Where are you from?
Near Chicago, USA
How did you discover house sitting?
We are a newer couple and wanted to travel a bit, spend time in different areas, to try and determine where we might want to permanently transplant. We are actually 'homeless' right now while we house sit and travel
Where have you been house sitting?
We've been house siting in Hawaii and Philidelphia.
Where was your favourite house sitting experience and why?
We are currently doing our Hawaii house sit and it has been fabulous. We are on the big island and have explored almost every side of it now. We also had some time off and went over to Maui! We've been here now for 6 weeks and I really feel like we are really getting to know Hawaii in a way that just wouldn't be possible on a shorter trip. Plus, it's a super romantic place to be which is wonderful for us as we deepen our relationship with each other.
Have you ever owned a pet before?
Lots and lots of beloved animals in my life including dogs, cats and chickens. I've also taken care of larger animals - horses and goats.
What's the longest house sit you have done and where?
Philadelphia was for 3 months. Hawaii will be for 2 months.
What attracts you to house sitting - what are the benefits to you?
It's the perfect way to explore places we may want to consider eventually moving to, plus having fantastic experiences along the way. From a sustainability standpoint, it makes a ton of sense. It's a win win for the house sitter and the home owner. We are in love with the doggies we are currently taking care of, Cleo and Frieda. We treat the home owner's house as if it were our own. They feel good about their dogs and house being taken care of while they travel.
We don't have the burden of large living expenses and we get to really experience an area in a way that we wouldn't if we were staying in commercial places for shorter periods of time. It's also quite an adventure for us especially since we have 'shed' our homes for now. Every morning I open up my Trusted House sitters email to see what possibilities are out there for us. We are very fortunate to have this kind of flexibility right now in our lives and to be young enough to really explore and enjoy all different types of living options. We sometimes feel like teenagers on an open ended adventure. What's coming next?!
Any challenges you find house sitting?
Not yet, so far. Mike would like to stretch out even farther than I have been ready for, yet. He envisions traveling around the world by house sitting. He's aiming for house sitting in Australia & New Zealand next. As I gain confidence and flexibility, I am becoming more and more open to the wonderful opportunities house sitting has to offer.
How do you find the process in securing a house sit? Is it easy?
I did put some careful time into creating our profile. A A home owner wants to get a really good sense about you before opening up his/her home to you. That being said, it didn't take us long to secure our first sit. Many people are looking for 'mature couples' who are still active, energetic, and physically capable.
What advice would you give to other retirees thinking about house sitting?
We have been telling all our friends about it. There's a lot of interest out there. The only advice that comes to mind is that many, not all, of the house sits do include some kind of pet care which means you will have much less freedom to come and go as you please. Making sure you have extra time either before or after the sit to explore is a good idea.
Do lots of research if the area you are looking at seems somewhat exotic. We were offered a house sit in Costa Rica for 6 months. It was an amazing opportunity, but we realized that we were not the right couple for the job due to the climate and bugs! There are plenty of great opportunities out there, so again, look for a really good fit. If you're happy, your homeowners will be happy, and then you'll get a great referral. I think it's really important to be totally candid when you are interviewing with a home owner for a potential house sit. It has to be a really good fit both ways, not just in location and responsibilities, but in values as well. Ask lots of questions.
What do you think of Trustedhousesitters.com website?
I love that you have links under each posting in your daily emails that take me directly to the homeowner's ad. Very easy and convenient. A I like your site the best!
Thanks to Sandra and Mike - Trusted House Sitters for their great interview