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Are looking for honest and unbiased Aussie House Sitters reviews? Or perhaps you are wondering what to expect during a house sit? We set out to answer your questions about house sitting, the Aussie House Sitters platform, and our actual house sitting experiences.
We only started house sitting recently and are relative newbies to the concept and to the global community of house sitters and homeowners who swear by house sitting.
We’re not retirees or professional house sitters, we are a couple of travelers who stumbled onto house sitting out of necessity and haven’t looked back. It has become one of our favorite ways to travel, stay, and explore new places.
We use Aussie House Sitters and you can find out why in our article Uncovering The Best House Sitting Website in Australia. After using Aussie House Sitters for six months in 2021 have decided to relay some of our experiences and insights from our various house sits through Aussie House Sitters.
If our Aussie House Sitters reviews help you decide to take the plunge and become a house sitter, we would really appreciate it if you used this link to sign up. You won’t pay any extra and we will receive a commission. Providing reviews for things we love is how we keep the lights on here!
What Is House Sitting, Who Are House Sitters, and Who Needs House Sitters
House sitting, more often than not, is shorthand for house and pet sitting. House sitters look after homes and pets while homeowners are away on holiday, business, or for any other reason. House sitters are generally expected to keep an eye on the home, feed, exercise, and clean up after pets, as well as do basic upkeep and chores around the home such as taking out the trash and watering the plants. In return, house sitters get to live in and use the home for the duration of the sit. This is the most common arrangement although the specifics will vary from sit to sit.
Some professional house sitters charge for their time, however, this article will focus on the standard arrangement between everyday homeowners and casual house sitters.
Most casual house sitters are travelers, retirees, or people living a nomadic lifestyle. Their motivation can range from economic savings, travel and holiday opportunities, or people looking to stay busy, active and engaged in retirement. Generally, sitters are animals lovers who don’t see looking after pets as a chore and are happy to spend time making sure someone else’s pet and home are well looked after.
Most homeowners who seek casual house sitters are people traveling away on holiday, business, or personal trips who need a short-term and temporary house sitter to avoid paying someone (or roping in family and friends) to look after their pets or home.
How We Became Aussie House Sitters
We consider ourselves well-traveled. We have been to a lot of places and we have traveled a lot of different ways. From year-long backpacking sabbaticals to bougie weekend getaways, hostels to five-star hotels, yurts to chateaus, we rarely turn our noses up at a travel experience. Yet for the longest time, we had never house sat.
We first heard about house sitting while we were driving the northeast coast of Australia from Brisbane to Cape York. Other long-term travelers told us about their experiences house sitting, we registered it as something that would be perfect for us but never got around to researching any further.
In July 2021, we were driving between the Northern Territory and Western Australia when we realized we needed to book accommodation so that Kelli could dial into some important meetings. We had just finished driving the Gibb River Road and arrived in Broome. The town was booked solid there wasn’t a hotel, an Airbnb, or a caravan park that could take us. Tens of thousands of caravaners and holidaymakers, unable to leave the state, had fled the unseasonably cold Perth winter and headed north.
We decided to have a look at the various house-sitting websites to see if there were any house sits available. Of course, there weren’t any last-minute stays available in Broome either but we did find plenty of opportunities further south for later in the trip. We signed up to Aussie House Sitters because it seemed to have the most sitting opportunities, an intuitive easy to use platform, and they do a good job of protecting and supporting both house sitters and homeowners.
So, what has our overall experience with Aussie House Sitter been?
Our Honest Aussie House Sitters Review
We have been thrilled with our decision to sign up for Aussie House Sitters. We just wished we signed up sooner. We have had the opportunity to stay in some fantastic houses in some beautiful places we may not have otherwise visited, and we’ve met some great people and their lovely pets along the way.
The concept of house sitting has become one of our favorite ways to see new places, meet people, and have somewhere to stay while helping homeowners keep their pets safe, happy, and cared for when they go away.
Traveling in Australia by car, it can often be difficult not to mention expensive to find quality accommodation outside of major tourist towns and cities. Through Aussie House Sitters we have been able to stay in amazing places, we have been able to meet locals with great insight into the areas we stay in, and we have had wonderful (and some not so wonderful experiences) looking after their pets.
