House sitting a beautiful city home was convenient and saved us campground rent money. It gave us a safe place to park and the benefits of a sticks and bricks house. It gave the owners peace of mind.
Bob and I have done a variety of property caretaking and house sitting jobs. This one was in the middle of the city. It gave us the chance to explore the city, go to museums, check out local restaurants, and take in some of the city's entertainment.
We gave the homeowners security. They were able to go out of state, knowing we were looking after their home. They didn't need to arrange to have the newspaper stopped, the grass mowed, or the garbage put out on the correct day. We took care of those things.
We'd done caretaking before, but this was our first job as house sitters in a major city. This caretaking position gave us a rent-free home base while exploring the city. It gave the property owner’s peace of mind that they weren’t going out of state leaving their beautiful home empty.
This position found us; we weren't looking for it. As usual, we went where we wanted to be and were open to opportunity.
We thought we might want to spend a week or so there, but didn't have specific plans. We were unfamiliar with the city and we thought we might want to stay a while. We booked ourselves into an RV park.
Bob's cousins lived in the city, but we hadn't seen them for many years. We looked them up for a visit. We got together for dinner and had a chance to reconnect.
They had an upcoming out of state trip planned. They would be gone for several weeks. The night before they were to leave town, they called and asked us to house sit for them.
We went to their home that evening for instructions. They showed us where to find keys; where and when to put out the garbage; and told us a few things about the house. We went back to the RV park for the night.
We arrived at their home the next day and settled our RV into their driveway.
Bob and I were welcome to live fully in the home. The host family suffers from allergies, so our pets could not go into their home. We therefore decided that we would continue to sleep in our RV, too.
There was no monetary payment for this caretaking job. But, as is so often true in caretaking situations, there were other benefits.
Because we were house sitting, we didn’t need to pay to stay in the RV park. A huge benefit to me was having fasts, twenty-four hour a day Internet access.
We had a very comfortable home base while exploring the city. I miss having a regular size bathtub in our RV, so I relished a relaxing soak. Bob enjoyed watching television. (We choose not to have a TV set up in our RV.) We used their washer and dryer, saving us a trip to the laundromat. We read the daily papers that were delivered to the front door. We simply enjoyed the beauty of their city home.
They told us to help ourselves to food in the refrigerator, freezer, and cupboards. We ate produce, breads, delicious leftovers, and things in the refrigerator that would spoil. They didn't need to clean out the fridge before they left, and didn't waste food. We didn't need to buy groceries or to cook.
Vacant homes invite intruders and vandals. House sitters keep home occupied. Our only duties were being there, providing normal comings and goings, and putting out the garbage for pickup.
Bob likes doing fix-it jobs and yard work. During our visits, his cousin mentioned several minor repairs that needed doing around the home. Bob went ahead and did them. When the grass needed mowing, he mowed it.
He enjoyed doing those things. We also wanted the home and yard to look as nice or nicer when the owners returned as when they left.
On this same line, we did some general housecleaning before the owners returned. Nothing intrusive, just making sure things were neat and tidy. We emptied the garbage, swept, dusted, and made sure the dishes were done. We generally cleaned up after ourselves. We also did a bit of grocery shopping, so they would return to fresh baked goods, produce, and a cold bottle of wine.
This is how house sitting should be. It should be mutually beneficial. Both the property owners and the house sitters should be happy with the arrangements.
We've since been invited back to sit for them again. There is no longer an RV park in their city at which we would feel safe. They especially appreciated Bob taking care of things on the "Honey Do" lists. So, this caretaking arrangement has special appeal for both the homeowners and for us.