Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
House Caretaking
Old 06-23-2008, 10:00 PM   #1
Full time employment: Posting here.
shiny's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 673
House Caretaking

Has anyone ever done any house/pet caretaking or used a house caretaker?

I've been thinking of things we might like to do after DH leaves w*rk, but before we settle down somewhere. I've stumbled across a few blogs/stories of people who move around place to place and do caretaking for people who are traveling. I was wondering if anyone here had any experience with it.

I've check a couple of caretaker websites, there is some interesting info, but many are for heavy duty work, more like live in maintenance workers. Here's one though that seems interesting though. House Sitters & Sitting from Housecarers .
__________________

__________________
I'm made of atoms, you're made of atoms, and we're all in this together. Ben Lee
shiny is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 06-23-2008, 10:26 PM   #2
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
simple girl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 2,505
Quote:
Originally Posted by shiny View Post
Has anyone ever done any house/pet caretaking or used a house caretaker?

I've been thinking of things we might like to do after DH leaves w*rk, but before we settle down somewhere. I've stumbled across a few blogs/stories of people who move around place to place and do caretaking for people who are traveling. I was wondering if anyone here had any experience with it.

I've check a couple of caretaker websites, there is some interesting info, but many are for heavy duty work, more like live in maintenance workers. Here's one though that seems interesting though. House Sitters & Sitting from Housecarers .
We have no experience with this yet. However, we have the exact same plan! I frequent that site quite a bit as I daydream about our future after being FIRE'd.
__________________

__________________
simple girl
less stuff, more time

(49, married; DH 53. I am fully retired as of 2015 (well ok, I still work part-time but only because I love the job and have complete freedom to call off if I want to travel with hubby for work), DH hopes to fully retire 2018 when he turns 55 to access 401K penalty-free...although he may decide to do part-time consulting)
simple girl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2008, 08:43 AM   #3
Moderator
Sarah in SC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Charleston, SC
Posts: 13,456
My housecarers folks arrive on Thursday!
We used this website after lots of research and I was blown away by the quality of our applicants. We narrowed it down to half dozen really super sounding folks, then phone interviewed the top two.

Our folks are coming for 18 days to care for 5 cats, 4 dogs, fish and two sheep. They are semi retired, he's a college professor. I think it is going to be awesome to have them here. We usually have my dad or cousin come by for shorter trips but wanted there to be someone here full time for a trip this long.

It is really a win-win situation--we get nice folks to stay in the house, and they get a free place to stay in an area they want to explore. Be very clear in your housesitting assignment exactly what you need, and describe your situation so there is no confusion. I also sent our folks a three page guide to caretaking the house and pets ahead of time.

I'll let you know if they burned the place down when we return mid-July!

On the other side, as a housesitter looking for assignments--what we looked for are people that are stable, "normal" sounding, and that had experience with pets, but none of their own. Older was better, not high-maintenance, couples were our preference. References were a plus!
__________________
“One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it's worth watching.”
Gerard Arthur Way

Sarah in SC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2008, 01:45 PM   #4
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
harley's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Following the nice weather
Posts: 6,428
Hi everyone, this is my first post, although I've been lurking around for a while.

I had a similar dream/plan when I was still working. So I subscribed to the Caretaker Gazette, a newsletter for people looking to be caretakers, as well as people looking for caretakers. WELCOME PAGE - The Caretaker Gazette - #1 Source for Caretaker Opportunities since 1983!

It had a number of different options in it, from the maintenance type positions to the pet sitting jobs, and many others. My particular favorite was the island in Maine for the winter (boat access only, bring lots of books). Couldn't get my DW to go for it, though. But it was a good resource.

Since I retired a couple years ago I've been so busy I let my subscription lapse. If I ever get enough free time I may get back into it, although I think I'd be more interested in house-swap situations now. But it still sounds like a great way to see different parts of the world.

Good luck.

Harley
__________________
harley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2008, 08:22 PM   #5
Full time employment: Posting here.
shiny's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 673
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarah in SC View Post
On the other side, as a housesitter looking for assignments--what we looked for are people that are stable, "normal" sounding, and that had experience with pets, but none of their own. Older was better, not high-maintenance, couples were our preference. References were a plus!
Maybe later you can help simple girl and me with our caretaking profiles! How to sound normal (speaking for myself only of course!)

Do you think there is any market for couples that do have a small dog? We only have one now and she is 13. I like to daydream about it, but perhaps it cannot happen for a while.

