House Sitting in Australia: a Guide for First Time House Sitters

house sitting australia book

House sitting in Australia

I started house sitting in Australia in 2013. I wanted to try house sitting because, like many of us, I was sick of paying for rent and wasn't sure how I would be able to ever afford a mortgage down-payment. Truth be told, I saw house sitting as a two pronged approach to resolve this - through house sitting I not only would not have to pay rent (or bills!) any longer, I would also be able to save up money, hopefully enough money for that aforementioned mortgage down-payment. And this is what happened. Well, actually what happened was even better (imho): I was able to live rent-free for 10 years across Australia, Europe and Asia, and by the end of it I had saved enough money not only to afford the down-payment, but to actually be able to buy a house in the EU - outright! I know it might seem unlikely that I was able to travel the world in my 20s, and buy an EU house outright in my 30s, without a trust fund or a wealthy man, but I did do it, and it's because I house sat.
To be perfectly honest with you, Australia wasn't my first choice when it came to a destination to house sit in. In fact, I signed up to house sit because I saw a suitable house sit in Germany - it was for 6 months long and I figured I could go there, improve my German, get a job and save up. But the thing was, I wasn't dreaming big enough. If you could live anywhere on the planet, and rent and bills weren't a factor - where would it be? If someone had said that to me then I probably would have applied to house sitting jobs in Australia. But no one said that to me, so I'm here to say it to you instead. Perhaps 'the universe' was saying it to me though, because I wasn't successful in getting that house sitting gig in Germany, which is when I started thinking outside of the box and applied to house sits in Australia too. Four weeks later I graduated university and hopped on a one-way ticket to Australia to start my first house sitting jobs. 

House sitting for first time house sitters

I'm really grateful I started house sitting in Australia and I think in retrospect it's a great, one of the most ideal places for first time house sitters - that is if you enjoy speaking English, I think it would be harder if you didn't, not impossible, just harder. Yes, I think because English is the majority language of Australia (today), it makes it a great place for first time house sitters (for enjoy speaking English). Addtionally though, there are other reasons Australia is a great place to house sit in for the first time: the country is well equipped (and used to) backpackers, so the public transport, whilst not necessarily the most efficient in the world, does at least exist and is prompt, reliable and safe. Australia in general is safe, despite what you hear about the snakes and spiders - most Australian home owners - and therefore most house sits are in the cities and towns where snakes and spiders are kept away - some choose to do this with professionals who come in to repel the bugs, other resort to more 'pour gasoline around the property' type methods. Next, Australia is very very remote, which lends to a population more comfortable than most in opening there houses to basic strangers, partly because they expect the same when they go to your side of the planet, fairs fair, but partly because they see it as a more 'karmic' type of life - they open their house to young foreigners, and maybe along the line other foreigners will open their house to them. It is not uncommon in Australia, for example, for your uncles, primary school best friend who he hasn't seen in 20 years to welcome you into his family house for a week. Building on from this, because Australia is remote, and because they have better workers rights than, say, the USA, when they go away, they go away for a long time - my first house sit in Australia lasted for six weeks whilst the family went to India for a medical procedure. I did multiple month-long house sits after that, which really helped me feel like I was truly part of Australia and not just blowing through. 

Advice for house sitting in Australia and/or house sitting for the first time

I house sat in Australia for nine months, before returning to Europe to start my European house sitting adventures. When I came back, I wanted to write an ebook to help other house sit for the first time and/or house sit in Australia. I decided to combine the two, so it will hopefully be useful to you whether you're:
  • house sitting for the first time anywhere (I made an effort to make sure most of the tips can be applied worldwide - for example, my advice on getting your first house sitting gig - that will be the same for anywhere. 
  • house sitting in Australia as a seasoned house sitter (even seasoned house sitters can feel like newbies in a new country)
  • of course, for those who are house sitting for the first time and have chosen (or are considering choosing) Australia as the first place to spread their wings (or lay their (temporary) nest)
  • just curious about house sitting in general or house sitting in Australia specifically 
  • looking for a book about something slightly out of the ordinary - I'm told it's not everyone that graduates and goes off to Australia to look after pets. 
 My idea was to share my story of how I house sat in Australia. By honestly telling my story, I hope that you can see what house sitting is really like and learn from the (many) mistakes I made. Here is a list of what else is in the book:  

  • What is house sitting? 
  • Why choose house sitting over couchsurfing?
  • What's the application process like? 
  • How newbie house sitters can get references - and why it is  essential that they do
  • How and why to get police checks
  • How to write the perfect cover letter - what you must and must not include
  • Why you should Skype with homeowners before arriving - and what to talk about
  • How you can work whilst house sitting (and why you don't necessarily have to)
  • What it's like to brush a dog
  • What to do if a dog gets sick
  • How to help a dog who misses their owner

House sitting in Australia: a guide for first time house sitters

The book is now available to buy from Gumroad. Gumroad accept PayPal, Mastercard and Visa. I set the price at a minimum of £4.99, with the option that you can change that number to £8.88 or £14.44 or £111 or any number you like really. Whatever you think is fair for my brain child. I am also happy to offer you a discount from £4.99 if you email me: l.h.m.cody [at] hotmail [dot].  
My friend wrote a review of the book too: Travelling Buzz's Review. And for more info on house sitting for newcomers my bf and I made this video:

P.S. was kind enough to provide us and our readers with a 10% discount -- click on the link to use it!

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We overland. We eat plants and fungi. We live outside as much as possible. We are all connected. A female travel blogger overlanding and writing about ecotourism, ethical and sustainable travel, socially conscious travel and housesitting. An online travel magazine since 2015.


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