Paid housesitter with kitty cat

The Ultimate Guide to Getting Paid for House Sitting

Imagine getting to travel the world, staying in luxurious locales, and getting paid for it. It’s not just a dream! That lifestyle is entirely possible with paid house sitting jobs.

You may think of house sitting as what you do for your friends or family when away, not as a paid job. It’s time to turn that way of thinking around. Find out more about paid house sitting jobs abroad and at home, and get started on your new life. Welcome to the world of travel, adventure, and income, all at the same time.

What is House Sitting?

You may have offered house sitting services in the past, usually for free while someone you know is traveling. In the world of paid house sitting jobs, it is largely the same idea, but with a few more responsibilities.

Professional house sitters are typically in charge of caring for pets, gardens, vehicles, and other parts of a person’s residence or estate while they are away. Jobs can last anywhere from days to years. Many span several months. It often depends on how much care pets need.

Some people do this in exchange for free accommodation and utilities. In this guide, we are focusing on paid house sitting jobs. Here, house sitters receive monetary payment and not only a beneficial trade (which in and of itself is pretty awesome!).

What Does a House Sitter Do?

You can expect to keep every part of the property running as it would when the homeowner is there. Taking care of the yard might mean watering gardens and plants, mowing the lawn, and pruning trees. There could be a pool to maintain. Bills need to be paid. Mail and phone messages need to be managed. And pets will need daily, attentive care. Some assignments may involve caring for more exotic animals or farm animals. Can you milk a cow? Put it on your housesitting resume!

House sitters can also expect to spend a lot of time in the house, particularly in the evening. Homeowners want to know that the house is secure, which is why they are not leaving it empty. The goal is to keep the house lived in. It would generally be inappropriate for a housesitter to go out for drinks and stay out late, but getting dinner is usually acceptable and encouraged.

As a house sitter, you would usually be responsible for your own expenses, including food. Utilities are usually paid by the property owner, sometimes paid by the sitter, and sometimes split. Each job is different, so be sure you understand the specifics.

Finally, be aware that if you are taking a house sitting job outside of your home country, you may need permission to work in that country if you are getting paid.

How to be the best house sitter

Not every house sitter is made alike. To stand out and to keep getting hired, set yourself apart as the best of the best.

Get the information and details you need in advance. Before the owners leave, ensure you are familiar with what they expect, how to maintain the property, and how to get in touch with them if need be. This includes understanding the rules of the house, such as those around having guests.

Communicate as much or as little as the property owner wants, so you can meet their needs while they are away. Some want regular updates while others will be out of contact owing to their travel plans. Find out before they go, and stick to their plan.

It is often helpful to keep a log or journal of what happens while the owners are away. We recommend setting up a shared Google Doc and keeping everything online, accessible to the homeowner as well. That way, if they have any questions about things like maintenance or how their pets behaved, it is all written down in real time (including comments in a Google Doc). This is also a good way to track things like phone messages, deliveries, and other communications.

Take impeccable care of the property you are watching, ensuring you are making repairs and replacements as needed. Leave the home in better shape than it was when you arrived, if possible! You can also prepare for the owner’s return by stocking up on any essentials they may need.

Is House Sitting a Paid Job?

To put it simply, yes! House sitting is a paid job. It is not always a paid job, of course, but if you are looking to become a professional house sitter, you can indeed be paid for your time, effort, and expertise. 

With paid house sitting jobs, you can actually get ahead, saving money while traveling instead of spending it to travel. Lots of people take paid house sitting jobs to live and work somewhere enjoyable while saving up for other goals.

Whether a job is paid or not depends on what the homeowner needs. If a house sitting job is in high demand they are likely able to find someone to do it for free. If their job is in a less popular location, requires extra work, or if they simply want to ensure a top-notch professional, they may be willing to pay.

Can you make a living as a house sitter?