Have fun on your trip!
__________________
I'm made of atoms, you're made of atoms, and we're all in this together. Ben Lee
shiny is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2008, 09:29 PM   #6
Moderator
Sarah in SC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Charleston, SC
Posts: 13,456
Shiny, one small dog would not pose a problem for us, only cat-eating alsatian-types would make me nervous! And honestly, knowing folks have experience with dogs and cats makes pet owners feel right at home. A small, easily adaptable dog would not be a negative pretty much most places.

I think you can manage the normal thing--I'm remembering an applicant who said that her chakras would be better near the ocean or something like that. um, yeah. And I also ditched the one with a kid--didn't want the liability, you know?

When you or Simple Girl are ready for your first assignment, let us know--I'm sure we'll find somewhere to go and y'all can take care of the herd!
__________________
“One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it's worth watching.”
Gerard Arthur Way

Sarah in SC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2008, 09:51 PM   #7
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
simple girl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 2,505
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarah in SC View Post
When you or Simple Girl are ready for your first assignment, let us know--I'm sure we'll find somewhere to go and y'all can take care of the herd!
We graciously accept the invitation to herd your herd! Now all we have to do is get FIRED and free! Sadly, that looks like it will be several more years
__________________
simple girl
less stuff, more time

(49, married; DH 53. I am fully retired as of 2015 (well ok, I still work part-time but only because I love the job and have complete freedom to call off if I want to travel with hubby for work), DH hopes to fully retire 2018 when he turns 55 to access 401K penalty-free...although he may decide to do part-time consulting)
simple girl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2008, 09:54 PM   #8
Moderator
Sarah in SC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Charleston, SC
Posts: 13,456
That's fine, Simple Girl, it will take us several more years to recover from the cost of this vacation!
Aaaacccckkkk, if Jeff Yeager the Ultimate Cheapskate could see us now...we'd get our LBYM card taken away.
__________________
“One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it's worth watching.”
Gerard Arthur Way

Sarah in SC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2008, 10:00 PM   #9
Full time employment: Posting here.
shiny's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 673
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarah in SC View Post
When you or Simple Girl are ready for your first assignment, let us know--I'm sure we'll find somewhere to go and y'all can take care of the herd!
That would be cool, we could then list you as a reference and our pet/house sitting dreams would be on their way! My chakras are happy just thinking about it .

You may be spending a lot, but just think of all the money you are saving on kennel costs!
__________________
I'm made of atoms, you're made of atoms, and we're all in this together. Ben Lee
shiny is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-2008, 09:10 PM   #10
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 4,898
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarah in SC View Post
My housecarers folks arrive on Thursday!
References were a plus!
Sarah, if you don't mind, would you tell us how much you are paying them per day?
__________________
Zoocat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-2008, 09:13 PM   #11
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso) Give me a forum ...
REWahoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Texas Hill Country
Posts: 42,107
Since her house caretakers arrived yesterday, I'd bet she's gone...
__________________
Numbers is hard

When I hit 70, it hit back

Retired in 2005 at age 58, no pension
REWahoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-2008, 09:24 PM   #12
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
simple girl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 2,505
Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
Since her house caretakers arrived yesterday, I'd bet she's gone...

Yes, she likely is, and I can't wait to hear about Mongolia!

And, FYI, most housesitters work for free, unless otherwise arranged by the two parties. It is thought that the stay in an area will offer free accommodation to explore the local area while the owner gets someone to watch their house/pets for free.
__________________
simple girl
less stuff, more time

(49, married; DH 53. I am fully retired as of 2015 (well ok, I still work part-time but only because I love the job and have complete freedom to call off if I want to travel with hubby for work), DH hopes to fully retire 2018 when he turns 55 to access 401K penalty-free...although he may decide to do part-time consulting)
simple girl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-2008, 12:14 PM   #13
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
youbet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Chicago
Posts: 9,965
Quote:
Originally Posted by simple girl View Post
Yes, she likely is, and I can't wait to hear about Mongolia!

And, FYI, most housesitters work for free, unless otherwise arranged by the two parties. It is thought that the stay in an area will offer free accommodation to explore the local area while the owner gets someone to watch their house/pets for free.
What are the general expectations of the housesitters? Beyond caring for animals, which could keep you somewhat housebound if there are several involved, are they generally responsible to mow, water and do other routine chores?
__________________
"I wasn't born blue blood. I was born blue-collar." John Wort Hannam
youbet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-2008, 08:28 PM   #14
Full time employment: Posting here.
shiny's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 673
Quote:
Originally Posted by youbet View Post
What are the general expectations of the housesitters? Beyond caring for animals, which could keep you somewhat housebound if there are several involved, are they generally responsible to mow, water and do other routine chores?
It really depends on the situation. Some of the listings seems to be looking for some slave labor while others just want you to be there to pet their cat. It seems that most people with a house do ask for a little yard work if they are gone longer than a week or two.

