Paid house sitting jobs seem like a fairytale.
Imagine living in mansion-like homes all to yourself for weeks or months.
You get to enjoy marvelous bathtubs, fluffy beds, and all the amenities of a home on the beach, in vineyards, near sugar plantations, and other exotic locations.
Plus, you get paid while enjoying free luxury accommodation not just locally, but around the world as well.
Okay, snap back to reality.
While the chance to live in a mansion and get paid to be there is quite slim, many people are discovering that paid house sitting jobs can open up doors for them to travel and explore one city or country for extended periods.
Paid house sitting jobs do exist!
How to Get a House Sitting Job
As its name suggest, house sitting is the practice of entrusting one’s home to one or more “house sitters” who are allowed to stay in the property (for as long as the owner requires).
House sitting is win-win for both the home owners and the house sitter.
Trusted Housesitters stated that 80% of house-sitting arrangements is because homeowners prefer to leave their pets at home.
In addition, the cost of pet care in vets or pet hotels can be costly and house sitting proves a more economical alternative.
As for the house sitter, traveling in another country or living nomadically is possible because he/she saves money on accommodation. House sitters can also experience “living like locals” while working an honest job.
What Does a House Sitter Do?
Tasks of a house sitter varies, usually depending on the home owner’s needs.
Some include taking care of the homeowner’s pets, while others just stick to general house maintenance.
Generally, paid house sitting jobs involve:
- Occupying the house – Insurance companies in countries like the UK reject claims if home owners leave their houses vacant for over 30 days. If house sitters occupied the house when a break-in occurs, home owners have a chance to claim insurance.
- Taking care of pets – If arranged by the homeowner, house sitters may also be assigned to take care of pets. This includes day-to-day pet care like walking the dog, providing food and water, scooping poop/cleaning litter box, and even taking them to the vet when necessary.
- Taking care of plants – Homes with either indoor or outdoor garden may require help watering and pruning plants, mowing lawns, and so on. In some cases, pool cleaning may be included in the job description as well.
- Basic cleaning – The house sitter doesn’t necessarily have to scrub the home from top to bottom the whole time they stay in it. However, he/she has to keep the home in the condition they found it.
- Other duties – Organizing mail, forwarding phone messages, overseeing home repairs, and other duties may also be assigned to the house sitter.
Although tasks could change from one job to the next, house sitters are generally aware of what their duties will be even before they apply to the position.
Non-paid and Paid House Sitting Jobs
In your search for house sitting jobs, you’ll be faced with two kinds of opportunities:
1. Non-paid house sitting
In this case, you get free accommodation in exchange for taking care of the house.
Some homeowners ask the sitter to pay half or all of the utilities while staying at the house.
Others even require sitters to pay a “deposit fee” instead.
2. Paid house sitting jobs
This is the opportunity most people want.
I would too, if you’re given a small apartment at the back of a mansion with all bills covered plus an allowance to boot, why wouldn’t you grab it?
Some homeowners even look for a “couple sitter.” If you and a loved one is on a nomad path and would be up for paid house sitting jobs, this kind of opportunity is priceless.
How Much Can You Earn House Sitting?
In the U.S. the average annual pay of house sitters is around $77,600.
The lower end of the spectrum come at around $12k but with plenty of perks, or as high as $360k without many benefits included.
The biggest factor that dictates house sitter salary is the amount of time required to care for the house. Does the sitter have to be at home just a few hours each day, or 24/7 until the homeowners get back?
If you’re the homeowner and want to check out national rates for house sitters, prepare to shell out $25 to $45 per day.
The cool thing about paid house sitting jobs is that they continue to be highly negotiable between the owner and sitter.
10 Places to Find Paid House Sitting Jobs
Majority of house sitting jobs listed online do not involve salaries, but if you’re a traveler or follow a nomadic lifestyle, free accommodation can be very well be considered as an “income.”
The most popular websites that lists paid house sitting jobs include:
If you look at just one program in this list, make it Trusted Housesitters, especially if you love pets.
You will be trading care of animals for free accommodations all around the world.
Has listings for U.S., Spain, Scotland, etc.
$50/year or free membership but limited features.
Known for having listings in exotic locations like Bali, Indonesia, Catalania, and more.
$25/year membership fee
Exclusive to luxury house sitting jobs
$89/year or limited free membership
Impressive resource if you’re looking for international paid house sitting jobs
This house and pet sitting website requires a membership fee of $30 per year.
Most of the jobs here involve a straight swap = taking care of the house in exchange for free accommodation.
UK-based website, but caters to Spain, U.S. and UK locations.
Requires £79 a year membership. Has a 9.8 Trustpilot rating.
Has been around for over 30 years
Listings include a good mix of non-paid and paid house sitting jobs
This website isn’t exclusive to house sitting jobs
You can also find child care, pet care, etc.
10. Job boards like Indeed or Craigslist
You’d have to do a bit of searching, since these websites are home to all kinds of jobs.
Use “house sitting” or “house sitter” keywords before filtering results by location.
How to Land Paid House Sitting Jobs
A good house sitter is reliable, responsible, easy to talk to, and has a passion for what he/she is doing.
If possible, learn home maintenance skills, such as basic plumbing, gardening, and so on. These skills will be very handy in cases of leaking sinks and other issues that could occur while you’re house sitting.
Know that this industry is fierce, so you’ll have plenty of competition. You have to present your house-sitter profile the best way possible, and if you’ve already completed house sitting jobs in the past, be sure to file testimonials to build an impressive client portfolio.
To get an edge over your competition, master these 5 things:
- Eye-catchy profile – All the sites above would require you to create a profile. Make yours next-level impressive to catch the eye of homeowners and contact you (instead of you e-mailing them).
- Flexibility – You won’t be able to control everything about the job, so you should be able to go with the flow, fix issues if you are faced with them. When doing the interview, give examples of how you’d be able to adapt through various situations beyond your control.
- Communicate effectively – Whether you’re sending an e-mail to the homeowner, or facing them during a Skype interview, communicating effectively can definitely land you the job.
- Documenting References – Prove you’re worthy of the job. Word of mouth is still the best way to promote your house sitting services, so document all your past clients, ask for testimonials, or just simply let your past performance do the talking.
- Asking Questions – Confirm everything before signing up for the job. You’d have to be 100% committed to the task, so if you’re not sure about something, ask the homeowner about it beforehand. You’d be surprised how asking questions would reflect positively on you.
The Future of House Sitting
If you’re already earning money while traveling, complimenting your journey with house-sitting makes total sense.
Despite improvements in Smart Home technology, homeowners still prefer fellow-humans to take care of their houses when they go on a vacation.
This, and the cost of leaving pets behind at the vet, makes house sitting a lively industry on its own.