Can families become house sitters?
Often when we describe our house sitting lifestyle to friends with children, we are met with the comment, “It’s easy for you because you don’t have kids”. But in reality family house sitting is a great way to travel and educate your kids at the sames time – homeschooling it seems, is also on the rise.
We admit, it’s probably easier for us to get house sitting jobs as a couple, but we have actually been turned down after reaching the shortlist on two occasions in the past. The reason? Because the home owner wanted to offer the opportunity to a house sitting family.
Family house sitting is more common than you may think!
It’s easy to assume that home owners will be less likely to want a family with kids looking after their property. But many home owners have families themselves, and have no problem handing over the keys to other respectful family house sitters.
What does seem clear is that more and more house sitting families are hoping to use house sitting as a way to make travel more affordable. So it’s likely you will start to find more “family friendly” filters appearing on websites as house sitting platforms realize the need to cater for this.
Trusted Housesitters already have this filter in place, and when we looked at their site today, around one quarter of all house sits indicate they will consider family house sitting applications. You can benefit from our 25% TrustedHousesitters discount as a reader of House Sitting Magazine, but remember it’s free to browse – so maybe just see what’s on offer first.
That’s not bad odds
Maybe you’ll have to work a little harder. Make your profile a tad more special. Or wait a bit longer to get your perfect assignment. But it does seem that family house sits are certainly more than just a slim possibility.
The choice of house sitting website can make a big difference to your success when applying as a family. One platform already offering to help to families is the international site HouseSitMatch. Owner, Lamia Walker offers a very personal service to help families secure the best option for their particular situation. And good news here too – we can offer you a saving on your membership with HouseSitMatch of 35% by using code: 35HSMAG
Becoming members of HouseSitMatch has benefited long term house sitting family Tracey, Rob and Makai Tullis, since they set out on their house sitting adventures back in 2014.
Tracey Tullis shares her family’s experience below.
FAMILY HOUSE SITTING MADE EASY
Our experience of HouseSitMatch was that they made choosing house sit assignments easy for families.
We are a location independent family that has been travelling the world since April 2014. We set out in search of destinations where we could live for less than what it cost us to live in our home country, Canada. Now we use house sitting as a means to keep our travel costs low and to immerse ourselves in local cultures.
So far we have completed 9 house sitting assignments, adding up to almost a year of free accommodation!
What makes HouseSitMatch so family friendly?
We’ve used three different house sitting sites over the course of the last two years, but HouseSitMatch really stood out for us as the most “family friendly”. The biggest difference is the individualized service that they offer their members.
Personalized service and support
In our opinion, HouseSitMatch is unrivaled for their personalized, friendly communication. We really benefited from the “live chat” facility that is available on the site. The founder, Lamia Walker, personally helped us communicate with homeowners, making the whole process much smoother.
People on her team call every new home owner who subscribes to get to know them and help them with “on-boarding”.
This level of communication is extremely valuable for all members because it helps HouseSitMatch create the best “matches” for all of their listed house sits.
Having Lamia and her team act as liaison between homeowners and house sitters ensures excellent communication right from the start, resulting in less guesswork for both parties. This is especially important for house sitting families like us.
Finding perfect matches for house sits can be challenging. Usually, house sitters and home owners meet for the first time and communicate online via Skype or email. It is less likely that both parties will meet in person before a decision to work together is made.
The list of unknowns can be much longer due to this remote type of communication. For example, we walked into a less than ‘kid friendly’ house sit because of questions we neglected to ask, and things we should have insisted on, but didn’t. This led to a less than ideal assignment.
I know this awkward situation could have been avoided if we had been able to use HouseSitMatch. They provide a personal link between house sitting families and homeowners. We haven’t found this kind of communication on any other sites we’ve used. It’s really worked for us.
The effort that HouseSitMatch employs to get to know house sitters and homeowners personally, builds trust. It helps house sitting families feel more confident when choosing assignments.
Personalized support really does help families land house sits!
Overcoming objections when applying as a house sitting family
Some homeowners do prefer singles or couples as house sitters. They want to avoid having kids in their home for one reason or another. And we’ve had to overcome some of these objections because of our young son.
In one case, the three-way communication, that included Lamia, helped put the homeowners concerns about our son to rest sooner than we could have possibly achieved on our own.
Lamia was able to act as an intermediary because of the relationship she had with us and the trust she had built with the homeowner. Her opinions and suggestions helped us all “click”. We landed the best house sit we have had yet… in sunny Spain!
All of this personalized service and support makes choosing assignments with HouseSitMatch easy for us.
Anything that simplifies family travel is a good thing, right?
If you are house sitting as family you might want to learn more about “home-schooling”. Tracy has written a great introductory article for House Sitting Magazine, which you can read at this link: Home Schooling for House Sitters – An Introduction
Tracey, Rob and Makai are a Canadian family who has been traveling and house sitting since April 2014. They love sharing what they learn about the places they visit and the challenges and rewards of living an unconventional family life on their blog: The Expat Experiment