Even if you live in one of the safest cities in the country, it’s important to keep your home secure when you go out of town. Not only do you need to protect it from intruders, you also need to safeguard your belongings and the structure itself from mishaps like burst pipes, power outages, and gas leaks that can lead to long-term damage if not addressed quickly.
How to Hire a House Sitter for Home Security
Whether you live in a bustling city or a quiet suburb, hiring a house sitter is a great way to keep your home secure while you’re away. Plus, with rates as low as $45 per night in some areas, it’s a modest expense that can go a long way. Care.com is an especially good site to use, thanks to its reputation for connecting homeowners with experienced, trustworthy house sitters who also care for pets while you’re away. Our guide discusses the benefits of hiring someone to stay in your home while you’re traveling and how to find a reliable house sitter on Care.com.
What does a house sitter do, and how will a house sitter keep my home secure while I’m away?
A house sitter lives in your home while you’re gone, including staying overnight. You’ll discuss specific responsibilities when you hire your caretaker, but in general, a house sitter will:
- Make sure your doors and windows are locked every evening
- Arm your alarm system each night and any time they leave your home
- Keep an eye out for anyone acting suspiciously around the property
- Bring in your mail and newspaper
- Feed, walk, and play with pets
- Perform light house work, such as sweeping and dusting
- Water plants and run sprinklers
- Make sure appliances, water lines, and electrical systems are in working order, and schedule maintenance for any issues
Plus, since house sitters stay in the homes they’re caring for, you won’t have a vacant home that lures in would-be intruders. Criminals often case neighborhoods and keep an eye out for properties that seem to be empty. They look for signs such as:
- Cars sitting in driveways for multiple days in a row
- Overflowing mailboxes
- Stacks of packages at doorways
- Unclaimed newspapers
- Interiors that are unlit during early evening hours when most people are getting home from work, eating dinner, or relaxing before bed
Your house sitter will naturally take care of all of these items by actively being in your home.
While Care.com offers a free membership option, many active users recommend signing up for a paid subscription, which makes it easier to correspond with house sitters you’re interested in hiring. You can join for one month for $39, three months for $26 per month, or a year for $13 per month.
Signing up for a Care.com membership is easy, and once you’ve created an account, you can search for caregivers in addition to house sitters. Simply click “Join Now,” and fill out your information as well as any details about your family members and pets if you plan on using any other care-providing services in the future.
You can also create your account at the same time you hire help. To find a house sitter on Care.com:
- On Care.com’s homepage, select “Find care.”
- Next, click “My home.”
- Choose whether you need a house sitter right away or within a week or month. You can also indicate if you’re just browsing.
- Click “Next.”
- Add the number of bedrooms and bathrooms you have and whether your sitter should bring their own cleaning supplies and equipment.
- Click on any cleaning services you’d like them to do while they visit.
- Enter your zip code.
- Sign up for your account by entering your name, email address, and desired password.
You’ll be shown profiles of housekeepers in your area. Look for individuals who list house sitting as one of their services, and contact any qualified candidates to schedule a meet-and-greet.
If you have a pet, it’s recommended that you search for a pet sitter on Care.com who offers house-sitting services. They’ll take great care of your home, but since they specialize in pet care, you can rest assured that your property and your four-legged friend are in good hands.
Hiring a house sitter while you’re away can be the difference between returning to an abode where nothing is out of place and coming home to a disaster. Care.com is a great resource for finding a trustworthy individual who will keep your home and any critters you leave behind safe and secure while you’re gone, allowing you to truly have happy travels.