How to Become a Housesitter — Great Side Hustle to Earn Extra Cash

If you like a change of scenery and want to earn some extra money, you should become a housesitter. Get paid to stay at someone else's house.


Apr. 28 2023, Published 9:40 a.m. ET

Does the high cost of rent stress you out? Instead of paying huge fees every month, what if you could find someone who will pay you to live in their house instead? Well, that’s what a housesitter does! Whether you're a housesitter part-time or full-time, it's a great way to earn extra money.

For paid housesitting jobs, you'll stay at someone's house and take care of the property while they're out of town.

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While you may get paid to house sit, you won’t just be sitting around. Instead, you may have to care for pets and plants, and even help with chores. Curious? Let’s explore how to become a housesitter.

How can you become a housesitter?

One of the easiest ways to become a housesitter is to gain experience housesitting for friends, neighbors, or family members. Ask them if they’ll give you an opportunity to prove yourself so you can start racking up referrals and reviews.

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Join housesitting subscription sites: Once you’ve got a few clients on your resume, you should continue your new endeavor by creating a profile on a housesitting subscription site like MindMyHouse, House Sitters America, or

Use these sites to search for housesitting opportunities and contact potential clients. On your profile, you need to include things like your availability, certifications, home care skills, cleanliness, and whether you love animals.

Obtain a background check: Keep in mind that most of these housesitter sites may require a background check. Before someone agrees to let you come and live in their house, you may need to be vetted for things like criminal history and drug use.

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Advertise your services: Spread the word about your services. Whether you set up a website, create an email campaign, try to advertise in local publications, or stick with the power of social media, your business will be more lucrative if people know it exists.

How does housesitting work?

As a housesitter, you can score great housing opportunities locally or all across the globe, but let’s see how it works.

Essentially you (the housesitter) move into someone’s house to look after it while they’re away, whether it’s a few days, a week, or many months. If the homeowner has pets, plants, and a garden, you’ll take care of them too.

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You may have to clean and watch for any unforeseen circumstances like a break-in or an electrical fire. In return, you get free room and board, use of utilities, maybe a car, and the house too. Some people use housesitting as a way to travel the country or go to far-off lands.

Since you’re getting free housing, a housesitter doesn’t make that much money. The average housesitter in the U.S. makes between $13 to $18 an hour depending on location, skills, certifications, and years of experience.

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These are the best tips for housesitters to ensure you're asked back again.

Here’s how to make sure you’re the best housesitter around.

Communicate: Send a detailed message to apply, and then once you’ve secured it, send regular updates. Once you exit, leave them a note detailing any problems or concerns, and include a quick update on anything they may need to know.

Only commit if you can do it: Don’t cancel a week before their vacation! And if you’re housesitting abroad, make sure to keep on top of flights and make sure you’ve got the proper visa requirements.

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Ask questions: If you aren't sure about anything, just ask! Questions may include: Are there plants to water? Can I have guests over? Should I mow the lawn? When’s trash day?

Clean the house: Vacuum, clean the dishes, scrub the shower, take out the trash, and pick up after yourself.

Send pics of the pets: If you’re looking after pets, give them lots of love and since the owner will be missing them, send pictures so they can still feel connected.

Respect the property: Treat the house like you would your own, and that includes turning off the lights, flushing the toilet, cleaning up after yourself, and not blasting the heat or air conditioning.

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