Many young Australian are finding it difficult to save up the deposit to buy a house. If you are renting in a desirable suburb, with high rents, it can be even harder. That’s where house sitting can help you save your way to home ownership.
Being a house sitter requires you to take care of the homeowner’s place and pets while they are away. Responsibilities can include general maintenance of pool and lawns, making sure the home is secure and redirecting mail in return for free accommodation.
Most house sitters have traditionally been retirees or travellers but these days we are seeing a boom in house-sitting among young Australians, because it allows them to avoid paying rent, utility bills, repair costs, and in some cases even for food. House sitting has become an ingenious way to save for a house deposit.
If you’re on the fence about joining the house sitting lifestyle in order to save for a house, these are the pros and cons.
Pros of house sitting
- Free accommodation: The financial saving is the primary benefit of house sitting. It enables you to live rent-free and put the savings towards a house deposit.
- No bills to pay: You aren't responsible for paying any bills when you’re a house sitter.
- No need for house maintenance: While house sitting may require you to do household tasks like cleaning, you won't need to spend any money on maintenance, unlike a renter.
- It’s possible to live in a luxurious place: Not all places you’ll house sit will be mansions but most families who need a house sitter have large homes with plenty of space where you can live comfortably for a while.
Cons of house sitting
- You move frequently: House sitting can last up to six months, however, it generally lasts 1 to 2 weeks to cover the owner’s holidays. So this means you will need to move from house to house very regularly which can be inconvenient.
- Your living conditions are not stable: You’re pretty much living out of a suitcase. You’ll need to repeatedly pack then unpack your things and clothes which can get stressful.
- Taking care of ill-behaved pets: Not all pets are easy to take care of. Some pets are high maintenance and need them be fed and walked at certain times.
- You might not like the place: While you can check the property before house sitting it, there’s a possibility that you might discover something unexpected when you live there. Like a bad neighbourhood, neighbours, or the place itself.
Should you house-sit to save up for a home deposit?
If you think you can take on the house sitting lifestyle, this could be a great way to save for a house. While it may entail a bit of a sacrifice in terms of your living conditions and lifestyle, it will save you on rent and utility bills which you can then use for a house deposit.