How much money do House Sitters make? Find house sitting jobs that pay
Updated: Jun 2
You’ve just started a new house sitting job in a foreign country, it’s a beautiful home, right by the beach. You wake up on your first day there and make yourself a coffee and breakfast, head out to the pool and read in the sun. Later, you do some basic jobs like watering the plants and walking the dog on the beach. All the while, you’re getting paid and living rent free.
Can you believe people get paid to house sit? Is it really true? Are there really house sitting jobs that pay?
Most house sitting jobs offer free rent for the house sitter, there isn’t always a lot of sits that pay on top as well. There are some though, long term house sits that pay are more common. If a homeowner is going to be away long term, they will want security that their house and pets are being looked after well. So they will often pay house sitters, to ensure they get qualified, responsible people applying.
Basic House Sitting
There is currently thousands of house sitting opportunities available online right now. With lots of websites, community blogs and fb groups advertising these openings. While the majority of house sitting jobs online reward house sitters with free rent only. If you are creative about where you look and how you negotiate with homeowners, you may get lucky and have them pay you to house sit.
If you’re new to house sitting, it can be tricky to get one of the openings online, especially one of the paid roles, as there are so many experienced house sitters out there.
A great place to start, if you have no experience, is with your own contacts. Ask your family, friends, and colleagues about opportunities. Tell them you’re looking at becoming a house sitter and there is a high chance that someone in your network will be away from home soon. House-sit for them to learn the ropes. With at least one good house-sitting reference under your belt, you’ll be more qualified when applying for future house sits and more likely to get a house sit that is paid.
How much money you can earn and save as a house sitter
Even if you aren’t getting paid directly while house sitting, the cost savings on accommodation will dramatically help your cash flow.
It falls under a term called geo-arbitrage Geoarbitrage is a concept popularized by Tim Ferriss in his book “The 4-Hour Workweek.” Geoarbitrage sounds complex, but the principle is easy to understand and apply. Different geographic areas have different costs of living. Geoarbitrage is simply taking advantage of these differences.
By getting free accommodation from house sitting, as opposed to paying lots of money on rent each month, means you are significantly lowering your cost of living. Lets run the numbers as an example: Say, you are currently living in a one bedroom apartment in California (rent for a one bedroom apartment is currently around $1400 a month on average in California )
Expenses: $1400 per month
Let's say you land a 4 month house sitting job near where you live, if you continue to rent your costs will be:
Expenses: $1400 x 4 months = $5600
If you decide to take the house sitting job you will be saving $5600, in just 4 months.
Savings if you take the job: $5600
If you do not take the house sitting job, you will have an opportunity cost of $5600. If you do take the job, you will have an extra $5600 in your account at the end of the 4 months, compared to if you didn’t. So that is one way to get paid as a house sitter.
What is the best house sitting website?
There are several good house-sitting websites out there to match with homeowners and find good house-sitting jobs (all have membership fees). Here are the best house sitting websites that we found on the net:
TrustedHousesitters.com ($130 USD annual fee) a bit more expensive than the others but it has so many more options and a much easier to use interface. This site is heavy on UK and European house-sits but is also gaining popularity in Australia and North America.
Housecarers.com ($50 USD annual fee) – Plenty of good house-sits, with a focus on Australia, New Zealand, and North America, but a poor website structure makes it difficult to navigate.
MindMyHouse.com ($20 USD annual fee) – Low fee to join, a good number of house-sits (primarily in North America and Europe), and a well laid-out website. But because of the low costs for house sitters to join, there are thousands more house sitters on the platform than there are houses to fill. this makes it extremely competitive and difficult to get housesits. Especially if you’re new to house sitting.
Nomador.com (free or $89 USD annual fee) – Nomador has the highest number of house-sits in Europe and is growing worldwide. Its unique “trust profiles” help lay a foundation of trust between homeowners and house-sitters. In addition, it has an exciting “Stopovers” feature, which is similar to Couchsurfing.
Check out this comprehensive review on Trustedhousesitters.com for more information about their website.
While it can be difficult to find paid house sitting jobs in the beginning. Trusted House Sitters explains that sometimes you can get paid for house sitting:
“The bottom line is it’s all negotiable between you and the homeowners. In most cases it’s just a straight swap; the house sitter cares for the house and pets in exchange for free accommodation… However there may be times when a homeowner will offer some money for the house sitting job.”
Trusted House Sitters give three examples of times a homeowner might pay you, these are:
When the house is in a less desirable location.
For short sits (such as a few days)
When there are many pets to care for.
A more hands on type of house sitting that pays is caretaking. Caretaking jobs are usually more work than a simple house or pet sit. You literally take care of someone elses property for a set time. This means that as well as free rent, the homeowners will pay you a salary or stipend.
If you’re trying to land caretaking roles, it helps a lot to be experienced with house sitting and have good reviews to show future homeowners. If you have a specific skill or trade that can be used on homeowners property it will be a big help in landing caretaking jobs. A lot of these properties are high maintenance and require a lot of handy skills to maintain.
For example, their may be some homeowners who want some building work done on their home while they are away, someone with carpentry experience can apply to this role and get paid for their skills, and live in the home rent free.
This excerpt was taken from a job posting on the Caretaker Gazette:
"A WEST COAST FAMILY IS SEEKING AN EXPERIENCED, RELIABLE CARETAKER to oversee their small estate in Pierce County, Washington. This is a quiet, on-the-water location, requiring an individual who enjoys nature and who is accustomed to secluded locations and like weather conditions. Core duties include: hands-on landscaping, mowing, pruning, organic gardening, systems and buildings maintenance (main residence plus two guest cottages), grounds management, vehicle upkeep, and project management.”
As you can see, it sounds like a lot more work than just feeding the pets and making sure the house doesn’t get broken into, but this is a full time salaried position plus free accommodation and benefits.
The Caretaker Gazette is an online newsletter that has been operating for 38 years, there are thousands of jobs like this posted in the us and worldwide every year and new jobs to check out every day.
Check out a few of the amazing paid caretaking jobs that they have posted on their twitter in 2020.
I found several examples on their archive which you can browse without an account of caretaker job listings paying over $100000 usd a year, plus benefits and free accommodation.
So how do you get paid to house sit?
You’ll have competition from other house sitters for finding housesitting jobs that pay. But in summary: if you are willing to work a little harder than a basic house and pet sitter then you can likely get paid. Think about any skills you have and ways you can use them to help improve homeowners houses, this will make you much more resourceful to owners and they will be more willing to choose and pay you. Finally, apply for as many jobs as you can and get good reviews, apply for jobs with lots of pets (if you can handle it). If you start to use these tips when looking for house sitting jobs you will have a much higher chance of landing a paid housesitting job. Which means you will be a professional house sitter getting paid and getting free rent. Sounds like a pretty sweet deal right?