you are looking for and what you want.
And if it all lines up, then get ready for a transformative experience! Enjoy that adorable kitten in the beautiful apartment, and get ready to start searching for your next perfect house-sit.
Zac Stafford and his wife sold their Minneapolis home in 2015 and have been traveling and house sitting around the world ever since. They write about their experiences on their travel blog.