With Aussie House Sitters, we have been able to find heaps of house sitting opportunities and have even had many people reach out to us asking if we can sit for them.
The Aussie House Sitters website makes it easy to filter and find suitable house-sitting opportunities. It also offers a safe, convenient and private way for sitters and homeowners to communicate without exchanging personal contact information immediately. Aussie House Sitters has heaps of resources for house sitters, and homeowners, as well as great customer support for both parties.
We have been lucky in that every sit we have done has been for kind and conscientious home and pet owners who have had reasonable expectations of us, and have welcomed us into our homes.
When initially deciding on becoming a member of a house-sitting website, one factor we had to consider was cost. Aussie House Sitters costs $84 for the first year with loyalty discounts applied to annual renewals. This puts it, at least initially, among the more expensive Australian house-sitting websites. After some deliberation and scouring listings on not only the paid membership services but on free Facebook house sitting groups as well it became clear that Aussie House Sitters, while more expensive than some, is still the best value service.
This is because it has great features and support but more importantly, it has more sitting opportunities than any other service. This means more chances you are likely to find and book a suitable house sit. Just one sit can be worth anywhere from hundreds of dollars to thousands of dollars in accommodation or rental costs. Thus, if we could find just one extra sit, the small premium would be well worth it, and it has been.
We knew we were only going to be able to use the Aussie Hosue Sitters service for three or four months at the end of our trip around Australia but in that time it has saved us thousands of dollars in accommodation costs, opened up opportunities to stay in places we never may have visited, and allowed us to meet fantastic families and their pets along the way.
After our second, and still favorite house sitting experience, we decided to sign up for the Aussie House Sitters affiliate marketing program to promote Aussie House Sitters through the blog. It is a service we strongly recommend to our followers alongside the other products and services we use, recommend, and promote on this site.
Our House Sitting Experiences
If you have been wondering just what to expect on a house sit, read on to discover some of the different experiences we have had house sitting.
Our Aussie House Sitters reviews cover four house-sits that took place between August and November 2021 and will hopefully give you an idea of what you might expect on your house sit.
We were lucky enough to end up with mostly manageable pets and lovely, welcoming owners who had reasonable expectations. That being said, we were quite careful not to apply for sits or respond to opportunities where we thought there was a chance the job would be unmanageable or the homeowner would be difficult.
We have read plenty of listings from owners who needed people to take care of domestic pets as well as livestock, expected sitters to perform jobs or tasks beyond basic household chores such as repairs or building projects. One listing even read, “you can leave the house for essential reasons such as doctor’s visits, but these would need to be approved in advance”. No thank you.
These stories about our house sits will, hopefully, give you a little bit of an idea of what sort of things you might experience on your house sit.
In the interest of privacy, all names have been changed and the photos are stock photos.
A Beach House Stay with an Eclectic Collection of Residents
This was the first sit we booked, but the third we end up staying at. We had been traveling through the north of Western Australia where opportunities (and everything else) had been few and far between. We decided to look further ahead in the calendar and see if we could find a house-sitting opportunity for the future. We found a great opportunity located on the beach just north of Perth.
A house was within walking distance to the beach with beautiful views of the water from the second level.
We dropped in to meet the owners on our trip south in late August even though they wouldn’t need us to sit until October. David and Cathie were a well-organized couple who had used sitters before and seemed familiar and relaxed with the process.
Their pets were quite the collection. Petunia, an elderly and slightly demented cat, Nikko a cat that had a penchant for disappearing for long periods of time, and Esmé a recently adopted rescue who had a tragic backstory and was wary of humans to the point where she wouldn’t be within 10 meters of a person. We were nervous about our first house sitting meeting, and in hindsight were lucky that the owners had experience using house sitters.
The homeowners were welcoming and warm. They introduced us to their pets and showed us the detailed instructions they would leave. They told us about the house and the area. The meeting lasted for about 30 minutes. The meeting made us feel confident and we were looking forward to returning in a couple of months.
