Executive and Luxury House sitting Professionals

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©Exploramum and Explorason – Scotland housesit

They say ‘Your home is your castle’ – right?

From humble homes, to luxury mansions, home owners all over the world need to leave their ‘castles’, and for a myriad of reasons they take leave of absence of the place dearest to their heart.

They leave behind their world treasures, their family heirlooms, their treasured memories, their precious plants, pampered pooches, feathered friends, and much, much more.

Most are going on a vacation, but whatever the reason they don’t need the added stress of worrying about what they have left behind. They want peace of mind that their pets are fed, clean, healthy, walked or whatever is their routine.  They want their plants and lawn alive, not dead. They might want their pool tended to, or the services they already have in place overseen (gardener, pool attendant, cleaner etc) to ensure their house and garden remain as lovely as the day they left, and well cared for.

Others want someone in their home for added security, so it is lived in, and not burgled.  This is often the case for a property waiting to be sold, a deceased estate, or world trip.

Whatever the reason, the home owners want peace of mind.

So a new wave of executive and luxury house sitting professionals are on the rise.  Experienced folk who often live a life of travel themselves, and are called on to come and stay. Sometimes a few days, and other times, weeks or months.

And we are such a pair.  We find ourselves more and more being offered lovely homes all over the world to come and stay in, and to offer our services that give the home owner peace of mind.

This time we have had the joy of a few weeks in Scotland.  A retired airline executive couple needed to visit family oversees, and we were invited to care for their lovely country estate.

This comprised of a two story historical home; large double block; lush and expansive duck pond; vegetable gardens; greenhouse; manicured lawn; and stunning garden.

Their adorable two dogs were probably the most well behaved and clever pair we have had the joy to love and befriend. They were so special, and obviously showered with affection by their owners, and we so enjoyed being able to do the same.

They had their own ‘sweeties drawer’, and each evening would bring us a ‘bag of sweeties’ so their repertoire of tricks could be rewarded. (watch the You Tube Video).

The larger dog had even been trained to ring his own front door bell after he had been let out to relieve himself.

Such clever and adorable pooches!

Along with the dogs came a number of ducks, two hens (one brooding), and the sweet sound of many winged birds to feed, including the odd pheasant.

All in all, a truly beautiful sight to look out upon on a sunny day.

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©Exploramum and Explorason – Pheasants in the garden

We arrived early and stayed nearby (which the owners kindly organised in a historic antique filled loft), giving us ample time to ‘learn the ropes’.

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©Exploramum and Explorason – The Loft the owners organised for us to stay in prior to the house sit. This is available for rent https://www.airbnb.co.uk/rooms/2440510#host-profile

As the dogs needed some medical care there was also some extra requirements in our learning curve.

We had the use of their Mercedes Benz vehicle which the home-owners kindly added us to their insurance.

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©Exploramum and Explorason – The Mercedes Benz I drove – owners included insurance

A lovely upstairs area including our own en-suite which gave us plenty of room to feel like this was ‘home’ when we stayed. Room to unpack our personal belonging.

Fresh flowers in vases greeted us, and a myriad of other incites that the home owner left to show they appreciated having us at their house sit.

An additional joy for us as house sitters included the unlimited high speed wi-fi; the fridges, freezers and pantries well stocked with food and drinks; and even all the kitchen cupboards clearly labelled.  The house was very tidy and clean, and the garden and lawns were all immaculate when we arrived.  This really made for a smooth settling in time.

As I needed to catch up on a lot of article writing; planning the next leg of our world journey; and some educating of my son, we did find we rarely went out in the car.  And with a myriad of Country Interior Design magazines for my perusal; and Explorason loving the Flight Simulator, Cable TV, and Netflix too; we just loved staying in and caring for this lovely property and cuddly dogs.

The two long country walks a day with the dogs helped us to get fit and healthy, and we just had time to enjoy the creature comforts of our beautiful surroundings.  It was easy to email the owners overseas with the odd question if a need arose.

This Scottish executive house sit was a delight.

We also made friends at the Oasis Church and even attended an art session for a day there, learning with the guidance of a professional artist (thanks John) – something we both enjoyed immensely as it allowed us to make new friends, release our inner creative flow, and was a great art lessing time for Explorason (world-schooling).

I was pleased with my painting and gave it away to a lady who was aiming to set up a respite home for children with cancer, so this felt really nice.  We also felt like family – and that really touched us. It made our time here extra special.

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However we never stayed out too long from the home, because the home and pets were our first priority.

