HouseCarers connects homeowners with house sitters who are willing to watch pets and plants in exchange for free accommodations
Expected pay: None
Commissions & fees: free for homeowners. Sitters pay $50 annually.
HouseCarers connects homeowners with house sitters from all over the world. With this site, house sitters watch pets and take care of homes in exchange for free accommodations, not pay.
This 20-year-old site aims to assist affordable travel, not employment. And, because its house listings are international, the site does not want to run afoul of restrictions that often prohibit paying non-residents to work without a Visa.
Why house sit for free? Free accommodations in a city that you want to visit are valuable. Homeowners, who can list their homes for free, also get a valuable service — someone to water plants and watch pets. Free housesitting can be a win-win for both homeowners and sitters.
There are two ways to get housesitting jobs. You can post a profile and hope that a homeowner will contact you; or you can search the site for sits that you want.
However, the site is lax about requiring photos and details about the house that you’ll be staying in. Details about what’s required of sitters are also lacking in many cases.
Are you watching over a six bedroom mansion and need to mow an acre of land to fulfill your end of the bargain? Or are you staying in a tiny apartment with a cat? Some “house sitter wanted” advertisements provide copious details and photos. Others offer only vague descriptions.
Since you’re doing a job in exchange for accommodations, that seems like an oversight to be missing so many of the details. However, the site anticipates that sitters and homeowners will work out the details through additional contact.
There are numerous sites that allow you to list your home — or your services — for house sitting. Most charge fees ranging from $50 to $150 for sitters. Some also charge homeowners. HouseCarers sitter fee of $50 annually is among the more reasonable. We also like the fact that it’s not automatically renewed.
But the lack of detail about the homes and jobs is a big shortcoming. And despite being one of the oldest housesitting sites on the web, the site gets less than 100,000 page views each month. For a site that’s offering sits around the world, that’s not much.
If you’re looking to housesit in exchange for international travel, we recommend TrustedHousesitters. You can read our full review here. But the short version is that it gets about 10-times as much web traffic as HouseCarers. That translates to more houses; more opportunities for sitters. You can sign up with TrustedHousesitters here.
For those who want to get paid for house sitting close to home, we’d recommend Rover. Rover is focused on all services pet-related, including dog-walking and pet sitting. Pet sitters post a profile for free. They only pay a commission if they get a job through the site. You can sign up with Rover here.
What their users say
AndyTraveler rates the site highly
NomadicMatt lists it as one of four sites to sign up for if you want to house sit
HalftheClothes lists HouseCarers as her favorite international house sitting site
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