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Here are the long term house sitting Gold Coast-specific secrets that I’ve learned in the past two years of full-time house sitting. Here is how to succeed, save money and surround yourself with loving pets.
What Is House Sitting?
House sitting is a trust-based transaction between a homeowner and a housesitter, who cares for the home and pets while the owner is away, in exchange for free rent and utilities*.
*A minority are paid, but mostly for short periods, or when the house sit requires additional pet health care or property maintenance.
Homeowners save money on boarding for their pets, while increasing security in their homes by having someone there. You save money on accommodation while travelling or saving, all while receiving endless snuggles and sniffs. House sits can be short-term (a few days) or long-term (up to a year or more).
After house sitting full time for the past two years in Australia, this post contains the secrets that I have learned during that time, so you too can successfully ‘snag’ long term house sitting on the Gold Coast (or further afield).
Why Gold Coast House Sitting?
On Aussie House Sitters, there were 30 Gold Coast house sits listed in the 7 days before this post and the 6th largest city in Australia has a good number of house sitting opportunities. Known for glamour and high-rise buildings atop perfect sandy beaches, it has a different ‘vibe’ than the pragmatic Queensland capital, Brisbane.
The Gold Coast has Brisbane and The Sunshine Coast to the north, mountainous hinterland to the west and Tweed Heads and Byron Bay to the south. It is the home of Australia’s theme parks and has a humid subtropical climate with year-round periods of warm to hot temperatures. As they say, it is “...beautiful one day, perfect the next.“
Long Term House Sitting Gold Coast Secrets To Success
Queensland (QLD) and Brisbane Public Holidays
Many people plan their holidays around public holidays, adding any accrued leave from their jobs to the dates on which their workplace is closed. Or, they leave at this time to spend time with friends and family during ‘the holidays’ – especially Christmas and Easter.
If you want to secure a longer house sit on the Gold Coast, being available during these times means that you are much more likely to ‘lock something in’ and will have greater choice than at other times of the year.
|Australia/Queensland Public Holidays||Date/s|
|New Year’s Day||January 1*|
|Australia Day||January 26|
|Easter (Good Friday, Easter Saturday/Sunday/Monday)||Early-Mid April|
|ANZAC Day||April 25|
|Labour Day||1st Monday in May|
|Royal Queensland Show (Brisbane only)||1st/2nd Friday in August|
|King’s Birthday||1st Monday in October|
|Christmas (Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day)||December 24-26#|
#The Holidays Act 1983 provides for an extra public holiday to be added when Christmas Day, Boxing Day or New Year’s Day falls on a weekend.
It’s worth considering, though, how popular the Gold Coast is over the warmer months (December – February). While families go on holidays during this time, tourists from all over the world visit the beaches and theme parks. This means that there is a fair amount of competition for house sitting opportunities. If you want to succeed at long term house sitting on the Gold Coast, you might have more luck during the cooler months (May to August) when locals head north to more tropical destinations, or to snow-covered regions for skiing and snowboarding.
Gold Coast House Sitting Locations
Surfer’s Paradise, Southport and Broadbeach may be popular, but applications for long term house sits in these areas can quickly add up and lead to your application falling to the bottom of the pile. If you are willing to move a bit further out in the region you’ll find that you’ll have a much better chance (like ‘The Hinterland’, Mount Tamborine and south towards Tweed Heads).
Meet With Homeowners For Gold Coast House Sitting Opportunities
While Gold Coasters are generally a relaxed bunch – homeowners like to get to know the house sitters that will take care of their home – especially long term. For house sits over a month, as soon as I’ve spoken to the homeowner over the phone, I try and organise a ‘meet and greet’. If I’m in another city, I let them know the dates that I will be near them and schedule an approximate date to meet.
I believe that this shows commitment to the house sit and this gesture will make you stand out from other applicants. It’s a great opportunity to be introduced to the pets and to get a ‘feel’ for the house, its location and what will be required from you during your stay.
If you meet with difficult or disrespectful homeowners, I’d rather know this before I spend months in their homes! Yet, you often meet with people in person only to find that you quickly bond and agree to the house sit.
Finally, to maximise your chances of getting that long-term house to sit on the Gold Coast, here are some tips:
- Use the ‘Alert’ feature on Aussie House Sitters to be notified via email when house sits of 2-4 weeks/1 month or more are listed and apply as soon as you can – Go to ‘My Account” > ‘Useful Tools’ > ‘My Alerts’ > ‘New Alert’;
- Apply for a QLD Police Certificate ($42AUD) to reassure homeowners of your suitability;
- Provide a link to your social media accounts and/or full name in your application, so homeowners can ‘Google’ you;
- Keep it all about them – ask questions about where they are going, how they like things done around the house and their preferences. Read their ad, listen carefully and take notes of these for later. Clarify anything unclear about their expectations.
In a trust-based exchange like house sitting, the more that you show yourself to be a considerate and trustworthy house sitter, the more success you’ll have. Once you have a few good references (in addition to being available on public holidays, meeting with owners quickly and being flexible in your choice of location), you’ll be long-term house-sitting Gold Coast-wide before you know it.