How Much Does a House Sitter Cost? It’s Not What You Think…
Let’s be honest – if you’re reading this article, it’s because you want to hire a housesitter, and need some sort of idea as to how much it’s going to cost.
Or, you want to start housesitting, and think, “Hey, I wonder how much I could charge?”
I get it. I thought the same thing, too, when I first needed a housesitter, and then started housesitting full time around the world.
The short answer? If they stay overnight in your home – then a housesitter costs nothing. Zip. Nada. Nope.
If they don’t stay overnight in your home, and need to water plants, check security, get the mail, mow the lawn, love your animal(s) – then it’ll depend on where you live in the world and what exactly you need done.
Still, if you do your homework and show a willingness to spend either time or money finding someone amazing, you’ll easily find a house sitter for free. How do I know this?
How I Started Housesitting
While traveling through Western Europe in late 2014 and early 2015, I found myself spending more than I could afford on accommodations. A few conversations later, I was searching the internet for house sitting services. An hour later, I signed up with one, and less than a day later I procured my first house sit.
Since then, I’ve pet and house sat over 50 times in Europe and North America. I’ve yet to get paid in cash, although I feel I was paid well for my services.
Why Didn’t You Get Paid?
In way, I did. It just wasn’t a direct financial transaction where money changed hands.
Basically, I took care of whatever the home or pet owner(s) needed while they were away in exchange for a place to stay.
What Kinds of Things Do House Sitters Do?
I’ve been asked to take care of AirBnB (and other vacation) rentals, maintenance, cleaning, painting, animal care, gardening, mail, taking out the garbage, being present for deliveries, and managing emergencies if they arise. Basically, it’s the house sitter’s job to take care of all your home and/or pet needs while you’re away.
As you can see, there’s a lot you can ask your house sitter to do, although each situation will differ.
How Often Are You in Contact?
It depends on the home or pet owner. Some folks wanted daily contact and pictures, others were fine with little to no contact at all. Many of the people I house sat for, I never met face-to-face. They left their keys somewhere private and I let myself in. Or, a neighbor let me in.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, I’ve made some dear friends through housesitting, and a good handful added me on Facebook.
One Site Told Me To Budget for House Sitter Costs. What Gives?
I’ve met people who charge for their house sitting services, and a few companies will connect you with people that run (about) the same price as a kennel for daily, in-home care.
There’s definitely a subset of house sitters out there that firmly believe they should be paid for their time, that staying in a home for free isn’t a fair exchange. In some cases, I might agree with them, i.e. when there’s a lot of farm work or specialized medical pet care.
For the most part, however, the house sitter cost exchange is more than fair. You have the peace of mind knowing everything is taken care of 24/7. and the person tending to your home and/or pets gets a free place to stay. Win-win.
But Really, How Much Should I Pay a Housesitter?
It’ll depend on where you are geographically, what your specific needs are, and how often you require a housesitter to come to your home.
Is it daily? A few times a day? Once a week? Do you need them there a certain number of days for your homeowners insurance?
I’ve found that many folks offer me in the range of $40-65 USD / day for specialized housesitting services. Having said that, managing a property or a resort might cost more, while lower-income areas might cost less.
The best way to find out? Go check out HomeCarers.com (signup is free), and take a look in your area what folks are charging per day.
How Do I Find Someone To House Sit For Free?
You talk to me. ;)
Seriously, I’m happy to if our schedules and needs match up, and have housesat all over North America, Central America, and Western Europe (so far).
You can also try joining a Facebook group – I’ve created one just for this purpose: Need a Housesitter / Become a Petsitter Mastermind Group.
There’s a bit of work involved with finding a great house sitter, and one that won’t cost you anything. In some cases, you might need to pay for a housesitting website, which will run you about $30-100 USD/year.
I use and recommend TrustedHousesitters – while pricey, I find it has the largest number of sitters available. Having said that, a few folks I’ve housesat for say they don’t use it anymore as they get inundated with messages. If you’re in a large metropolitan area then, I recommend MindMyHouse.
For the most part, however, you’ll find house sitter cost much, much less than what you’d originally thought. Really!
I’d love to hear about how much a housesitter costs in your situation, and, what you charge if you’re on the other side of the equation. Fill up that comment section!