Since we have returned from our visit to the UK we found ourselves housesitting in New Zealand as we became essentially homeless! Our flat got sold from under us (quite literally) so we decided to move out before we went away to save ourselves some money on rent!
Upon our return we needed a place to live FAST! We are house sitting in New Zealand and this is why we love it.
It’s easy to source:
We found two great and extremely useful websites. Kiwi House Sitter’s has a no hassle sign up process. The $84 membership a year gives you access to hundreds of house owners wanting sitters whilst they are away on business or on vacation. You simply have to make a good profile and upload some fab photos of yourself and your away.
With the membership you can, of course, apply for any house sit you like. We also make sure we send them an approachable friendly email to start the conversation along with our character references.
Top Tip: If you update your website on a regular basis (even with just a one-word change will do) you stay up the top of the profile list when you click on “Find a sitter” meaning you get approached by more house sitters. This tactic has worked with succession twice for us now.
We have also signed up to House Sitters who take on a more professional approach. We had to provide two character references, clear a police check and pass a Skype interview with a house sitter representative to be accepted. Whilst this process does take more time (around two weeks) it does offer more peace of mind to both the sitter and the homeowner. Membership costs $49 for the year (within Auckland, free outside of Auckland) but the upside is that you are instantly more appealing to the house owner. However, as yet we have not had a successful sit confirmed by this company.
It’s cheap living:
We pay no rent, no utilities, and we have a vehicle at our disposal. What more could you ask for? The pet food supplied? That is as well. Some homeowners do ask that you cover the costs of utility bills however they are only really bothered if you are staying there for a prolonged period of time. It’s fair to say that our bank account has been replenished nicely after our costly trip away to England last month!
It’s a win-win:
It really is a win-win for both parties involved, the homeowners get the peace of mind knowing there pet’s and home are in good care whilst saving money on having to send their pets into kennels or a cattery and for us, we save a heap’s of cash whilst exploring different parts of New Zealand. Plus as we don’t have any pets and it has been really lovely looking after them – so there is a sense of job satisfaction to the “job” in hand!
Why does this housesitting in New Zealand concept work?
I feel like it’s a no brainer. The Kiwis kind and trustworthy nature (which I swear is engraved into their culture and even there personality’s at birth) is what makes it a success! Plus Auckland does have a high burglary rate – we have known the results of this too well when we were away for one weekend and our balcony furniture got stolen! The peace of mind the homeowners get is priceless. We also know within ourselves we are good trustworthy people so it really isn’t a difficult task we are undertaking!
Since joining the community we have noticed a pattern! There are professional house sitters all over the world. People get asked back to people’s houses year after year – we have already had this happened to us! We have also got a friend who is doing this full time – they have a deposit that needs saving as their aim is to buy their first home. They plan to do it for two years! We don’t think we will do it that long (I cry every time I see my lovely sofa in the storage unit) but it certainly is giving us food for thought on our time in NZ. We are already planning a little housesitting in New Zealand holiday over the Christmas holidays – a free holiday home? Yes please!
Has anyone else tried housesitting in New Zealand? Let us know your feedback on your experience!