Best House Sitting Websites

Best House Sitting Websites [for owners & sitters]

3 Best International House Sitting Services/Websites

Summary

Why House Sit

What Does It Mean To House Sit

What To Look For When Choosing a House Sit Service/Website

 Final Thoughts

 

House Sitting is an interesting concept. Basically, what it means is to live in someone’s home, taking care of it (and pets) for a period of time while they are away. Finding the best house sitting websites can be a challenge, especially for new time users.

My husband and I travel for six months of the year. The other six months we house sit.

We first heard about house sitting while in Costa Rica. We met several couples who told us they were house sitters and could go anywhere in the world if they wanted to. This sounded interesting to us and upon our return to Canada, we immediately registered to a popular house sitting service.

We are now well into our second year, with over 20 house sits to our credit; several of them are repeat clients.

The purpose of this article is to provide you with some insights on 3 popular house sitting services, what house sitting means, how it works, the pros and cons, and what to look for when choosing a service, either as a house sitter or the owner looking for a house sitter.

As a house sitter ourselves, my husband and I are affiliated with more than one house sitting service and extremely happy with them.

 

3 Best International House Sitting Services/Websites

1) TRUSTED HOUSE SITTERS

TRUSTED HOUSE SITTERS HIGHLIGHTS

This company was launched in 2010 by Co-Founders Rachael and Andy when Andy saw a need. He was helping out a friend, caring for his 2 cats and threes dogs in Galica Spain when he realized that many people would prefer to leave their pets at home in familiar surroundings rather than board them out.

It is one of, if not the largest, company that offers this service. They have a very strong presence in Australia, U.S., Canada, and the UK but their house sitters and owners are world-wide.

Even their staff is encouraged to do hands-on-training by house sitting themselves so they can bet a better understanding of what clients are looking for.

Since there is huge competition, one of the things recommended for new members is to provide a top-notch profile so that you stand out. Don’t be afraid to include any private house sits – this is how we got started with over 10 years of house sits for family and friends.

The nice thing is you can choose what animals you wish to sit for. While we are willing to look after most animals (including chickens), we do draw the line at snakes and other large reptiles. Not all house sits include animals; sometimes the owners want to make sure their property is looked after while they are away.

2) HOUSE CARERS

HOUSE CARERS HIGHLIGHTS

House Carers has been around even longer than Trusted House Sitters, starting their company in 2000 by founder Ian White. Although based in Australia, their operations are global with faithful homeowners returning year after year.

 

It is free to homeowners, however, a $25 fee gives a Premium Membership which ensures some extras such as being able to add private notes to sitters’ profiles, participate in the Referral Reward program and receive a bonus six months membership.

 

There is a free trial for house sitters but options are very limited. For example, a sitter won’t be able to contact homeowners.

 

A paid membership allows a sitter to respond to messages from homeowners or apply for any house sits, place contact phone numbers on profile visible to logged in homeowner (not seen by public), appear as a featured house sitter (in rotation with other sitters), upload up to 14 photos with captions, appear in unpaid limited members in search results, and include link from a website if sitter has one.

 

3) Mind My House

MIND MY HOUSE

MIND MY HOUSE HIGHLIGHTS

At just $20 US, this international house sitting company is very affordable. Owners Susan and Alan, (web editor and web developer) describe their operation as a ‘mom and pop’ business and are proud of what they have accomplished since 2005.

Although the company is Australia based, many of their house sitters and owners come from Europe.

Homeowners join for free and it is their intent to keep it that way. The messaging system is very good and prompt notifications are sent to homeowners and sitters of upcoming house sits or messages. 

