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How to Live in Houses You Do Not Own with Tim Winders

by | Oct 21, 2019 | Season 2

How To Live In Houses That You Do Not Own | Season 2 Episode 3

A lot of people do not know what house-sitting is. The idea of getting to live in other people’s homes for free seems unimaginable. However, it is actually a viable option and lifestyle where you can get to experience a lot of new things and travel to different places.

In this episode, Seek Go Create host Tim Winders talks about his own experiences living the nomad life through house-sitting. He explains what house-sitting is and shares tips on how to get started on your own. 

This episode is for everyone curious about the lifestyle. Tune in to this episode to discover how you can start house-sitting and living the nomad life!

Here are three reasons why you should listen to the full episode:

  1. Discover what house-sitting is.
  2. Learn about the experience and lifestyle house-sitting entails.
  3. Find out how you can start house-sitting on your own.

Episode Highlights

[00:47] Introduction to House-Sitting

  • House-sitting allowed Tim and his wife to live in houses they do not own without paying its mortgage and bills.
  • Tim and his wife considered themselves professionals, as they know they did well.
  • Tim defines house-sitting this way: someone else owns a house—sometimes a pet is involved—and others watch over it while the owners go on a vacation or holiday.
  • The Internet made it possible to get matched with homeowners looking for sitters all around the world.

[04:27] Getting Started

  • In 2013, Tim and his wife had to move out of their home, leaving them with nowhere to stay.
  • They considered moving to Austin, Texas, and asked a friend if he knows anyone who has a place where he and his wife could stay.
  • Interestingly, they got a call back within 48 hours from Tim’s friend’s neighbors, who own multiple homes and would like someone to watch over their house and pet temporarily.
  • With the economic downturn of 2008, Tim and his wife evaluated their options and saw house-sitting as a viable option, considering the cost of living, mortgage, and other bills.

[07:03] Pros & Cons

  • One of the most obvious advantages is living in a home, without the responsibility of paying any bills, rent, or mortgage, in return for watching over the house and pets.
  • House-sitting also let them experience living in different houses, with different styles and layouts, which helped them figure out what kind of home they needed and wanted.
  • It also allowed them to explore the areas around the houses they watched over.
  • However, one of the drawbacks is the uncomfortable feeling of moving around a lot, unpacking multiple times, sleeping in different strangers’ beds, and inconsistent Internet.
  • Other issues can also appear, commonly from the home itself, the pets, or even the owners’ demands and expectations.

[17:21] Tips & Tricks

  • Tim says talking over Skype or Zoom is a great way to check if the homeowner has Wi-Fi that is strong enough for an online video call.
  • It also allows them to see each other, establish a comfort level, and even go over some details.
  • Tim also mentioned having a signed, detailed agreement.

[26:08] Pet-Sitting Aspect

  • Tim says it is tough to be a nomad and have pets.
  • However, house-sitting allowed Tim to experience taking care of pets, which he found enjoyable.
  • As Tim took care of pets, he observed the pets got depressed after Tim had left.
  • Still, Tim is glad that he and his wife were able to spend quality time with the pets. He sees it as a blessing.

[29:03] Websites & Resources

  • Tim says interactions on Facebook groups and other free sites where sitters can be matched with homeowners are not that good.
  • Instead, Tim signed up for websites where they got charged on a per-year basis to participate.
  • He cited the importance of building a good profile, even putting recommendation letters from previous clients.
  • The websites he usually got his gigs from include TrustedHouseSitters.com, MindMyHouse.com, and HouseCarers.com.

[32:51] Final Thoughts

  • Start with your circle: your family and friends.
  • Let them know that if they travel, you can watch their home and pets.
  • You can also try building a profile on one of the websites mentioned above and just try it.
  • Always be a blessing to the home you house-sit, leaving it in a better condition than it was when they came in there.

5 Powerful Quotes from This Episode

“We were professionals because we took it seriously, and we believe that we did it well.”

“You need to be confident that you can take care of it.”

“It’s sometimes really tough to know what you want until you’re living in it.”

“Just try it. You know what, it might just open up some cool and unique doors for you.”

“Be a blessing. We actually would always say we wanted to leave the home and the pets better than when we came.”

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To growing and becoming all we are created to be,

Tim