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Old 03-11-2014, 02:23 PM   #11
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Location: North Van., British Columbia
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We've left our house vacant for extended periods of time but have the good fortune to live in a neighborhood "where everyone knows your name".

A friend in North Van. spends 1-2 months away. He's always relied on his alarm system but recently bought one of those camera systems that allows him to go online and view live video and sound. He feels better about the house being unoccupied being able to confirm all is well 24/7.

At the end of the day it's really the requirements of your insurance co. that will determine how much human presence your house requires. Personally I'd rather search for an individual by talking to friends than going through an agency.

Ron
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Old 03-11-2014, 03:03 PM   #12
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We used this site and were very happy.
House Sitting & House Sitter Jobs | Dog, Cat & Pet Minding | TrustedHousesitters.com
My criteria was it needed to be a website people paid to use and they needed a criminal record check and references. You can also tell a lot by people's profiles and then again when you are 'interviewing' them.
As CAdreamin said I really liked that they could focus on my dog and didn't have a job to go or friend and family obligations in the area.
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Old 03-11-2014, 04:10 PM   #13
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We have a fair amount of experience with this as we have rented our house out as well as used housesitters. When we've gone off for a year on sabbatical we would do limited advertising at the university -- looking for visiting faculty or new faculty who were house hunting-- I don't think we've ever rented to students, but I would consider serious graduate students. We usually return to a house cleaner than the one we left behind -- last summer I put it out on a list serve through my synagogue, and found someone who was between homes and needed somewhere to live. Our house was absolutely clean when we came back and the shrubs and lawn in much better condition than we take care of them.

We've also left the house empty but I'm increasingly less wanting to do that -- not so much for burglary (although that's a consideration) but because things happen to a house. One time when we were away our neighbor was checking the mail and discovered a dead bird (not ours) in the toilet with the lid down. We have never figured out how that happened. But sometimes a roof leaks unexpectedly and you really want to have someone around to notice that.

We are pretty careful about who we select, but of course it's always a little scary to leave our house and our things with total strangers. I would no longer rent it -- too much work getting it straightened up for other people and it means the house is totally off limits to us in case we need to come home sooner than expected. But I think it's really worth the effort to find someone reliable to be in the house.
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Old 03-11-2014, 05:15 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by dave macrae View Post
Not bother family and friends... Isn't that what friends and family are for . You know to bother
They're all senile . . . like me. They'd just burn the place down or wander away from the house -- in either case, never to be seen again.
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Old 03-11-2014, 05:19 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by kootenaigirl View Post
We used this site and were very happy.
House Sitting & House Sitter Jobs | Dog, Cat & Pet Minding | TrustedHousesitters.com
My criteria was it needed to be a website people paid to use and they needed a criminal record check and references. You can also tell a lot by people's profiles and then again when you are 'interviewing' them.
As CAdreamin said I really liked that they could focus on my dog and didn't have a job to go or friend and family obligations in the area.
Thanks k-girl. I'll check out their website. In our case, Abigail is coming along. So it's only stuff to worry about (and it's just stuff).
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Old 03-11-2014, 05:28 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Ruthe View Post
. . . We've also left the house empty but I'm increasingly less wanting to do that -- not so much for burglary (although that's a consideration) but because things happen to a house.

. . . but of course it's always a little scary to leave our house and our things with total strangers. I would no longer rent it -- too much work getting it straightened up for other people and it means the house is totally off limits to us in case we need to come home sooner than expected. But I think it's really worth the effort to find someone reliable to be in the house.
Thanks, Ruthe, for sharing your experiences. We're pretty much in the same boat emotionally. And leaving the house empty and having Fs & Rs come by occasionally to check up is an option. And the new security system we're having installed will have cameras here and there.

But we're keeping our options open for now. Thanks again.
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Old 03-11-2014, 05:31 PM   #17
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At the end of the day it's really the requirements of your insurance co. that will determine how much human presence your house requires. Ron
Thanks Ron. I was aware of the insurance angle but it's good to have a reminder.
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Old 03-11-2014, 05:44 PM   #18
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I'm reasonably new to this forum, so am not well known by others yet. However, noticed this topic, and for what its worth, we have friends we've known for 25 years who have provided this service for their friends and family in the past, and recently are offering there service on a broader scale. I have no hesitation in recommending them. You can check out John and Dianne here:
Peace of mind while you're away from home with TLC | TrustedHousesitters.com

Jim
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Old 03-12-2014, 01:37 AM   #19
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Has anyone had any experience with home exchanges? Never having done it, I day dream about arranging a non-simultaneous exchange with someone in Europe or other exotic place where the trailer isn't an option.

Not sure anyone wants to come to rainy Victoria in the winter, but if our home was the summer exchange we could be off in our trailer during their stay here; then in our winter we could be off to some sunny fly-to place.

Just pondering. Anyone ever done this or have ideas on this possibility?
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Old 03-12-2014, 08:04 AM   #20
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I'm reasonably new to this forum, so am not well known by others yet. However, noticed this topic, and for what its worth, we have friends we've known for 25 years who have provided this service for their friends and family in the past, and recently are offering there service on a broader scale. I have no hesitation in recommending them. You can check out John and Dianne here:
Peace of mind while you're away from home with TLC | TrustedHousesitters.com

Jim
Thanks Jim. Will f/u.
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