Some of their resources include an FAQ section, advice for homeowners and sitters, house sitting agreement, “before you go” home owners checklist” and “before you go” house sitters checklist.”MIND

SUMMARY

1) Trusted House Sitters

PROS:

  • the largest company in the world therefore lots of choices

  • two Verification levels available for house sitters

  • Annual membership (no hidden costs)

  • Free 24/7 Vet Advice Line

  • Insurance backed guarantee for homeowner

  • Easy to use website including a place to load up to 14 photos

  • Great messaging system

  • Resources available for both owners and sitters

  • Welcome Guide prepared by owner is available to the house sitter

  • Reviews available upon completion of sits

  • App for iphones and androids

  • Has excellent client reviews

CONS:

  • Price might be considered steep by some although if you compare that to finding living accommodations or boarding your pet, it becomes quite reasonable

  • Since the company is so large, competition is hefty, therefore having a profile that shines is necessary

2) House Carers

PROS:

  • Well established company

  • Lots of great resources and a large FAQ section for both owners and sitters

  • Affordable membership for sitters

  • No automatic renewals (reverts back to free/guest)

  • Referral program for both owners and sitters

  • House sitting agreement

  • Has excellent reviews

CONS:

  • Can only be reached through their contact page; sometimes it takes at least 24 hours before you hear back.

  • Free house sitter trial is very limited – for instance you can’t upload photos or contact home owners

3) Mind My House

PROS:

  • Very affordable to join

  • Well established

  • Reviews available upon request

  • Good message system

  • Map locator

  • Great resources

  • Strong community

CONS:

  • Verification checks not requested

  • no discounts but at this price do you really care

  • Fewer available house sits

  • No social media presence

Why House Sit?

It isn’t all for the benefit of the owner; it also fills a need for the person doing the house sitting. People house sit for a variety of reasons.

  • An opportunity to travel

  • Free accommodations

  • Save money

  • Genuine love of animals

  • A way of life – they don’t want to be tied down to a mortgage, house rental, etc.

  • Experience the culture in other areas/countries

House Sitting, Globe
woman, man and 2 golden retrievers

What Does It Mean To House Sit

Members of a house sitting service will usually pay an annual fee where owners and sitters can connect.  

To house sit means to look after someone’s home, often but not always with pets included (we did a 4 month house sit in Ottawa with no pets), for a period of time in the owners’ home, assuming some responsibilities, such as light housekeeping, watering plants, yard or pool maintenance, or administering medication to pets if needed. These sits can be just a short weekend, a couple of weeks, several months, and sometimes even a year.

It is very important for a house owner to know his property and pets are in good hands and that the sitter can provide peace of mind, knowing that all is safe, secure, and they (the owners) can travel worry-free.

You better love animals! We have looked after cats, dogs, chickens, fish, even pet geckos. Here we are with two beautiful golden retrievers.

What to Expect When Choosing a House Sitting Service/Website

When my husband and I first thought about house sitting we didn’t have a clue about first steps. We were recommended to Trusted House Sitters by some friends and 2 years later, with several house sits completed, we feel we made the right decision. We have joined other sites but because Trusted House Sitters is so large, we never lacked for houses to sit. I do remember that when we first started, we had four house sits back to back (!). I guess maybe we have a good profile.

Regardless though, when you are first starting out as the sitter or the home owner, you want to find a service that will provide certain criteria to make your house sit an enjoyable experience for everyone. The following are a few items I would suggest you look into, based on the information provided on the three house sitting companies mentioned here.

House Owners and House Sitters

  • Does the company have a good reputation

  • How long have they been in business

  • Do they provide an insurance backed guarantee (for home owners)

  • What is the cost to join

  • What is the renewal procedure

  • What areas do they cover – are they global

  • Do they provide a review section (for house sitters and home owners)

  • Do they ask for security verification (for sitters)

  • Is there an easy messaging system to communicate with each other

  • Can photos easily be added

  • Do they provide an incentive or referral program

  • Customer service – are they easy to reach

Final Thoughts

House sitting can be a rewarding and fun experience for everyone concerned. For the sitter, It’s an awesome opportunity to feed your imagination and quench your thirst for travel, meet new people, learn about their cultures, and of course look after some furry new friends along the way.

For home owners, it is a chance for you to meet new friends and travel in peace with the assurance that your home and ‘family’ are in good hands while you are away.

We hope with this review we have provided you with some guidance in picking out a house sitting service that is perfect for you, either as the home owner or the sitter.

Are you a house sitter? Have you used house sitters before? Please share  your experiences in the comment section below.