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©Exploramum and Explorason – Explorason showered the dogs with love. Here he wears a t-shirt he won from a HouseSitMatch.com competition

Many executive home-owners really do value the services of a professional house sitter.  Whilst we care for many a variety of both executive and humble homes; and the love of a pet, a place to call home, and the warmth of the home owners hospitality feels payment enough; there are times we have really been blessed with something a little extra that makes our job feel rewarded.

As we felt so appreciated and cared for at this house sit, it prompted me to ask some fellow house sitting friends (including the Facebook group House Sitting World) to share some of the things that they have delighted in when house sitting, and how some owners had gone ‘above and beyond’.

  • Complimentary flight, train, bus or transportation to / from the house sit
  • Use of a vehicle – some included luxury models
  • Maid / Cleaner
  • Baby-sitting service
  • Firewood, Bog, Briquettes and all heating needed for the winter
  • Unlimited high-speed wi-fi
  • Petrol money / card for the vehicle
  • Gardener / Lawn mower service
  • Million dollar location, island cliff-top home, mountain retreat, country mansion, castle etc to live in etc
  • Pool maintenance man
  • Consumption of any fresh fruit, vegetables, herbs from the garden; eggs from the ducks and hens
  • Netflix /Cable TV / In-home Movie Theatre / Wii / great range of DVD’s to watch etc
  • Monetary gift
  • Payment for house sitters services
  • Lovely guest towels and toiletries often in a luxurious arrangement
  • Bathrobes and slippers
  • Sports Club / Gymnasium / Golf Club visitor access / membership
  • Maps of the area, notes on places to visit, and even sometimes entry tickets to museums, events etc
  • Money from duck and hen eggs that are sold to the local organic shop (this was especially for Explorason)
  • Christmas – many came to the home to see the Christmas tree up / decorated for them / gifts under the tree
  • Use of sporting / gym / water sport equipment – motorised and non-motorised
  • Inclusion of house sitter on car / household insurance policy
  • Food in the fridge / freezer / pantry
  • Organised local friends to have them over for a meal etc
  • Key to the liquor cabinet / bar fridge
  • Welcome gift
  • Thank you gift
  • Thank you card
  • Glowing reference
  • Gift on return from the home owners holiday destination
  • Taken out for a meal / share a meal with the owner when they arrived
  • Locals arranged to delivery of fruits and vegetables, fish, eggs etc.
  • Chocolates – including on Valentine’s Day
  • Free use of their private pool / spa / jacuzzi
  • Clean home; space for the houses-sitter to unpack their personal belongings,; and a tidy garden etc
  • Welcome basket of goodies
  • Bottle of wine / champagne (sparkling wine) on arrival
  • Massages twice a week, paid for by the home owner
  • Fresh flowers in the home
  • Accommodation paid for nearby leading up to the house sit (so the house sitters can come early, get to know the area, and what is required )
  • Separate guest cottage / apartment / house /cabana, and were invited to stay on for a vacation after the homeowner returned or prior to the house sit

And the one that left us all speechless?  

  • All Expenses Trip to Hawaii, complete with $1000 Spending Money was the treat for one house sitter !!!!
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©Exploramum and Explorason – Exploramum really loved the home we cared for, and the dogs too

Comments – we want them!

It is nice to feel appreciated be it big or small, and if you are a house sitter, have you ever had anything nice left for you? Did any of the things we mention, ever happen to you?

Or as a home owner, did you do anything special (big or small) for your house sitter?

Or if you have a house sitting site, what is something that stands out to you?

We’d love to know, so please leave us a comment below.

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©Exploramum and Explorason – Moet and Chandon Champagne & Lindt Chocolates – yum !

House Sitting Services we recommend

If you are some-one who has a lovely home, and darling pets you want to leave in the hands of a capable house sitter; or if you are a house-sitter offering an excellent standard of service, then read on.

At the base of this article you will find several house sitting sites we recommend.  Some have even offered a special for this article.

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©Exploramum and Explorason – Explorason in the nearby forest walking the dogs

Click on the links to join or take a look.

HouseSitMatch 

BONUS SPECIAL – Please use the coupon code EXPLORAMUM-25. It will give anyone using it during registration a full 25% discount on any level of account. Offer expires 25th July, 2015

Housecarers

TrustedHousesitters

BONUS SPECIAL – Please use the coupon code EXPLORAMUM – 10% off annual plans. Valid until the end of the year.