In early October, a few weeks before the sit, David and Cathie contacted us to let us know that they had taken on a new puppy, Harry, to keep Esmé company. They suggested that they would leave the puppy with friends or family but we assured them we were up to the task of looking after him as well. By this stage, we had a couple of sits under our belt and we were confident about the job which was only for a few days.
We met Harry the puppy at handover. It was clear he would be taking up most of our time.
During our stay, Harry certainly kept us on our toes as we contended with escapes, break-ins, toilet time, and general puppy behavior. One challenge, in particular, was leaving food out for the cats and somehow preventing Harry the puppy from eating it all and making himself sick. However, the owners had left us well prepared with detailed instructions, cleaning supplies, and some makeshift barricades to try to rein him in.
We were a little concerned when we didn’t see Nikko the cat for the first 24 hours of our stay. Although the owners had warned us that he might disappear, we still sent them an update letting them know we hadn’t seen him, as well as letting them know the rest of the crew was doing well and sharing a couple of photos we had taken of them.
Besides supervision, feeding, and spending some time with Harry, the pets were otherwise low maintenance. Petunia wanted to hang out in the evenings, and Nikko eventually returned for some food on day three of our stay which allowed us to relax about having lost one cat.
The dogs didn’t need walking because Harry was still too young and Esmé too frightened.
The owners had also left great instructions about their home and their surroundings so we felt very comfortable and welcome. We enjoyed walking down to the beach and exploring the local area over the long weekend we were there.
Mikey the Unstoppable Staffy
The first time we actually house sat was in another beachside suburb near Perth. Owners Matt and Susan were fly-in, fly-out workers and regularly used house sitters to look after their beautiful staffy Mikey.
We organized to meet them the day before our sit to make sure everyone was comfortable. When Matt opened the door he had the tired, frazzled air of a new dad, and when he introduced us to Mikey we could see why. Mikey was a mile a minute. He craved attention and activity and would stop at nothing to get it.
If he wasn’t being stimulated, he would go bananas begging, jumping, or pawing at the cupboard where he knew his favorite toys were being held, hostage. Matt admitted that part of him looked forward to his work swings as it meant a few days off from the all-consuming Mikey. We assured Matt that we were up to the task of looking after Mikey, at least temporarily.
Mikey had recently had surgery. Due to his energetic nature, he had managed to hurt himself badly and a serious operation had been undertaken to help him. He would need to take it easy for a few months while he was healing up. Unfortunately, Mikey hadn’t received that message. Mikey also required medication to help him recover and was allergic to most foods outside the prescribed dry food he had to eat.
Mikey was the sweetest dog but required constant attention. Left to his own devices, he threatened to rip apart his surgery jumping higher than he should and running faster than his little legs could take him. When you weren’t playing with him, he was playing with you, purposely rolling his toys under the couch and then whining until they were returned. It was the first time a dog had ever played fetch with me.
We took Mikey for a walk along the beach and sent some photos to the owners. They replied asking us to keep him off the beach given that could be a place he would become overexcited and hurt himself again. That made us a bit nervous, as we started to imagine what would happen if Mikey did manage to hurt himself.
Outside of Mikey causing us a little anxiety, the house sit was great. The owners made us feel welcome and we used the time to catch up on work and explore the region on the weekend. The house was comfortable, and we talked about how great it was to have a large home to ourselves for a week, rather than paying hundreds of dollars for a tiny apartment or hotel room for a few days.
In the end, the owners needed to come back a few days early, cutting our house sit short. This is something about house sitting that sitters should be aware of. At any point, a stay might be canceled or changed, and as a house sitter, you need to remain flexible and adaptable.
We had enjoyed our time there and our time with Mikey. Nevertheless, when it came time to leave, we were every bit as frazzled as Matt had appeared on the first day we met him.
Our first taste of house sitting taught us that it wasn’t a free ride, and often the pets people need looking after will be demanding. It also reminded us of the need to stay flexible and adaptable. We were pleased to have survived our first sit and immediately got on Aussie House Sitters to track down another one.
