House sitting is a great travel option, ideal for retirees and the perfect gig for those living the mobile lifestyle. The truth, however, is that it’s not all luxury homes and cost-free world travel.
Welcome to the Dark Side
While it may be said that house sitters are living the dream, it holds true that our dreams can be nightmares.
Little surprises make warm memories?
The bathroom’s outside and the door handle often breaks – when you try to get out.
There’s no oven, the sink’s in the garden but at least the furniture breaks when you sit on it.
Not to worry, there’s little heating, it’s winter, and you climb a ladder to get to the bedroom. Other than that, the dog’s a bit nuts but you can use the car.
Oh, about the car, “it isn’t insured or registered, only starts when it wants to, and it belongs to my ex.”.
On the bright side, nobody in the village speaks English.
This remains my favorite house sitting experience. By a long-shot.
“Clean” is a Relative Term:
Your clean is not my clean so you’d better be flexible.
The note read: “There’s a dead mouse in the oven, I didn’t have time to clean”. Hmmm…That’s cold.
One couple found rats were living inside the sofa after they sat down on it. Fortunately, the house sit was only for a month.
There’s a reason you have a video call. Ask them to give you a tour but remember that you may need to tidy up now and again.
Smile – Everyone’s Watching!
After a few days at a house-sit, you discover not one, but several cameras in the house. Awkward? Depends on what you’ve been up to.
The home-owner didn’t tell you about them and god knows what they’ve seen or if there’s a recording.
Protect yourself. Always ask about cameras.
What’s All This About?
A couple’s very first sit is in England and when they arrive they find the home is completely gutted.
There’re no interior walls, just frame, wire and a bit of plumbing.
No kitchen per se, but one could bathe in tepid water with the help of a bucket.
The homeowner thought it a great idea to get those pesky renovations done. If only she’d told the sitters.
Always ask about renovations. Come to think of it, ask about visiting family members or live in relatives.
You’d be amazed at what people will expect from you.
House-sitting in a foreign country is, perhaps, illegal.
Here’s the truth: house-sitting in a foreign country is usually considered “work” and most countries have rules about foreign workers. The exchange of services for a place to live is a financial benefit; thus, work.
Troubling legal news: your tourist visa doesn’t allow you to work and you lied to immigration when you said you’re a tourist.
It’s my understanding this may lead to any number of issues including deportation.
Sometimes he does that
When you decide to house sit with dogs, there’s a possibility that the dog is more than you’re prepared for.
Depending on the situation, the breed, and your skill level, dogs can be dangerous.
To find out about the dog before you get there, ask the owner to complete a Dog Assessment for each dog you’ll be caring for.
If you’re wanting to learn how to build a great relationship with stranger dogs, take the course Dog Leadership for House Sitters. It’s all about making friends and building trust. A course worth taking.
House sitting has a dark side. Even if you ask all the right questions and take all the right steps, things can get weird. That’s okay, it’s part of the experience.
“When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.” – Hunter S. Thompson
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