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I love to travel and my biggest regret is that I waited so long to do it, thinking I just couldn’t afford it. I have had some crazy fun, met some amazing people, and had some scary moments such as getting locked in a shower at a campsite. For our trip to Mexico, we were able to save money by house sitting, which was something completely new to us. If this is something that interests you, then check out TrustedHousesitters or HouseSitMexico. We hope you visit often.

12 thoughts on “Best House Sitting Websites”

  1. WOW you definitely learn something new everyday . I had not idea their was such thing as how sitting . I like tour site . Very detailed and informative. I was very engaged in this site . Keep up the good work. If I ever plan on house sitting I know who’s site to come to.

    Reply
    • Hi Isabel. I am glad you enjoyed this. We have been house sitting for over two years, mostly in Canada and it is a lot of fun!

      Reply
  2. Hi Mary Ann

    This is not the first time I heard about this topic, but I’m glad I found your website to know more about Hose sitting.

    I also love to travel and when I tell my husband about it’s time for a new trip, he always worries about our house. Many times I have travel by myself to visit my family, but I would love we could travel together.

    Thinking about traveling and leaving the house alone for a few days or weeks is a worry I also share, but this could be a good solution, and it will be fantastic to find a person or a couple that will take care of our place well.

    You’re post is also a great help for people who could be interested to do house sitting as a way to visit some places around the world. I will forward your article to my son and to my niece as they love to travel, they are young and both are persons with values.

    I have a question, when you do house sitting, do you get paid for it? Thank you for sharing a great article to read more about house sitting. 

    Reply
    • Hi Alejandra. 

      It is a worry if you have to leave your home for any length of time and not have someone there to take care of it for you. There are a lot of trustworthy people who would love to help you out.

      Yes, house sitting is a great way to see the world, especially for young people such as your niece and nephew.

      We don’t charge but most likely we could as we have many 5 star house sits and 2 years experience. Some house sits are a lot of work and we sometimes think we should charge :).

      Reply
  3. Hi Mary Ann! This is amazing and informative, thanks! When you house sit you live for free in the house for the period that the owners are away. Including use of water, heating, electricity and gas for cooking and most often for sits located outside the city and some times the owners make car available.

    Reply
    • It can be a sweet deal for the house sitter, that’s for sure. The people we have house sat have been wonderful and very generous. We have met some amazing folks. It is a win/win. We help them and we have a place to stay.

      Reply
  4. Thank you for such relevant information, many a times I want to travel but I always have to take my dog along with me. I must confess it is always stressful coping with him. Finding services like that of House Carers that have been around for almost twenty years will definitely provide me with professional assistance. I will check their site to see if they can cover my region

    Reply
    • Hello. I am sure one of these house sitting companies service your area as they do offer house sits all over the world. I hope you find what you are looking for and that the information can help you.

      Reply
  5. First of all, many thanks to you for giving us such a wonderful article .House Sitting is an interesting concept .I love to travel so I registered with a popular home seating service .House Sitting Website I like the service very much . House Carers  is a friend for my dog care .When I was in Australia, I accepted the services of this website. Currently my brother lives in Australia and I will definitely get your article to him because he has a cat. He spends half of the year traveling, so your article will be very helpful .And to me it seemed the best I had been able to finish my travel plan very nicely, peacefully as well. After delivering it to my brother, I will definitely share with you his new experience .

    Reply
    • Thank you, Shanta, for stopping by. I am glad that one of these house sitting companies were able to help you out in the past and I hope it will help your brother as well. It certainly does give a house owner peace of mind when they are travelling and have to leave their pets behind. We have been thinking of going to Australia in the future. If we do, we most likely will do a house sit there.

      Reply
  6. House Sitting is an interesting and helpful thought for traveling especially adventure. 

    But I need some reasonable prices. A long time ago, I was traveling Africa, that time price was so high for house sitting.

    Hope, Everyone can get enjoy and safe with their chooses house sittings.

    Thanks for sharing an informative article with us.

    Reply
    • Most house sits don’t charge for the actual house sit but leave it up to the person if they want to charge or not. As for the annual fee for the company (if that is what you are referring to), for us, we find it reasonable because we do several house sits a year. 

      Reply

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