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House sitting

What's the difference between property caretaking and house sitting?

Property caretaking and house sitting share the same principle (free accommodation in exchange for services rendered) but have a different emphasis. Caretaking positions generally carry more responsibility and require more committment than house sitting assignments. Caretakers are often employed and paid a salary to manage a property and most often find themselves working outside of urban areas.

Caretaking, like house sitting, is experiencing exponential growth with more positions and more willing caretakers to fill them. Caretaking roles can be found in grounds keeping, land stewardship, farming, organic gardening, forestry, ranching, animal husbandry and fisheries. Employers of caretakers include nature retreats, ecological preserves, camps and national or state forests and parks. Caretakers can be employed as 'winter keepers' at lodges, managers for 'gentlemen' farmers or caretakers of resort properties and caravan parks during the off season.

Due to the rise of the ownership of second (or even third) homes among the relatively wealthy, there is a rising demand for house sitters who are willing to do a bit more to earn their free long-term accommodation (such as caretake a property in between the owner's visits).

Due to the isolation of most caretaking roles, those wishing to explore this field need to be quite self-contained and able to take their own absorbing interests and hobbies along to the assignment with them. Caretaking can be a great way to escape the hustle of city life but may place more demands on participants than the average house sitting assignment.