This sponsored post is written by Claudia Laroye and is made possible by Nomador.
Like any Type A traveler, I have a travel checklist of items to pack and things to do in preparation for any trip. For example, I never leave home without my flight kit (ear plugs and eyeshade), pashima shawl and cable pouch. Nor do I lock up the house before making sure it’s clean – and yes, that includes vacuuming and tidying up – and ensuring the stove is off.
However, I will admit that in the whirl of pre-trip prep, this is a LOT. It’s a lot to remember and a lot to do when all I really want to do is just close the door and walk away knowing my home and possessions are safe and sound in someone’s trusted care. Fortunately, there is a way to achieve such peace of mind, before, during and even after a holiday abroad – engaging a house sitter. Here’s how engaging a house sitter can help to secure your home while you’re away.
How a house sitter helps to secure your home while you’re away
Maintaining the household
I prefer a slow travel style and have often enjoyed five weeks abroad with the family on multiple occasions. That’s a long time away from home. A house and garden can start looking a bit abandoned and uncared for after just one week, much less five. As a conscientious homeowner, I take pride in caring for my home and property, and certainly don’t like to imagine it deteriorating and looking overgrown while I’m away on holiday.
By engaging a house sitter to care for my home while I’m away, I gain more than peace of mind that someone is home to answer the doorbell when it rings. There’s more to it than simply keeping the lights on.
As the house sitter lives in my home as I would, that means there’s someone to do all the things that I (and my husband would do); like mow the lawn, wash the car, water the plants, walk, feed and love the dog, cat or budgie, and take in the mail.
The home looks lived in and maintained because it is lived in and cared for by the house sitter in my and my family’s absence.
Engaging a house sitter can help keep homes secure at any time of year. But it’s particularly valuable during busy holiday periods like Christmas and the summer months. These are times when many people are away from their own homes, resulting in fewer eyes on the street in the neighbourhood and potential for criminal opportunities.
Practical ways a house sitter protects your home
- House sitters live on the property. Cars are on the move and visibly change places. The lights are on and off, showing that someone’s present and at home.
- Mail and packages are retrieved from the mailbox; washing dries outside on the line; and the garden is tended.
- House sitters switch on the alarm code before leaving and ensure it’s in working order. Home owners can give their house sitters access to alarm systems and mobile numbers to their surveillance company.
- House sitters can deal with emergencies in the event of electrical faults, water or storm damage and other unpredictable events.
- If any damage does occur, its effects can be dealt with promptly. The house sitter can text or email the home owner and even alert the insurance company on the owner’s behalf.
- House sitters can take incoming telephone calls to show that the house isn’t empty.
Eyes on the street
I don’t usually keep close tabs on my neighbours. But having lived in the same Vancouver community for 20 years, I do know their habits and can tell when they’re away or on an extended holiday. If I notice, perhaps others with not-so-good intentions are noticing too.
A house sitter can keep a neighbourly eye out – those all-important eyes on the street – for your and surrounding homes, just as you would do during your own daily routine. Giving a house sitter the security company contact or local emergency information is an important part of ensuring that they know who to call should it be necessary.
Becoming a local
A conscientious house sitter may be keen to become part of your community during his or her housesitting time. By joining a local volunteer group, gym or dog-walking group, they have an opportunity to get a feeling for your home environment and become even more comfortable by being a ‘local.’ This benefits everyone as the house sitter will fit in and be at ease in your home and your neighbourhood.
Use a trusted house sitting connection service
Security begins by finding a conscientious and appropriate house sitter for your needs. After all, you’re providing more than free accommodation to a stranger takin on a house sitting job. There’s a great deal of responsibility involved and finding the the right fit is key.
Your neighbour’s teenager or BFF’s vows ‘to drop in to check on things’ may not be the full commitment needed to ensure that your home or garden (much less pets) are properly cared for if they’re not living there fulltime during your absence.
By using a trusted source like Nomador, house sitters and homeowners can find house sitting opportunities and vet each other in a secure and global house sitting community platform. As a homeowner living in a coveted neighbourhood in Vancouver, I can find a house sitter who is keen to live and take care of my home and do pet sitting of my fur baby while I’m away. I can interview potential sitters and reach out to past hosts to find the ideal person and the right fit for our needs. This is security in itself.
Sharing information helps ensure house sitters take good care of your home
All members have their ID and registrations checked by Nomador administrators; owners can view each member’s Trust Profile and make contact through the platform’s internal messaging system. There’s an abuse report notification system and users are vigilant at ensuring the trusted community is kept free from abuse.
I can help the house sitter become comfortable and familiar in my home by providing all the necessary information and contacts in the Home-Book – a document that contains contacts, phone numbers and instructions about the house and pets, garden, car et al. I can even share the names of our mail carrier and close neighbours, as well as local routines and people and places they can rely on for information or assistance as needed. The more the house sitter is comfortable, the more they’ll feel, literally, at home.
For added security and peace of mind for both parties, home owners and house sitters can sign an agreement, or contract, that outlines the duties and responsibilities of each party. While not a legally-binding agreement in some countries, having such a contract will help ensure there are no miscommunications or misunderstandings.
Engaging a house sitter will not only safeguard your home while you’re away on holiday, it will help enable you to truly relax and enjoy that holiday, providing peace of mind that your house, possessions and pets are well cared for and secure upon your return.
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