It is that time of year when proverbial snowbirds leave their nests in Boston and head south to either Florida or Arizona for the winter to nestle up in their cold weather houses. Homeowners with multiple properties face the dilemma of leaving their homes vacant for long periods of time while traveling for business or pleasure. House sitters are becoming more common for homeowners with multiple properties who want to keep their pets cared for, lawns mowed and make certain their plumbing pipes do not freeze in the winter. Letting a complete stranger dwell in your property can be cause for concern, but there are several measures that can be taken to ensure you get a quality person taking care of your property.
House Sitter Companies
Many reputable house sitter companies, like Housesitter.com, provide streamlined services which bring homeowners and sitters together in communities all over the Boston area. Once youve been connected with someone you may consider as your sitter, you can perform a background check on them through various websites such as Intelius or USSearch.com. You can also look at your prospects Facebook and Twitter profiles to learn more about them before entrusting them with the keys to your home.
Rent It Out
Some homeowners would rather rent their property to a tenant than find a house sitter. One of the pros to this method is you can earn some extra income, or make the mortgage payment, by renting and it keeps the property from being vacant for long periods of time. The drawbacks are plentiful, but most glaring is you will likely have to hire an estate agent to take care of any maintenance issues that may arise while the tenant is there. Tenants will not likely take care of your landscaping, pets or do any other maintenance for you.
Find the Right Sitter
A sitter can live at your property without you having to pay them, with conditions as to what their daily responsibilities are, including when to water the plants, and when to feed the pets. Once you have chosen your sitter, make sure they know every single quirky idiosyncrasy your house may present to them. They should know the code to your home security system, that the toilet in the bedroom leaks, and know where the circuit breaker box is in case of emergency. You should also let them know of any deliveries being made or if visitors are expected.
Make Both of You Comfortable
Finally, make sure your house sitter feels at home. Sure you may lock one room which has all your family heirlooms and jewelry in it, but the sitter should feel as if your home is their home. The more symbiotic the relationship is, the more comfortable both you and the sitter will feel about the situation. You are providing the sitter a free place to live in a nice home in a city they would have otherwise never seen. They are providing you security and comfort in your home as you travel across the country. The sitter should not feel like they are working per se, but should feel as if they are being entrusted to protect and care for your property.