How to find long-term house sitting jobs

Updated April 17, 2017

Long-term housesitting jobs offer free accommodations for an extended period (from a few months to several years). Positions that offer pay generally include additional housekeeping responsibilities, such as taking care of pets. House-sitting can be an effective way to save money and live anywhere in the world. Finding long-term housesitting jobs can be easy if you know where to look.

Join an online housesitting website. Sites such as, and offer forums for homeowners and house-sitters to meet. Some of these sites require a fee to join the community. Membership gives you access to searchable housesitting requests.

Place an ad on List your capabilities and time requirements on your area's Craigslist site under the housing section. Include your phone number to avoid scammers who might try to get you to pay a fee for a nonexistent position.

Ask friends and family for housesitting referrals. Let them know you are available to watch a home and what type of situation you want to find.

Contact local real estate companies. Many real estate brokers have taken to hiring long-term house-sitters to care for foreclosed homes. Usually, this is a discounted rent situation rather than a true home swap.

Find good references. Most homeowners will want to check your qualifications, and good references will help reassure them that you are the right person to care for their home.

Talk with prospective homeowners. Discuss what your caretaking responsibilities will be, your deposit fee (if any), your payment (if any) and insurance requirements. Meet in person if possible (especially if you will be taking care of pets).

Sign a contract. Once you have an agreement with a homeowner, put it in writing. List liability, responsibilities and payments. You and the homeowners should sign the contract. Make copies for each of you.

Move in. Once you have a signed contract in hand, you are ready to start your long-term housesitting position. Make arrangements with the homeowner to keep their possessions and yours separate.


Consider purchasing rental insurance. A homeowner's insurance policy often will cover loss and liability, but it might not cover your possessions. Consult an insurance agent about rental-insurance options for housesitting.


Do a homeowner background check. This can be as simple as searching for his or her name on the Internet. Red flags include lawsuits (meaning they are potentially litigious) or a criminal record.

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About the Author

Meagan Van Beest took up writing after graduating with a bachelor's degree in English literature. She has worked in advertising and marketing for the past decade. Her writing has appeared in advertising, brochures, newspapers and online magazines. Currently, as creative director of a design firm, she oversees the graphics, copy writing, and creative direction of print and Web design projects.