I've been reading some of the carers profiles and it really seems like an interesting way to travel and meet people. But you are certainly right - it is not pure vacation.
__________________
I'm made of atoms, you're made of atoms, and we're all in this together. Ben Lee
shiny is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-2008, 08:49 AM   #15
Moderator
Sarah in SC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Charleston, SC
Posts: 13,456
An update:

The folks were awesome! When we came home, the house was clean, the dogs and cats and sheep were happy, all was well! We even had a welcome home sign on our door and flowers (they'd left that morning).

They were just what we thought, a nice older couple--I kinda wish we'd had more time to get to know them instead of bolting out the next morning. My parents had them over for dinner and kayaking and said they all had a great time together.
This was such a relief for us, knowing that we could leave on our trip and that the animals would have such good folks staying there. Couldn't have been better!

To answer a couple of questions: no pay, it is a trade. They would have mowed, but we didn't check them out on the tractor ahead of time as it wasn't a priority for us. I wouldn't expect someone to mow unless they wanted to do it. Our main thing was to take care of feeding the animals. I think they had a lot of free time--the guy said he read 8 books!

All in all, I think everyone felt the experience met their expectations.
__________________
“One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it's worth watching.”
Gerard Arthur Way

Sarah in SC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-2008, 01:34 PM   #16
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
donheff's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 8,643
Sarah:

Did you find them through a service or web site? If so, which one?
__________________
Every man is, or hopes to be, an Idler. -- Samuel Johnson
donheff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-2008, 02:44 PM   #17
Moderator
Sarah in SC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Charleston, SC
Posts: 13,456
It was housecarers.com, which seems to be the most comprehensive we found, and the one Shiny asked about. I think the key is to completely describe your situation and expectations, so that the folks coming will know exactly what they are getting into.
__________________
“One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it's worth watching.”
Gerard Arthur Way

Sarah in SC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-2008, 08:06 PM   #18
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
simple girl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 2,505
Hey Sarah - so cool to hear the housesitters worked out so well!
__________________
simple girl
less stuff, more time

(49, married; DH 53. I am fully retired as of 2015 (well ok, I still work part-time but only because I love the job and have complete freedom to call off if I want to travel with hubby for work), DH hopes to fully retire 2018 when he turns 55 to access 401K penalty-free...although he may decide to do part-time consulting)
simple girl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-23-2008, 07:31 AM   #19
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
simple girl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 2,505
Sarah,

I'm curious - what is the story with your housesitters? Do they just do this in the summers? (I see you wrote he is a professor and they are semi-retired.) Do they have their own pets?
__________________
simple girl
less stuff, more time

(49, married; DH 53. I am fully retired as of 2015 (well ok, I still work part-time but only because I love the job and have complete freedom to call off if I want to travel with hubby for work), DH hopes to fully retire 2018 when he turns 55 to access 401K penalty-free...although he may decide to do part-time consulting)
simple girl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-23-2008, 07:50 AM   #20
Moderator
Sarah in SC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Charleston, SC
Posts: 13,456
They have done a few assignments in the past, but never in someone's home--I think one was staying at a ranger cabin in Washington State. This was their first actual house-sit, they have no pets of their own (but have had them in the past), and I think they just plan to do housesitting in the summer. She does some volunteer work and I think he may teach a class or two during the academic year.

They are avid birdwatchers and kayak/canoers, so our place offered some good opportunities: he just sent me an email inquiring about the nesting pair of Mississippi kites in one of our sweetgum trees and saying how much he enjoyed watching them. I didn't even know about them!
__________________

__________________
“One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it's worth watching.”
Gerard Arthur Way

Sarah in SC is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Doing projects around the house accountingsucks Other topics 37 03-10-2008 09:06 PM
pay off the house or no? retiringat50 FIRE and Money 49 01-28-2008 08:38 PM
How expensive of a house spike Young Dreamers 12 04-27-2007 08:50 PM
Flip this House yAyA Other topics 11 10-31-2005 09:37 AM
House Hunting... usc_et Young Dreamers 30 10-17-2005 04:47 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:14 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.