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Old 09-06-2015, 09:12 PM   #1
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House sitter while cruising

We've decided that since we can't seem to sell this damn boat we might as well use it. When we went cruising on our sailboat we didn't have a land based home to worry about. Now we do. So what do people do? Who do you have the alarm company call when the alarm goes off? We have no relatives living in the area. If there is a real problem there are people we can call to board up a window or such but we don't want them to be responsible to answer to the alarm company.

I found a local company that does house sitting, repairs and cleaning and they said they could handle it for $50 a call, but I had a hard time to get them to answer the phone when I tried to call them, so I don't think the alarm company would be happy with them.

The lawn will be taken care of, just need someone to check why the alarm went off and then call the folks to repair the damage or verify that it was a false alarm.

Thanks,

Bob
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Old 09-06-2015, 09:15 PM   #2
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You know, we have a number of these questions about long term cruising. Rather than hijack your thread I will start another more generic one.

On your post. Do you have a child who lives in the areas who would love some rent-free living?
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Old 09-06-2015, 11:01 PM   #3
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When we take off for an overnight or longer trip we have an assortment of young girls between the ages of 16 (her parents live across the street from us) up to about late 20's. They come stay at our house, feed and water our three cats and feed and let out our two VERY old pugs.


They get the complete run of the house including swimming in the pool and we pay them $15/day. I know that's on the cheap side, but not every house comes with a pool.


They collect the mail, save the newspapers for us and that's about it.
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Old 09-06-2015, 11:08 PM   #4
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When we take off for an overnight or longer trip we have an assortment of young girls between the ages of 16 (her parents live across the street from us) up to about late 20's. They come stay at our house, feed and water our three cats and feed and let out our two VERY old pugs.


They get the complete run of the house including swimming in the pool and we pay them $15/day. I know that's on the cheap side, but not every house comes with a pool.


They collect the mail, save the newspapers for us and that's about it.
How long do these trips usually last?
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Old 09-07-2015, 03:19 AM   #5
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How long do these trips usually last?
Good question. I would tend to lock it up turn everything off and shut it down if they're long. Then find someone dependable to check on it.

I have a problem with various neighbor's kids. Can be very innocent but they let a friend know they're doing that. The friend mentions to an acquaintance who realizes the house is vacant and unguarded.

If you use a local company as you described, get them to text a photo everytime they go over.

Also if your time is lengthy using a sitter who actually lives there gets costly. Suddenly you're paying electric, gas, water, sewer and trash and not there on top of what you're paying them.
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Old 09-07-2015, 04:31 AM   #6
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we have several young adults to choose from all 3 young professionals

This next winter one of them is getting married and they will be staying at our house rent free for 5 months

But I think we have been very lucky to find the ones we have

I am not recommending them but a local friend has used this company with success


Texas House Sitting - Responsible House Sitters in Texas
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Old 09-07-2015, 09:58 AM   #7
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We have no relatives in the area. Maybe the term housesitter is not quite what I meant. We don't want someone to live in the house, just be available for the alarm company to call and check on why the alarm went off. We would consider asking the next door neighbors but the are gone more often than not.


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Old 09-07-2015, 10:26 AM   #8
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We have been very blessed to have teams of people feed our cats twice a day, check on our gardens and harvest what needs harvesting and even mow our lawns. We have 4 acres and it is an oasis of mature trees, cooler deep shade with hammocks and a place to relax for awhile when they come out. The teams are all either ex-students of ours and even the children of ex-students.

We were out for 6 1/2 weeks this summer and came back to clean litter boxes, mowed lawns and everything green, even though it had been over 100 for a big portion of the time. For us it has been about building the relationship with younger people that do not have this kind of quiet in their lives or a chance to be in the country a little while to relax.

Now our harvest is in full swing from the garden and they get to share in the bounty on top of getting paid for their help. We pay $15.00 a day as per agreed upon amount by everyone. They feel like a very nice extended family!
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Old 09-07-2015, 11:05 AM   #9
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Having a dirt dwelling certainly complicates things. When we lived aboard, '99 - '06, we did an address change to one of our kids while out cruising and used a UPS mailbox while in the marina.


I believe the USPS now has an option to hold your mail for a period of time and then box it up and send it to you. Seems like that comes up whenever I do a mail hold but I have never investigated more closely.
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Old 09-07-2015, 11:49 AM   #10
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How long do these trips usually last?
They last anywhere from short, overnight trips to a month and a half at a time when we go down to AZ. We usually do that long trip a couple of times a winter.

If we didn't have the pets I would just shut everything down. Through a process of natural attrition we're going to be out of the pet business in a few years then we're going to REALLY do some traveling.
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Old 09-07-2015, 12:05 PM   #11
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We have been very blessed to have teams of people feed our cats twice a day, check on our gardens and harvest what needs harvesting and even mow our lawns. We have 4 acres and it is an oasis of mature trees, cooler deep shade with hammocks and a place to relax for awhile when they come out. The teams are all either ex-students of ours and even the children of ex-students.

We were out for 6 1/2 weeks this summer and came back to clean litter boxes, mowed lawns and everything green, even though it had been over 100 for a big portion of the time. For us it has been about building the relationship with younger people that do not have this kind of quiet in their lives or a chance to be in the country a little while to relax.

Now our harvest is in full swing from the garden and they get to share in the bounty on top of getting paid for their help. We pay $15.00 a day as per agreed upon amount by everyone. They feel like a very nice extended family!
What a great situation. No one learns young people better than their teachers and you develop some lifelong relationships with students you know you can trust. If we were still in NC we'd have so many like that to call on. In South Florida, we just haven't met as many young people yet.
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Old 09-07-2015, 12:12 PM   #12
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They last anywhere from short, overnight trips to a month and a half at a time when we go down to AZ. We usually do that long trip a couple of times a winter.

If we didn't have the pets I would just shut everything down. Through a process of natural attrition we're going to be out of the pet business in a few years then we're going to REALLY do some traveling.
Are there perhaps people you know, friends or family, the pets would enjoy living with now, more than being alone for weeks at a time? Then perhaps they could stay with you some when you were home or you could visit them? I once had a friend who traveled a lot on business. Her cat stayed with "granny" when she was gone, which was more than when she was home. Granny would spoil her and not require her to follow all the same rules. We just laughed about it. Was nothing serious. But she had learned that knocking the can of treats into the floor worked for granny, whereas for her own human parent it only got the can put back on the table, but no treats.
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Old 09-07-2015, 02:29 PM   #13
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A year or two back, we met a woman who travels the US house sitting for people who are away from their home for weeks and/or months at a time. She stays at the house, takes care of it and any pets. We never asked about which website she was using to find home owners nor who pays what....

Doing a quick search, it looks like there are several websites that are contact places for home owners and house sitters. Reading the FAQ, it looks like the house sitter is not paid to stay at the house and take care of it and pets but it negotiable. Basically, the house sitter is staying at the house for a period of time rent free. The person we met was retired, actually had used to live on a sailboat but moved back to land, and was continuing to travel and see the county by house sitting.

Later,
Dan
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