New to House Sitting? So Were We!

When we meet new people, they are always fascinated that we are house sitters and don’t charge for our services. Many people don’t even know this is possible. Their next questions are “How did you get into that?” and “How can we do that?” I think all sitters started in their own way, but we are always happy to share our story.

We started out as homeowners, using house sitters, in Southern California. Our tiny Shih Tzu had a chronic lung condition and separation anxiety. My husband also had his own version of house-separation anxiety, always stressing about possible water leaks, problems with the pool, or break-ins.

In 2015, we were planning an extended vacation, so I found a housesitting membership website, subscribed, and started the process of taking applications. We received 10 applicants and after phone interviews, we decided on a retired couple. Thanks to them, we had an incredible vacation, and we were both so much more relaxed. We came home to an immaculately clean house, fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies, and a happy dog. We were sold! For the next 6 years, we never left for more than a few days without a house sitter there.

In 2021, we decided to retire early and move back to Texas. Our plan was to travel around Mexico to see if we wanted to buy a place there and in which location. I mentioned the possibility of us house-sitting to my husband. He said, “Why not?”

We joined and a day after finishing our profile, a 6-month housesit in San Miguel de Allende popped up. We applied, the homeowner contacted us, we had a video interview, and were “hired.” On our first house-sit in San Miguel we made many friends, both expats and Mexicans, learned Spanish, adjusted to the slower speed of life in Mexico, developed a routine for our “retired life,” and thoroughly enjoyed our time. Before planning our next location to visit, our next-door neighbor asked if we could house sit for him for a month. Of course, we said yes!

Next, we went back home for the holidays, got our Jeep for a Spring road trip, and came back to San Miguel. After the month-long house-sit, we took off for our 2.5-month, 6000 km drive through 16 Mexican states, renting houses as we went.

Demonstrating that once you’ve house sat for someone successfully, you’re asked to return: We are now 3.5 months through our second 6-month sit with the original owners in San Miguel de Allende, and we’re enjoying every minute. We will also be sitting for the neighbor again for 2 months in 2023.

People are always surprised that though my husband is now a (remote) executive again, we continue to housesit instead of renting places. We do rent places when there isn’t a housesit available where we want to go, but we can save a lot of money by housesitting. We also get to experience places as part of a community and to see what life is really like (dealing with the ins and outs of repairs, utilities, house staff, etc.)

It’s fun to be a tourist and a resident at the same time, doing all the touristy things while getting to meet and spend time with new friends on a regular basis for dinner and events. The best part is that we can give peace of mind, just as we were given when we had house sitters.

While there is some work involved in being house sitters, it’s also a lot of fun and very fulfilling. You should try it! I think you’ll like it!