MindMyHouse

Luxury Housesitting

HomeSittersWorldwide

Get housesitters

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©Exploramum and Explorason – one of the clever dogs

9 comments

  1. HI Ruth, Thanks for sharing your experiences. It is great to hear about families housesitting too – and goes to show how you can have a fuller life through house sitting. Thanks for promoting this great life enriching opportunity. Ian

  2. Why wouldn’t we home and pet sitters just keep doing what we feel appreciated for?
    What boss tells you virtually everyday that what you are doing is making their time away stressless and know that their home and their beloved pets are in the best of hands. That you are so special, you are part of the family! You know the answer, rarely if ever.
    Everyone needs to hear and feel they make a difference, and I know from my experience that I certainly feel that.
    A text from Julie says, ‘Jake wants you to make sure you come back next year. We informed him that we don’t have any plans for travel for next year and he doesn’t seem to care. He wants you back anyway.’
    Jake is 10yo, same age as my own granson, so it has been wonderful for me to be here 6 days prior to the family of 4 leaving for 5 weeks.
    I have been invited to stay past their return on the 17th July as it is my 64 th birthday on the 21st! She also text me about what I would like to do, I replied being here with their presence was all I want.
    Two years ago while in the UK the young couple rang to sing me Happy Birthday and to look in a special place where I found local made hand cream and body wash and a lovely card. Last Christmas the neighbours asked me to come in the afternoon and enjoy drinks and special South Afrikaans’ fare in Brisbane QLD.
    I was also invited to celebrate the Jewish Friday evening meal, and also the couple I was sitting for’s Wedding on the Sunday. As a Christian this was very special and an experience I never even thought about being on my Bucket List!
    ‘My owners’ know I do not have a residence so when they bring me back a gift from their travels it is jewellery, silk scarves, Moscato ( the only wine I drink) perfume, Starbuck’s cards loaded so I can have my 1 cuppa a day, a lovely satchel bag with Westies on it from Cornwall, a Radley Wallet also with Westies! Bought on Queen Mary II in Harrods!
    I also love the fresh, often new towels and toiletries on my bed with fresh flowers on my bedside as is on the dining table. No chocolates as they already know I am dairy, gluten and caffeine intolerant.
    And yes the fridge, freezer as well as the pantry are made available to me 80% of the time.
    Do I want my own home, no! Why? Well why would I when I get to meet wonderful people, their pets and neighbours. I really could not bear to think of being in one place past 3 months. No, this petgranma is happiest and healthiest when doing what I do now. So cremation will come before I cease home and pet sitting!
    #lovemyperfectlifestyle #livingandlearning

  3. Home Sitters Worldwide has FREE membership for 6 months, no contract no bank or Paypal details needed. When and if you wish to sign up after the 6 months is over you will get 50% of the next 12 months, then you will need to pay via PayPal.
    This offer allows for those people who are interested but not sure that they can sit full time. 6 months should be enough to find your feet. Owners you have the same offer as above.
    We are also offering 50% off 6 months membership if you introduce another member who pays for a 12 month membership after their initial 6 months Free Membership.

  4. Great article Ruth! We have toyed with the idea of having someone housesit for us when we travel and take care of our dogs. My main concern is what do you do with all your valuables around the house. I can’t really put everything away. It would have to be someone who’s trustworthy. I fear they would go through my closet and things once we leave, so that’s why we haven’t done it yet.

    1. I think if you get the right sitter then they will respect your property. Just like if you leave your prized gin they won’t drink it all. A good sitter has respect and is trustworthy. I understand your concern – never thought about ever going through some-one’s closet though !!!

  5. Great article Ruth and a great summary of the extra benefits and loving gratitude that houses sitters from all over the world have enjoyed from their home owners.

    While it is definitely fair exchange to look after a persons home and pets in their absence in return for free accommodation, there is something very special about a home owner going that extra mile to show their appreciation for the hard work house sitters put into their assignment and in caring for their charges.

    And those extra miles definitely do not go unnoticed by sitters….

    1. Yes – I think we were blessed on this occasion to feel “extra special”, and it is way more than free accommodation – it is a responsibility that many take very seriously and it is nice to be rewarded.

  6. Excellent summary of the supreme benefits of housesitting Ruth, and such a wonderful introduction to a stunning part of the world. I think we are all proud of your exemplary attitude to the responsible approach you take to housesitting – not only the care for the home and property but more especially the pets resident in the home also. Bravo!

    1. Thank you Lamia – yes we already miss these two lovely dogs, and our feathered friends. To care for such a home is a joy and responsibility we do take seriously but with great delight

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