There are three main ways people can make a living as a house sitter. The first is through saving money and paying off debt while living rent-free. However, this does not bring in cash flow, it increases your saving power. Paid house sitting jobs bring in routine pay, which is what you would live on.

One set of research shows that 57 percent of surveyed house sitters who do not have their own home don’t have a job either. They may make their living from house sitting or they may have other sources of income. We think the number of paid housesitters is pretty low, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t opportunities.

Another alternative is to work as a paid house sitter while using that time to work in a role that allows you to be flexible, such as online work. Then, you are saving money, making money as a house sitter, and earning by performing another job, too.

What is the going rate for house sitting?

The going rate for paid house sitting jobs largely depends on the area in which you will be working and your responsibilities. One ballpark figure suggests $50 a day for overnight stays. 

Another shows an annual salary of about $70,000 in the US. But we think this is connected to, which we’ve identified as a housesitting scam.

Clearly there is a large spread when it comes to paid house sitting jobs. With some research and commitment, you should be able to find one that fits your needs.

Is House Sitting Right For You?

If all of this sounds great so far, good! Now all you have to do is decide if house sitting is right for you. If so, we will also share how you can get a job house sitting.

Sometimes the idea of house sitting, aboard or at home, is compelling, but not actually a good fit for an individual. We want house sitters and property owners alike to benefit from house sitting and the community around it. So, it’s important to stop and think about a few things before you decide to jump into the world of paid house sitting jobs.

House sitting jobs of all kinds require flexibility. If you have a job that requires you to show up in a specific location at a specific time, house sitting will not easily fit into your life. The more flexible you can be, in terms of timing and location, the better your chances are of finding a good house sitting job.

Speaking of jobs, if you can do yours remotely, that’s a great sign! However, if you rely on the internet to get it done, you will have to stick to house sitting jobs that can offer the connectivity you need to keep your job going. While that’s increasingly common, more rural housesits often have poor internet, or data caps (such as satellite connections).

Are you committed to maintaining someone else’s home, property, and pets every day? House sitting is not a good fit for people who want to take regular breaks from these kinds of responsibilities. While the homeowner is away, it’s up to you to do it all. Expect to spend your time in and around the local area, and to spend your evenings at home for the most part.

Depending on if you are house sitting solo or can do it with a friend or partner, you may have to contend with some loneliness. And, depending on how far away you are from home base, homesickness is always a consideration. You can work to overcome this by meeting new people and getting to know your new locale, of course.

Generally, to be a house sitter and enjoy it, you need to be willing to deal with instability and flexibility while being able to stick to a homeowner’s plan and routines. If that sounds like something you can do, forge ahead to find out how to put that idea into action.

How Do I Get a Job House Sitting?

To find a paid house sitting job, you have to put in some effort. These jobs, especially the paid ones, will not fall into your lap. One of the most effective ways to get hired is to create a profile on a house sitting site or job board. At a minimum, you’ll need positive reviews.

Creating a good house sitting profile

Finding a paid house sitting job means setting yourself apart as a house sitter worth paying. If you are filling out a house sitter profile, keep these details in mind.

Think about what a homeowner wants in a house sitter. You want to share what makes you a good choice, from first aid certification to previous jobs involving a high level of trust and confidence. 

If you do not love animals, house sitting is likely not for you. The vast majority of house sitting jobs, especially paid jobs, involve taking care of animals. Let that love of pets shine through, and keep a list of every type of animal you’ve cared for!

House sitters should be prepared to offer references, like you would to any other employer. If you have previous positive house sitting experience, ask for references. If you are just getting started, you may need to look at previous employers, and others who can vouch for your character too.

Beyond those must-have details, it is important to showcase your personality. Property owners want to feel like they know the people responsible for their homes and pets. Explain why you want to housesit, whether it’s accommodating a digital nomad job, or because you want to see the world. Mention hobbies, future goals, and other information that helps show you as a well-rounded human.

