I’ve been trying a different way of living for the last 6 months and have been housesitting my way around New Zealand. A couple of days ago I wrote an article on how to get a housesit and I thought you might like to know what the good, the bad and the ugly was when it came to house sitting:
Low or no cost – generally housesitting is an exchange of your time for their home. When I’ve done housesits of 4 weeks or more I’ve agreed to pay for power/gas as its a cold winter here and I can appreciate that home owners don’t want to come home to a large bill. This is completely up for negotiation and would depend on the type of house sit; if I’d been looking after numerous animals I probably would have come to a different arrangement but as I was simply looking after their home this seemed fair for me. I’m aware of some housesitters who charge a fee for their services.
Exploration – I’ve been able to explore different neighbourhoods and cities to see where I might like to live in the future without having to commit to one place.
DIY – I love to look at the maintenance that needs to be done on a place and then realise that I don’t need to do it! Life becomes very simple and I can focus on the big stones instead of all the little ones.
Variety – variety is definitely the spice of life for me and housesitting gives me a wide variety in terms of area, type of home and meeting new people.
Friends – I thought that house sitting would be a strictly professional arrangement and it has been an unexpected bonus that I have made friends along the way.
Appreciation – I am grateful for the opportunities I’ve been provided with and know that I will truly appreciate the joy of having my own home when I decide to rent or buy.
Stuff – as I have limited myself to the number of possessions that I can fit in my car boot I’ve realised that I don’t need nearly as much “stuff” as I thought I did. Life has become much more about quality and not quantity.
Treasures – I miss some of my treasures that I have in storage. The beautiful bowl from a trip to Istanbul, the recipe books that I’ve collected over the years and my lovely sharp cooking knives. Also, I miss some of my clothes especially since winter is definitely here!
Home sweet home – as the months pass by I am starting to miss being settled in one place and have been getting cravings to have my own place with my stuff (as it is!).
Weekends away – when you are housesitting and looking after someone elses animals you need to consider that you won’t be able to go away unless they are cared for. This is something to ask the home owner about if you aren’t used to owning animals.
Luckily I have avoided the ugly but I know from other housesitters that there is ugly out there! The main issue that house sitters face is arriving to a home that is far less clean and cared for than they were lead to believe. I now ask for photos of the interior of properties that I do not get to see before I accept the position as that removes any ugly possibilities.
Have you found the good, the bad or the ugly?