Robyn-Lea, Founder, Compare HouseSitting ™
My house sitting lifestyle commenced in 2011 as a temporary measure between vacating my lovely little flat by the seashore and deciding “what next”? Read more
Aged 50 something, my home for the past ten years had been an apartment in a block owned by friends. But when the property boom came to Sydney’s Northern Beaches, this prized property was sold to a developer.
I’d heard about people house sitting Australia and wondered if it might be an alternative to handing over a large percentage of my income to a landlord on the open market. My late night musings blossomed into believing house sitting just might enable me to live rent free for a while – give me a reprieve from working full-time, allow time to explore my options. Read more
House sitting Sydney
My search of house sitting websites revealed a range of services offered online. The majority were database directory listings enabling home owners and house sitters to search for each other. Others offered a matching service much like a dating agency. While these provided value added service, matching services were quite expensive, so I joined a directory listing website on which I could see a lot of ads by home owners seeking house and pet sitters in Sydney. Read more
Within weeks of registering I had been contacted by half a dozen home owners, and with every conversation it became clear the invisible world of house sitting was for real. Instead of lying awake worrying about paying my monthly rent I would go to sleep dreaming of not paying rent at all, earning my keep caring for someone else’s home and pets.
My inaugural sit was for a couple who were about to retire. They had three cruises booked for the remainder of the year ranging from four to ten weeks. Empty nesters with a big house, I was offered a bedroom and bathroom on the lower level to call my own on the condition I commit to being their live-in house and pet sitter in their absence over the coming year.Read more
They gave me my own key, permission to leave personal belongings in ‘my’ room, and approval to come and go at will; even stay a night or three when in between house sits. I was chuffed to have been chosen and couldn’t believe my good fortune. What had started a few months earlier as dread was fast morphing into excitement.
Housesitting – a lifestyle choice
Fast forward four years, what commenced as a stop gap measure is now a lifestyle choice. My house sitting buddy and I joined another site and between the two, have been happily housed for the past four years: sometimes in New South Wales, sometimes interstate. Now we have verifiable references we are offered sits for months at a time, mostly new assignments but often past home owners invite us back to house sit home and pets.
Wherever my house sitting adventures take me, my work comes with me. I have head space to think creatively and time to do something about it. I am free to travel and chance to get to know (and love….) different breeds of animals.
Couple in mid 60’s, on selling their Guesthouse in Queensland, decided house sitting provided the opportunity to live like a local in different areas of Australia before settling down for the long term.Read more
House sitting Australia gives them opportunity to do just that – not just stay a few days then make the long-term decision to settle, but a chance to live like a local and ‘experience’ an area – the weather, people, proximity to lifestyle activities they enjoy and so on.
By housesitting they’re able to glean insights into the local housing market; learn things known to the locals, things real estate agents won’t tell you such as the recently released Estate near the ocean is re-claimed marshlands that will flood during heavy winter rains. Housesitting can be different things to different people – a means to an end or an end in itself.
70-something Mother Susan, recently widowed, owns a home in regional New South Wales but for six months of the year is house sitting Australia to spend time with her children who live in different areas of this vast continent.
During the winter months, when the humidity and heat at Australia’s Top End is bearable to southerners, Susan searches for sits in and around Darwin to spend time with her son, his wife and their new baby. In summer she can be found house sitting Melbourne to be near her upwardly mobile single son and at various times looks for opportunities to house sit Sydney Northern Beaches where her daughter lives. Read more
And as if that isn’t enough travelling for one year for someone in their 70’s (though isn’t 70 the new 60?) at various times throughout the year she searches for sits overseas – perhaps a week or two in the South of France followed by a couple of weeks in London to see some shows and catch up with friends. Then, if her run of housesitting luck continues, she might accept a sit in California on her way back Down Under.