For anyone who is passionate about travel and is keen to experience new places like a local, house-sitting is an awesome option. While there are loads of companies out there that match homeowners with house-sitters I particularly like Nomador, a European house-sitting market leader that started in 2007.
Nomador describes themselves as “a trust-based community platform putting house-sitters and homeowners into contact. As a homeowner, a house-sitter will look after your home when you’re away. As a house-sitter, discover new areas of the world while looking after someone’s home.”
Nomador offers both a free and a paid program whether you’re a house-sitter or homeowner at a cost of $US 35 per quarter or $US 89 per year. There are many more house-sitting opportunities if you pay so if you’re serious about finding a house-sitting gig this is definitely the way to go.
What I really love about Nomador
It all boils down to trust. If there’s one thing that I as a homeowner worry about when I’m away is how well looked after my dog is and what kind of shape my house will be in when I get home. Nomador takes the worry out of the equation with its rating system (on a 1 – 8 scale) of each potential house-sitter. The higher the number the more trust they’ve earned.
How do you get the process going?
Start by filling out a profile. After your email is verified you’ll be at a trust level of ‘1’. Following that you need to get an identity check which is easily done by submitting a photo of your driver’s license, passport or other verifiable ID. Showing proof of domicile is next done simply by sending a photo of a water bill for example. After you get bank details checked via an online payment you’ll be up to a trust level of ‘4’. To get to the next level, you need feedback from successful house-sitting experiences. Recommendations, endorsement badges and trust profiles are instantly visible to all members of the community. I as a homeowner find this really helpful as it’s a quick way of screening potential house-sitters.
The fun part – searching for a house-sitting gig
If you’re flexible with dates and locations you’ll have a tremendous variety of house-sitting options around the world. Decide what destinations or dates work for you and set up an alert so you can apply the minute a new offer comes in. You don’t have to have a precise destination in mind or even dates. Why not live on the edge and check out every opportunity. That’s the thrill of the chase and the fun part for who knows where you might end up.
There are lots of ways you can sort house-sitting options starting with city, region or country. Within those categories you can further refine your choices to include homes by the sea, mountain, countryside, or forest. Do you want to be isolated or are you looking for a big city? When can you go? Do you have limited mobility? You’ll find lots of options to consider! A Nomador stopover is also possible. It offers the possibility of staying for a night or two perhaps as a fill in between a couple of house-sitting jobs or if you’re traveling to another country. You can read all about it here.
What you’ll need to do as a housesitter
Before you apply to any house-sitting jobs be honest with yourself. Can you fulfill all the requirements being asked for by the homeowners? As I scrolled through listings I looked at some of the asks. They ranged from looking after horses to birds to as many as three dogs and three cats in a single house. Some people require extensive gardening while others need nothing done. Be realistic in what you’re prepared to do.
How Nomador helps
Nomador’s website is a treasure trove of information. There are lots of blogs you can read before you start the whole process to make sure house-sitting is for you. You might want to start with reading Frequently-Asked Questions About House-Sitting. If this sounds like the sort of thing you’ll enjoy doing then read House-sitter’s Tips for a Successful Application. If you’ve landed a home-sitting gig in a country you’ve never visited before and want to make sure you don’t cause any cultural gaffes then House-sitting in Latin America: A Cross-Cultural Guide would be smart reading.
What happen’s if something goes wrong when you’re house-sitting?
I love the fact that Nomador has designed a Homebook. Basically it’s a manual the homeowner fills out that covers everything from medication schedules for various pets to things to see and do in the area – including favourite coffee shops, not to be missed farmer’s markets, and closest supermarket to a checklist for when you leave and what the homeowner’s expect on their return. It also covers all phone numbers you’d need, location of a second set of keys – basically a survival guide to looking after the home. From my perspective it reminds me to include things I’d not even think to tell the house-sitter.
If you’ve caught the travel bug and are looking to save money by house-sitting check out Nomador. You might be packing your bags sooner than you think.
Thank you to Nomador for making this post possible.