Planning a vacation or business trip that will leave your home vacant for an extended period of time can be a bit nerve-wracking, especially when the necessity of securing a house sitter presents itself. Before you contact a house sitting agency or place an ad on a local classified ads site, here are a few of the reasons why you might want to consider a relative for the job.
- Familiarity With Your Home – A family member who is close enough for you to consider asking them to house sit is most likely one that you have a good relationship with, and who has spent enough time in your home to become familiar with it and comfortable moving around it. By engaging a relative as house sitter, you’ll be able to reduce the period of adjustment in which chores may be neglected as a stranger struggles to acclimate themselves with your house.
- Familiarity With Your Pets – One of the most popular reasons for homeowners and tenants to employ a house sitter is to keep their beloved pets in a comfortable, familiar setting and out of the cold, impersonal care of a kennel. Just as a relative is likely to be intimately familiar with your home, they probably also understand the personality quirks and needs specific to your pets. Additionally, having a person that they know in the house and providing their care can reduce the amount of separation anxiety that your pets feel immensely.
- Providing a Hopeful House Sitter With Valuable Experience and References – Budding professionals in any industry have to start somewhere; professional house sitting is no exception. By allowing a trusted relative to come into your home while you’re away, you can enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing that your property is secure and routine maintenance chores are being performed in a timely manner while also knowing that you’re helping her build the valuable references and resume entries that she’ll need in order to succeed on a professional level.
- The Trust Factor – In most cases, even the most carefully screened applicant with a stack of recommendations can’t compete with a beloved family member when it comes to trust. When you hand your keys over to a professional house sitter, you’re also giving them the disarm codes for your home security system, and access to sensitive personal information that may be stored in a home office. Because close family members may already know your security codes and where the spare key is hidden, you’re limiting the number of people with access to your home.
- Financial Considerations – Depending on the type of chores that need to be done and the length of time that you’ll be away, a professional house sitter can become quite pricey. Close family members are likely to perform the same services for you at a reduced rate or even for free, which can be a blessing to cash-strapped travelers who have invested all of their money into a travel fund.
Making the decision between a family member and a professional house sitter can be a difficult one, for several reasons. It’s important to take into consideration the level of experience and ability that a relative has versus that of a professional, and a well-meaning family member might be taking on more responsibility than they can handle in the interest of providing assistance that you need.