Tips for se­lect­ing a house sit­ter

The Progress-Index Weekend - - HOME - RICHARD MONT­GOMERY

Reader ques­tion: We have a chance to take a six-month trip to Aus­tralia. We have al­ways cared for our home our­selves. We have sev­eral pets, yard work, main­te­nance items and other re­spon­si­bil­i­ties. Is a full­time house sit­ter a good idea? Monty’s an­swer: The in­ter­net has al­lowed the ad­vance of this busi­ness model. Many op­tions im­pact the ser­vice. The pop­u­lar­ity of your lo­ca­tion, the size of your home, your ex­pec­ta­tions, your bud­get and more.

8 im­por­tant con­sid­er­a­tions

• Vet­ting the in­di­vid­ual or in­di­vid­u­als is the No. 1 fac­tor. Home­sit­ters are of­ten a cou­ple that comes as a pack­age. Per­sonal habits such as al­low­ing vis­i­tors, au­to­mo­bile us­age, gro­ceries for them and the pets, the care of your pets, rou­tines, food por­tions, va­ri­ety and tim­ing of meals, ex­er­cise, and other house rules need to be com­mu­ni­cated and un­der­stood.

• In­sur­ance is a crit­i­cal com­po­nent. Re­mem­ber to in­cludes cov­er­age if op­er­at­ing your ve­hi­cle is part of the agree­ment.

• Re­mem­ber to in­clude re­spon­si­bil­i­ties around the ex­te­rior and in­te­rior main­te­nance such as lawn care, snow re­moval, chang­ing fil­ters, floor care, and more, in the house rules.

• List the con­trac­tors you use should a need arise out­side or­di­nary wear and tear.

• Com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween you and the house sit­ter are nec­es­sary. A method that works for both of you should be es­tab­lished and hon­ored by both par­ties dur­ing the en­gage­ment.

• Pre-plan ex­e­cu­tion of fi­nan­cial mat­ters you nor­mally han­dle at home. What will come in the mail? How will the util­ity bills be han­dled? Can we pay them in ad­vance?

• Se­cu­rity and over­sight are also avail­able today with real-time cam­eras that can be op­er­ated re­motely from around the world.

• Se­cure a writ­ten agree­ment to de­scribe and deal with all the terms and con­di­tions of the en­gage­ment. Send ques­tions to Richard Mont­gomery at DearMonty. com.

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