Review: How to Become a Housesitter

Ever since I “met” Pete and Dalene Heck online a couple of years ago, I’ve followed their housesitting adventures with interest.  The idea of being able to live in an area rent-free for an extended period of time really is intriguing, especially if, like us, you’re interested in doing long-term travel.  Many of these positions include pet setting as well, and we do miss having pets.  Housesitting allows you the opportunity to live in a typical neighborhood or rural location, get a sense of community, get to establish relationships with locals, and so on while not paying rent.  So all around it’s a win-win proposition.  I’ve been curious to try it, but it’s difficult to know which sites to work with, some of the ins and outs, and is it even a possibility for a traveling family.  When I discovered the Hecks had written an ebook about it, I contacted them right away.


How to become a Housesitterhas about 51 pages of information about this interesting subject.  They give some brief examples of the opportunities they’ve enjoyed so far, situations that have saved them approximately $30,000 USD since they’ve been traveling, but really that isn’t the focus of this ebook.

I found several areas of the book to be quite helpful.  They offer suggestions and examples of how to create a winning profile, how to write a contact message that will increase your chances, a wonderful comparison of the most popular sites, including a map of which sites have the most available offerings by region, and some invaluable checklists to use when you do get your assignment.

Being a complete neophyte I read their book and pondered if it was worth spending the money to register with a couple of sites.  My only reluctance was that we’re a family and I would think that would rule us out.  The Hecks stress that they know of families who have housesat, so I finally decided that even if we got only one assignment, it would have more than paid for the fee.  Being such a low risk, I figured why not!

I used their advice when creating my profile and when contacting people.  We quickly got an email back from a lady in Belgium.  She wasn’t quite sure of when she would need someone (some people don’t have the dates fixed yet, just have the time period or know they need people regularly), but she thought we were so cool that she invited us to come stay with her for a week even if she didn’t need a housesitter.  She said we could do a few chores around the mini farm to cover food.  I spent $65 USD in registration fees (for two different sites and after using the discount code for that they offer in their book).  Even if we were to give this a very conservative €20 a night fee ($25), we will have paid for the registration fees AND saved $110 just on lodging alone, not including the savings on food.

I am currently in discussions with a family who needs a sitter in New Zealand for about a month next year, and we have some interesting possibilities for other places while we’re in Europe as well.

Did I mention they include a discount code for the site with the most options (which is also the most easy to use and the most robust website)?  If you use the discount code at, you basically will have only paid $5 for this informative book.

If you have the slightest interest in figuring out how to do long-term travel on a budget, How to Become a Housesitter really is a fantastic resource.


*Please note this is an affiliate link.  After reading the book and deciding it was something I would wholeheartedly recommend, I signed up for their affiliate program and will receive some money if a purchase is made with the above links.  Regardless of potential for compensation, I do not recommend items or services that I would not suggest to a loved one or use myself.

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  1. well, I did it, I got the book, off to read it… then sign up, and see what happens…

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    • Awesome! I think it will be great for you guys to get to do some housesitting while you travel.

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  2. You made me want to buy the book- but I don’t yet need it. If I do, I’ll buy it from you. I know you’re getting amazing results- an oasis in Morocco! You got your money’s worth!

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    • You can say that again! Being here for 2 months we’ve easily saved over $1200 just in accommodations alone. And now we’ll be going to Koh Samui, Thailand, for a month living virtually on the beach rent-free. Hard to beat that. :)

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  3. Love that you got to stay with that woman even though she was still there! We finally made the plunge with housesitting and our currently watching two big german shephards and a koi pond on Ko Samui in Thailand. Best thing we have ever done!

    Now that we are doing it we want to do it all of the time… it is addicting!

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    • It IS fun! I think it’s a great way to do long-term travel on a budget as well. I’m looking forward to doing more of them.

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  4. Thanks for sharing this review. I’d seen the book online, but I trust your judgement and appreciate you taking the time to tell us about it. I’m hoping to get some tips on getting a gig, even with our “larger than average” family.

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    • Thanks! I appreciate that trust and take it seriously, which is why I’ll never recommend something I don’t believe in, wouldn’t use, etc.

      So far so good. We may have a gig for 2 months in a Moroccan oasis, and earlier today we were accepted for just over a week cat sitting in France. I’m sure a lot of it was because I used their tips. Good luck, and keep us updated!

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  5. So how do home owners feel about house sitters with 4 kids?

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    • That I would not know; however, since many of them are farms or mini farms, they might find it handy.

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  6. Great review. Sounds like a valuable e-book. However, I cannot find the aforementioned discount code. Or, are you saying that the book provides a discount code that essentially brings the e-book cost down to $5? Meaning there is a discount code worth $14.95. Perhaps it is just me that is perplexed but I looked around their website for a discount code for the e-book. Best wishes!

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    • The discount code is found inside the book, and it provides a $15 discount off the registration fee for Sorry for any confusion.

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  7. Oh YAY! I’m so glad that it’s already working out for you – we LOVE success stories!

    Thanks so much for the review!

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    • AND I was contacted this morning by a cool place in Morocco who is looking for a housesitter so double YAY!

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