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How Much Do You Pay for House Sitting?

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Jul 21st, 2005, 08:35 AM
  #1
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How Much Do You Pay for House Sitting?

How much do you typically pay for house sitting and what does the sitter take care of? Are there different prices for visiting the house daily and/or staying in the home for the duration?
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Jul 21st, 2005, 08:42 AM
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In suburban Philadelphia we pay $35 per day and the sitter stays at our house (we have a dog). They are allowed to eat whatever's in the fridge or pantry and order movies on PPV. It doesn't get out of hand.
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Jul 21st, 2005, 09:01 AM
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It varies, but right now we have someone who is looking after our 2 cats for just over 3 weeks. She lives in, is watering the garden and generally keeping the place going. We're paying her $400 total. We also have somebody else coming in on a daily basis to give one of the cats his medication; the house-sitter wasn't comfortable doing it so we made special arrangements. That's another $8/day.
We've had varying results with people living in, so we're depending these days on people we know who are looking to make a few extra bucks. We had a horrendous situation last summer when the sitter called us regularly to tell us everything was fine. When we got home we found the house in a total shambles, and the cat who needs meds clearly hadn't been given any. It's a long story, but we ended up getting most of our money back and the agency that supplied the sitter is no longer providing live-in pet sitting. The total cost that time would have been over $600 for about 2 and a half weeks if we had ended up paying full price. Please choose your sitters carefully!
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Jul 21st, 2005, 09:09 AM
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Hi Statia,

I would say it totally depends on what other responsibilities the house sitter will have, such as caring for pets, etc. And yes, I think the prices should vary depending on duties and duration.

I haven't had anyone in a few years, but I paid $50 a day, that was basically for house sitting and care of my little dog (not Sophie, this was years ago). She had a kitchen stocked with food and I did not expect house cleaning, just upkeep of the already clean house presented to her.

Now, I would even go higher for the right, responsible person.

The last time I had someone house sit, it was the 20 year old daughter of the friend that I invited to Maui with me. All my friend had to pay for was her airfare, everything else I had anlready taken care of. The daughter had parties at my house, and my poor little dog was traumatized, one whole door scraped by her nails when they locked her in a room.) She repaid the money I paid her (of course, at the 'urging' of her parents, they were mortified.)

That said, I would trust again, a grown up this time, no one even close to "party" age, lol. I know there are plenty of irresponsible adults, but I would say the odds go down considerably past those hormone teen and early twenties years, lol. And NEVER again with someone's kid, employment and friends don't alwys mix, although my friend handled the situation exactly as I would have, but it could very easily had gone the other way and affected the friendship. Luckily it did not.

If you need someone to house sit for ya down in the Carib, my DH and I are available, we have great references, lol.

Hope you are having a a great day, Statia!

Tiff
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Jul 21st, 2005, 09:19 AM
  #5
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Thanks so much for the responses! Keep them coming.
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Jul 21st, 2005, 09:29 AM
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We have two horses, two cats and a dog.

We pay $40 per day, and the person stays in the house.

She cleans the stalls, feeds and waters the horses, and lets them out for an hour once per day.

She feeds the cats and dog, and checks the auto litter box daily and empties the daily receptacle every few days.

We go on trips that vary from 4 days to more than 2 weeks, and if we come back from a long trip and everyone is OK and the house is intact, we tip anywhere from $75 to $125 extra.
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Jul 21st, 2005, 09:30 AM
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We're paying $60 day when we go to Alaska next month. Officially she is a "pet sitter" for our two dogs (walking 3 times/day, feeding, taking to the park), but she also brings in the mail, waters the plants and just generally takes care of the house. We do not provide anything except DVD's (we have Netflix) and a guest bed w/clean sheets and towels.

Personally, I would never hire anyone except an adult professional after some of the horror stories I have heard. Although, when I was in my teens and early twenties I would have never abused the situation. It depends on the person, but I'd rather be safe than sorry!
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Jul 21st, 2005, 09:32 AM
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I'm struggling with the same issue.

Finding an appropriate person has also been a problem. I finally resorted to placing an ad on the bulletin board of a local bible college. The religion of the college does not condone drinking or premarital sex, so I am keeping my fingers crossed that will help reduce the chances of finding our house trashed. We live in a town of only 20,000, so there is a limited choice of trustworthy people willing to take on the responsibility.

I do have family nearby who will be able to "oversee" things while we are gone and who could help in an emergency. However, my family is not willing to take on the responsibility of my 3 cats for 2 weeks. Ideally, I would like to leave the dog at home the entire 2 weeks also.

Like you, Statia, I'm wondering what the appropriate wage for cat care and/or dog care would be. No mail, no newspapers, no housekeeping. Food negotiable. Use of the car negotiable. Truthfully, I'm simply looking for someone to take decent care of my animals. As a college student, I would have thought I'd died and gone to heaven if someone would have let me have their house and paid me for it too!
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Jul 21st, 2005, 09:45 AM
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xxxx, Why would you let someone use your car?
Wouldn't you worry about the cost of it being damaged, as well as your potential liability?
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Jul 21st, 2005, 09:49 AM
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I pay $25/day. We have one cat that needs to be fed once a day. Usually a HS or college student.
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Jul 21st, 2005, 09:51 AM
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Orcas--Sure, I'm worried. But 2 thoughts come to mind. First of all, if I am to trust the person with my home and pets, why not the car? Secondly, there is no public transportation in our town. She would need a way to get to between college classes and our house.
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Jul 21st, 2005, 09:54 AM
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I didn't mention in my reply that our sitter is a mature woman who works nearby.

We used to have some younger folks from my wife's office sit but they don't seem interested any more. The funniest story we heard is that one of the guys we had house sit wanted to see if the electric fence for the dog actually worked and put the collar around his neck and walked through the field. Now, that was interesting but the fact that he actually told someone he did it was hilarious.
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Jul 21st, 2005, 02:09 PM
  #13
sks
 
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We pay $50/day for a 2-3 day weekend situation or somewhat less for a week or more... I guess because it seems like more of a hassle for the housesitter to come over for just a couple days. Also we send our dog to 'dog day care' every other day and the day care folks will pick her up/drop her off for $10/day if the house sitter doesn't want the dog in her car.

House sitter can eat whatever is in the house. They get the mail, feed the dog, and hopefully leave the house in similar condition to what they found it in. Pretty easy job.
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Jul 21st, 2005, 02:32 PM
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xxxx,

It is really a matter of your comfort level with this and your options. We had a house sitter once who used his bike to get to work. We decided against leaving him the keys to the car. We didn't want to have to deal with the downside if he had an accident. I'm probably particularly sensitive to this as my father was paralyzed in a car accident years ago.

I'm not an attorney, but I think you'd want to be careful to verify the person's driving record, if you can, at least.

We just left our 18 year old daughter in charge of our house in our absense and came back to big burn marks on our kitchen table where a friend of hers had set down a hot pan without thinking to use a trivet. From the stories I am hearing from other parents, I think maybe we got off light....

When we have a housesitter, we have paid between $25 to $30/day, to look after two cats and get mail and paper, and water plants. We provide food and a clean house with clean sheets on the bed. We give a bonus if all is well on our return.

For short trips, we pay a neighbor kid between $5 and $10/day to visit the house daily to bring in mail and paper and feed the cat. Usually these kids are early teens. Last time, the kid inadvertenly shut the door to the kitty litter and the cat peed on our couch....Suffice it to say, you have to keep your perspective and remember that your relationships with your friends and neighbors are more important than venting.
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Jul 21st, 2005, 02:48 PM
  #15
esm
 
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I don't have first-hand experince with house-sitters but I have a neighbor with a cat who uses a pet-sitter. She visits daily for about half an hour. I think the vet office recommended her.

I also wanted to share my "horror" story of another neighbor who used college students as pet-sitters. She had 2 loud dogs and the sitter would come in around 2 a.m. to let them out and the whole neighborhood would wake up due to their barking. I finally had to go out and explain to the sitter that some people like to sleep at that hour.
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Jul 21st, 2005, 02:57 PM
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When we lived on Kauai I paid a pet-sitter recommended by the vet $15 a day to come once a day for about 20 minutes to feed cats, bring in mail, etc.

Here in CA I pay a 12 year old neighbor kid $5 a day for about 10 minutes of watering and a quick check on the cat who has an automatic feeder and an electronic cat door. I stop the mail, newspapers, etc. This has worked well, even for trips over 2 weeks long.

Cats are much easier than dogs to leave for extended periods. I really dont like the idea of paying someone to live in my house while we are gone, it would be so aggravating to come home to a big mess.
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Jul 21st, 2005, 02:58 PM
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Why do people have to sleep at your home? Can't they come in, get the mail, feed the cat, take the dog for a walk and then lock the house and leave!
I put my cat in the kennel once we pass three night trips. I stop the mail for more than a couple of days and I turn on the house alarm.
I would not give a teen or college kid a key to my home or a stranger. My good friend and neighbor has a key for emergencies and she has come in to turn off our alarm when it went wacko one time.
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Jul 21st, 2005, 04:17 PM
  #18
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Thanks so much for the responses. Very interesting price ranges. The reason I asked the question is that my recently retired mother has been asked to house sit for several people (strangers, not friends) and she has no idea what to charge when they ask.

I often look after various friends homes when they are away, including feeding pets, watering plants, skimming the swimming pool, etc. and I've never charged a dime. Maybe I'm in the wrong businesses with my day job. The same friends look after my house and pets when I'm gone, though.

I'm curious why so many people hire someone they don't know well, rather than just have a friend look in on things?
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Jul 21st, 2005, 04:35 PM
  #19
 
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I pay $25 a day which includes taking care of my five dogs, watching the house, watering the plants. My house sitter is a vet tech. I do not leave food or authorize PPV movies. She does enjoy the pool.
She has been doing housesitting for me for about nine years and over time we have pretty well worked out the ground rules. I dread the day she says no. As our house is rather remote from neighbors I do prefer someone stays in the house with the dogs.
If Tiff and DH are tied up, I am available to housesit for you, Statia. I am too old to be a risk of unbridled drinking or partying. A Caribbean treat...
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Jul 21st, 2005, 04:47 PM
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I live in So Cal and hire a friend's daughter from down the street, she is 25. I pay her between $20 for a regular sit and $25 or more if there were any hassles that she had to take care of (last time we were gone our kitchen flooded and she turned off the water and called the plumber).

She feeds the two dogs, brings in mail and paper and basically makes sure that the house looks lived in.

In return, she gets to stay at our house, enjoy the house, satellite TV, DVD's, pool and some glasses of wine and Lean Cuisine all she wants and to make herself comfortable. Seems to be working out OK.

She gets time out of her parents house, gets a little money before she goes off to grad school and we get the security of knowing our house and dogs are not suffering while we are away.

Now I am worried. Is this enough?
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