What All Is Involved? Details for Homeowners…

JUST IMAGINE!

Imagine going on holiday not having a care in the world, free to enjoy your trip to its fullest extent. Now…imagine coming home to find your gardens looking lovely, your pets relaxed and happy, and your home looking as neat and tidy as if the maid just came through.  This is the experience we offer you!

Carole Anne is a retired realtor, and a true animal-lover.  She spends most of her time caring for the animal members of the family, learning their routines, health needs, etc.  We believe pets are much more comfortable when there is a caring presence in the home, especially while loved ones are away.  We housesat in Canberra from 2008 to 2015 and lived in over 40 different neighbourhoods there in the Australian Capital Territory, each one being a unique and meaningful experience.  We really enjoyed the opportunity to make new pet friends,  along with their families!

WHAT IS INVOLVED IN THIS PROCESS? HOW DOES IT BEGIN? 

Email or ring one of us – anytime of day or evening – to initially explore options and determine if we can meet your needs.  We can then set up a FaceTime or Skype session, if you are familiar with those communication tools.

We want to get acquainted with each homeowner(s) and their little loved ones in their own home setting.  We basically interview each other.  We want to gather from you, the homeowner, what expectations you have.  We ask questions and offer suggestions on the type information that will prepare us to manage your home and care for your pets and gardens. You would ask us any questions you want and would get to experience our personalities and general trustworthiness.  In other words, we would make a mutual decision regarding whether this would be a good “fit.”

If all concerned feel comfortable, we’ll confirm the agreement by email – some homeowners want that on paper as a signed contract – and that’s fine since we have signed several – but we don’t feel the need for a formal contract from our end.  We usually agree to exchange all of our services for free accommodation.

WHAT DO WE NEED FROM THE HOMEOWNER?

What we will absolutely need, created by you on paper, is your “Housesitters Handbook” — a list of instructions, tips & expectations for anyone doing your housesitting that minimally covers the following:
– Any necessary instructions for lawn and garden care and where equipment/fuel is for these purposes
– Anything housesitters should know regarding houseplant care, watering schedule, etc
– Instructions for preferred pet care, feeding times, pets’ habits, typical exercise schedule, vet visits, any necessary medication dosing, and preferred place to buy additional pet food
– Location of appliances manuals and TV operation; heating/cooling/electrical mechanicals special information
– Wi-fi password and downloading limits
– Instructions for mail collecting, handling (incl. a letter authorising pick-up of packages) and forwarding if necessary
– Who/where to contact in case of any emergencies
– Utility bills taken care of while gone?
– Expectations regarding basic house maintenance and taking care of any damages that might occur
– Notification to insurance company regarding housesitters being here
– Need the car motor started/driven occasionally? Notify auto insurance company if we are going to be driving your car
– Basic information (names & contact numbers) of closest neighbours
– Extra keys?

WE DEMONSTRATE A LOT OF FLEXIBILITY IN OUR LIFESTYLE!

We usually make house-sitting commitments months ahead.  However, we have twice had an experience when “life events” cut a homeowner’s trip short, or even caused a trip to be cancelled because of someone’s illness.  Such events have taught us the wisdom of having Contingency Plans A, B, and C prepared which can accommodate such changes in plans midstream.  In one case involving a six month commitment a homeowner became injured overseas after two months, returning after surgery with only a week’s notice, so we needed to quickly fill the looming gap that opened up in our schedule.  We were able to do so, thanks to good planning.  In the second case, a trip booked months ahead needed to be cancelled due to a serious unforeseen major illness of the homeowner.

Sometimes a house sitter gets ill or has a major life event intervening at the “last minute.”  So, getting acquainted like we do is an advantage, even if the homeowner has already settled on another sitter.  We interviewed with a family recently who had selected a single house-sitter, but who later had to back out, and they felt comfortable enough, having interviewed us, to ask if Carole Anne could take on the assignment for their two young cats.  (It was critical for them to get this settled quickly.)  She was able to stay overnight at their place, while Clair stayed on at the other assignment we had subsequently taken on.  Carole Anne spent mornings at one place and afternoons at the other home caring for both homes and pets during the overlapping days.

WE ENJOYED ANNUAL “VOTES OF CONFIDENCE”

A number of people wanted us to repeat housesits, which was affirmation of their confidence in our trustworthiness.  Their pets knew us well, and welcomed us each time we came.

PEACE OF MIND AT HOME – that’s what we have to offer you!

To contact Clair — Mobile:  216-904-5868  or email: clair.hochstetler@me.com

To contact Carole Anne — Mobile:216-905-2474 or email: designrox1103@me.com

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