The Bush Block on The Rainbow Coast
Our favorite house sit to date was almost a non-starter. A few days before we were set to arrive the owner contacted us to tell us that there had been an issue. Their older rescue dog Zeke had attacked the neighbor’s dog while walking off-leash near the boundary of their property.
Thankfully the neighbors smaller dog had been alright. However, after many years of work and love being put into Zeke, and without a single incident in the past, the homeowners were shaken and very nervous about leaving him with strangers, especially as Zeke was particularly wary of males.
The sit was a cozy home on a bush bock, 30 minutes from the town of Denmark on the beautiful Rainbow Coast in southwest Western Australia. The quiet acreage was close to the national parks, wineries, and dramatic coastline that make this part of the world so special. The young family, Laura, Mary, and their toddler Luke had recently relocated from Perth. They had a trip planned to see family and spend time together as one of them had been working away for months. We were sad to hear their trip might be derailed and asked if there was anything we could do to help solve the problem.
Mary, a former dog trainer, was nervous about the unpredictability of Zeke, especially around new people. She was also working away and felt like she needed to get a feel for Zeke before leaving him alone. In the end, the four of us agreed that Laura would delay her trip by one day and we would come and stay at the house with her and Luke, Zeke, and their second dog Maddy as well as their cat Blinky. During that time we could get to see if Zeke would take a liking to us.
During this trial period, we took Zeke and Maddy on a couple of walks with Kelli taking control of feeding and walking Zeke. He was lovely and warmed up to us straight away. This gave Laura and Mary the confidence that they could still go on the trip and not be worried about their pets at home.
Laura and Luke set off. We enjoyed a wonderful week in their beautiful home amongst the gum trees, lighting fires in the evening, and walking Zeke and Maddy in the misty mornings and cool evenings. On the weekend, we explored the beautiful national parks, coastline, and wineries for which the area is famous.
It was one of our favorite experiences traveling in Western Australia, and one that was made possible by open communication, flexibility, and cooperation between the homeowners and house sitters.
Two Rambunctious (and Poopy) Pug Brothers
We found a house sit near the beach in a suburb south of Perth. The family was heading away on a last-minute trip over the school holidays but were reluctant to ask their extended family to look after their pets yet again.
This would be the first time they had used a house sitting service and were interested and nervous to see how it would work.
We recognized that we were now the more experienced party and it would be our job to make the homeowners comfortable and at ease with the arrangement. We offered to send some references and police checks to help give them some peace of mind. We also arranged a phone call prior to confirming the sit and on the call set up a time to come and visit them at home before the sit.
We met the pug brothers, Aldo and Pierre first. It was clear they were going to be a handful. When they calmed down and stopped yapping at us they went back to their favorite activity, chasing each other through the house at one hundred kilometers an hour.
In addition to the pug brothers, there were also two nervous cats. Formerly inside cats, they’d relocated to the garden since the arrival of the brothers who would chase them whenever they saw them. They had also had some guppies, who just needed to be fed once a day. Besides the pets, we were asked to keep the place tidy, water the plants, and give the place a once over with the vacuum every now and then so that the pug hair didn’t build up.
After meeting the family and assuring them we were responsible and up to the task of looking after the gang, we agreed to return the following morning after they had departed.
On top of being a mile a minute, the pugs had also not exactly absorbed all their toilet training and would make regular deposits on the floor of the house each night. They were also extremely funny and kept us laughing, in between cleaning up poop, and trying to calm them down.
We were diligent and responsible sitters and made an effort to make sure all the pets were comfortable, happy, and loved. The whole family was appreciative of the frequent photos we sent of the pugs being silly and they said it made them laugh and not worry about them as much as they had in the past when they went away.
It was another stay where the dogs were quite demanding of our time and attention, but of course, that is the nature of house sitting and we felt we had a great deal staying in a lovely family home close to the beach, even if we did get some funny looks walking the brothers.
Mufasa the Timid
The last sit we did was for a young couple in the outer suburbs of Perth. We responded to their house sit posting and they wrote us back that day. They confessed they hadn’t used a house sitter before and they were a bit nervous.
We reassured them we were an ordinary, respectful, and responsible couple around their age and set up a time to meet them and their cat, Mufasa.
We met them one evening after work and they revealed that they had only learned about house sitting as an option recently after a negative experience asking someone they knew to care for Mufasa. They had gone away for a week and arranged for a friend of a friend to drop by regularly to feed and clean up after Mufasa. They had returned home to empty food and water bowls, a full kitty litter tray, and a mess where poor Mufasa had gone looking for food.
They were worried about leaving Mufusa alone again, but after some reassurance and providing some references everybody felt comfortable.
The sit was only over a weekend. They had a lovely well-appointed home and it gave us a great base to finalize our preparations to sell our car and fly out of the country the following Monday night. Without this opportunity, we would have needed to rent somewhere to stay with enough space to empty and clean out our car and this would have been several hundred dollars.
In terms of sits, a single cat is probably as easy as it gets. Mufasa was very timid and we didn’t even see him the first day or so, as he spent most of the time hiding under the sofa. As he got used to us, he began coming out for pats. Because of their past experiences, we were particularly conscious to send photos and updates to the owners once or twice a day so they could be sure Mufasa was being looked after and they could focus on enjoying their weekend away.
We had to leave to run some other chores before they came back on Sunday evening, but we were able to debrief over text on Sunday evening, and they were grateful to have had us look after Mufasa.
The recurring themes across our 4 sits were that
- Owners prioritise the caring of the pets above there home (though it is very important too)
- Owners are people who appreciate the work that goes into looking after the pets and grateful for sitters who take that work seriously
- Communication is key prior to, during, and after the house sit
- Owners are often (though not always) particularly appreciative of photo updates and a quick snap of their pets can light up their day
- Taking the time to meet, talk to, and get to know home owners and their pets is the best way to build trust and confidence and will go a long way toward making both home owner and house sitter more comfortable
- House sitters should be ready for anything, adaptable, and flexible as situations change without warning
FAQs About Aussie House Sitters
Outside of our Aussie House Sitter reviews and experiences, you may be interested in more information about Aussie House Sitters. Are they legit and is it safe are a couple of the questions that are regularly asked by people considering using the service.
Is Aussie House Sitters Legit?
Yes, Aussie House Sitters is legitimate and a safe, secure, and comfortable way to ensure that as a homeowner, your home, and your pets are properly cared for and that as a sitter your rights are protected too. Beyond having one place with a huge variety of sits and sitters, having a third party to help moderate that relationship between owners and sitters is incredibly beneficial offering extra safety, privacy, and peace of mind. The service fees paid to Aussie House Sitters are a small price to pay for that peace of mind.
Is Aussie House Sitters Safe?
Aussie House Sitters is safe.
It is a modern solution to mitigate risks that have always been present when asking a stranger or even a friend to look after your home. The last sit we did in Western Australia was for a young couple that loved to get away on active weekends but usually couldn’t take their cat.
They were especially nervous about using a house-sitting service but felt they had no choice after they had their friend’s sister promise to look after their cat over the course of a week, only to return to a messy house, unemptied litter box, and unfed cat.
Aussie House Sitters allows homeowners the opportunity to vet potential sitters. Homeowners can find reviewed and trusted sitters, use identity verified sitters, and even choose from sitters with a police criminal check.
How Much Does Aussie House Sitters Cost?
Aussie House Sitters is free for homeowners to create a profile and post house sitting opportunities.
Aussie House Sitters costs $84 per year for house sitters to join.
How Can I Sign Up to Aussie House Sitters?
If we have helped you make the decision to take the plunge and sign up for Aussie House Sitters, please use the link below. You don’t pay anymore, and we get paid a small commission.
For House Sitters
House Sitters can browse and view listings for free. Before you apply to house sitting opportunities, you will need to sign up using your name and contact information, pay the subscription fee, and create an online profile. Then you can find potential sits and apply for them directly through the platform.
House sitters should remember you are providing a service and you should use your profile and applications to highlight why homeowners should use you to look after their pets and home. Remember that for most homeowners their pets are their number one priority, their homes, while important, are often a distant second. Use your profile and application to demonstrate why you are the best person to look after their pets. Tailor your application to the specific listing referencing their pet and requirements throughout your application.
Aussie House Sitters is free for homeowners. You will need to create a profile and a listing.
Remember you are trying to attract the absolute best house sitter to take care of some things that are truly precious. The more attractive you make your stay to sitters, the more you will have to choose from, and the higher caliber of sitter you can secure.
There is a quid pro quo involved here, you are providing a place to stay, in return for care of your pets and home. Don’t forget to make it clear what the sitter gets in return for sitting and what they don’t. For example, if you aren’t providing sheets, or would prefer them not to access certain parts of your property express these or any other restrictions in the listing, this way there won’t be any surprises down the track.
FAQS About House Sitting
Do you still have questions about house sitting in general? Check out this list of popular FAQs.
House Sitting Etiquette Where to Sleep
One thing house sitters and homeowners might be wondering is where a house sitter is going to sleep.
While it is common for homeowners to nominate a bedroom such as a guest room or their own room and make up this bed with fresh sheets and towels before a sit, this isn’t always the case. Sometimes owners are focused on the details of house and pet care and forget to iron out these details.
Like all things, clear and direct communication can clear this up and help make the sit comfortable for owner and sitter alike. As part of a standard list of questions you have for owners at a first meeting or by phone or email prior to a sit, sitters should simply ask, “Which bed should I use, and will you be providing clean sheets?”.
On the other hand, as a sitter, don’t forget to launder sheets and towels before you leave.
House Sitting Etiquette Food
As a general rule, meals or food are not included as part of a house-sitting arrangement. That being said, many owners may invite you to help yourself to what’s in the fridge, or even offer to buy some groceries before your arrival.
We always make a point to be entirely self-sufficient when it comes to food. Though, if we needed to borrow a bit of oil or a splash of milk we wouldn’t lose sleep over it. When considering this and other questions of etiquette we always try to think, if I was the owner would I feel inconvenienced by this. If the answer is yes, or even maybe, we don’t do it. Our goal is always that the homeowner returns happy and grateful for our efforts, not aggravated that there’s no beer left in the fridge.
Having Someone Over While House Sitting
This is a no-no. As a general rule, no matter how well behaved your guest or how inconsequential you believe a visit would be, to invite someone the homeowner doesn’t know into their home without their permission is rude and could result in liability issues.
What Information Should a Homeowner Leave for a House Sit?
Some of the most important information to leave your sitter includes:
- Feeding information
- Rules for pets (where they can and can’t be etc.)
- Pet exercise expectations and schedules
- Any releavant medical information including your vets contact info
- Emergency contact information (for yourself and a local contact)
- How long pets can be left alone for and whether they are allowed to travel with the sitter
- How often you would like updates about your pet
- Bin days
- Which areas of your house you would like house sitters to use and which you like them to avoid
- Any special tasks you need done beyond generally keeping the place tidy and looking after the pets
- Wifi details and password
- How to use the television or any other devices or machinery they are likely to need to use during there stay
- How to lock up the house securely if they leave
- Some local suggestions about the area is something that would be appreciated by most sitters but not required.
What Questions Should a House Sitter Ask a Home Owner?
Some questions to ask before beginning a house sitting job could include:
- When is the best time to arrive
- How should I access the property if the owner won’t be there
- Contact information for the owner, a local emergency contact, and their preferred vet
- What should you know about the pets personality
- What is the feeding routine and schedule
- Do the pets have any medication
- How often do you exercise with the pets
- Are there any rules for the pets you should no about or areas that are off limits
- Do the pets have any allergies
- Where do you keep equipment like leashes, toys, bags, and kitty litter
Hopefully, we have given you a little bit of insight into house sitting and Aussie House Sitters with our Aussie House Sitters reviews. But if you need a little bit more help deciding if house sitting is for you, please drop us a question in the comments below!
Looking for more Aussie Travel Tips?
- Uncovering The Best House Sitting Website in Australia
- 7 Awesome Tips for Living on the Road Full Time in Australia
- What Should I Bring on a Road Trip for Safety? 25 Useful Road Trip Safety Essentials
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