If you are brand new on the house sitting scene, you may want, or need to, take a few unpaid house sitting jobs before moving on to paid house sits. If you find you cannot get traction with a paid house sitting job right away, consider an unpaid job that will give you experience and references you can leverage into paid work.

Follow through on opportunities

Once you have created your profile, you can apply for various house sitting jobs. Send a tailored message when you apply, ensuring you are targeting the specific ad. This is not the time for generic messages! Focus on what they are looking for, and how you are the best person for those needs.

Apply as quickly as you can, especially for hot-ticket paid house sitting jobs. These opportunities move quickly, and getting your name in first can make all the difference. Many sites and boards have the option for alerts based on your ideal job so you will never miss out on a chance for a good house sitting gig.

Be ready for an interview or at least a chat with the homeowners. They will want to know more about you and get a feel for who you are before handing over their keys. This is a good time to ask your own questions about things like internet access, house rules, and responsibilities.

Housesitting on Short Notice

Lastly, paid house sitting jobs may be most common when on short notice. This is because homeowners may be in a bind, and finding someone good is more important than finding someone cheap or free. If you can drop everything and do the gig, you may be in a better position to charge a premium rate.

We hope this guide has given you insight into paid house sitting jobs, and how they can make your dreams come to life.

Comments 13

  1. I have been a housesitter/caretaker/handywoman for a woman’s duplex for 5 years. She has ignored her property, neglected the replacement of hot water heater for 2 weeks I went without hot water. Now, I am without heat, and it is -13 degrees outside! She bought 5-6 small space heaters for me to place in the basement and downstairs apartment (heat has not worked downstairs for 2 years) yet she has no concern about replacing the boiler(s) because she wants to sell the house, I have made improvements to the property, shovel snow, clean apt downstairs, improved apt upstairs(where I live), purchase things like paint and supplies. I don’t know what to do, I have no money to move, yet want and need to be done with this nightmare. Do you have any ideas?

  2. I have house-sat a number of very elegant mansions, but the most exclusive one was the house across the street from Former President Nixon’s ‘Westcoast Whitehouse’ – a 24/7 guard-gated community within a 24/7 guard-gated community. I cannot tell you about my clients other than to say I well rewarded for my stay.

    1. Hi Esther.
      I have been a professional pet sitter for years and have many references confirming this. I am at a point in my career where I would like to uplevel my services to attend to a more affluent clientele. Do you have any suggestions on how I can use my references along with my extensive experience to land house sitting gigs where I am working with esteemed clients and paid more? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

      1. Post

        Hi Danielle, yes of course! Please see the list of housesitting websites in the upper right column of the website (or down below the blog post if you’re on mobile). Thanks for reading!

  3. if i paid a 16 year old in advance to pet & house sit for 3 nights but she left 1 night early, can she be made to pay my money back to me?.

    1. Post

      You paid her up front? That would be a very unusual relationship. If it ended amicably, maybe she can owe you a night of work? We’d guess if she were “made to pay back the money” that would be through something like small claims court. Hopefully it doesn’t have to come to that. Good luck!

  4. Hello, Thank you for the good information. I have house sat a few times and look now to paying assignments , as I am professional with everything I do & have good references . Your article is appreciated .

    1. Post

      Hi Judy – how nice of you to say so! Glad the article was helpful, and great to hear from someone on a good path. Best of success with your housesitting gigs, hope you get some paid ones! ~Tyler

  5. You said is a scam. Would you happen to have a list of legitimate websites that can be trusted to find these jobs?

    1. Post
  6. Pingback: Guided By The Pen 2

  7. Hi,I’m 32 year old retired airline employee,car deliverer all over the USA and have traveled the world extensively.I’m familiar.
    I’d love to deliver puppies and cats all over what required.I’m very new to this and did my last puppy last week.
    If you have an interest,I’m available to travel and go!!My rates are much less and references are available.
    Tim Dalessandro
    760 399 0786

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *