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How Much to Pay a Housesitter
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How Much to Pay a Housesitter
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I have a question about the going rate for house-sitting. What should one be paid for
a month-long house-sitting gig that includes such duties as: fish care, monitoring
work being done on stairs by workmen, revving up electric cars so that batteries don't
die, and a few other things. What do you think is a fair amount to ask to be paid?
We just secured a grad student to housesit for us for 2 weeks.
I posted it at a university and received about 8 responses. I
think we lucked out because we were looking for someone who
would really appreciate a place to stay for 2 weeks (she lives
with 5 others usually) and we had minimal tasks for her -
mainly related to cat care. We are paying her $200 for the 2
weeks, but another student couldn't get off the phone fast
enough when I suggested that amount, so it really depends on
whether the housesitter is looking at it as a ''job''.
Maybe I'm behind the times, but I thought the ''compensation'' for
house-sitting was getting to stay in the house, rather than any
last time I paid a housesitter I figured the going rate for her
time ($10/hr, it was a 17yr teen). I estimated how much time the
various chores would take and offered an amount to cover her time
including walking from her home to mine.
paid fairly, I think
Having been a housesitter several times, I have to say that the
one person's response stating that staying in the house is
plenty of pay couldn't be further from the truth. That sounds
like a great way to take advantage of someone (it happened to
me, and I was stuck somewhere for 4 months because of a
commitment to someone's pets who moved overseas for awhile).
Granted, for someone homeless or in a terrible living
situation, it may be a breath of fresh air, but for the rest of
You have to pack up all the stuff you need, and the more
particular you are about things (such as organic food, soap
ingredients, particular kitchenware for those things you want
to make, etc), the more you have to lug around. You're taken
out of your comfort zone and thrown in where inevitably
(assumuing, again, that you have an established existence
elsewhere) you miss things.
I think the best way to ever determine correct pay is to look
at what someone has to do and also give up (including transport
time to your place, and to their work, and gas, as well as the
time/effort to complete the duties), and pay what you would
want if you had to do all that for someone else.
Believe me, you could have a $3mil house and I would rather be at my own
comfy, humble home, if housesitting is ''for free''.
Hello, Since we are from NY we travel back there often. My
loving, gentle, sweet, social cat, Sadie, gets very lonely when
we are away.
I was thinking of asking one of my babysitters to come stay at
our house while we are away. She is currently a part-time live-
in Nanny and lives only a few blocks away. We will be away for
5 days and then a big trip to Europe for almost 3 weeks this
My next door neighbor is willing to feed my cat but Sadie LOVES
to be around people. So, aside from feeding and cleaning the
kitty litter, I would want the Nanny to hang out as much as
possible. Since I know the family she works for, she could
even bring the little girl she takes care of to play with my
son's toys. In the summer when we are away again, I would also
ask her to water plants and bring in mail every day.
I thought it would be nice for her to 'live' here so she could
have a mini retreat from living all the time with her working
How should I compensate her?
We pay our pet sitter $25.00 per day plus I give her an extra $50.oo or
She lives at our house and takes care of our dogs, cats and pet rats.
She also cleans(which is not required) and leaves our house cleaner than
we left it for her(which is clean and tidy).
Personally I dont' think she charges enough which is why I give her
extra. I'll be curious to see what others say.
My best advice to you is to get a ''real'' house-sitter who will also
take care of your cat -- not someone who will drop over on occassion and
From lengthy experience I can tell you that if you don't get a live-in
housesitter, the person won't ''hang out'': they'll just come over and
feed your cat and be gone. People like to ''live''
where their clothes are, their make-up bag, etc. They want to settle in
for a period -- whether that's 5 days or a couple of weeks. Otherwise,
it's just boring to drop in and watch TV for a while with your cat. In
other words, you'll pay for a service you wont actually get.
On the other hand, if you get a ''real'' house-sitter, the person
officially moves in -- clothes, toothbrush, computer peripherals, etc.;
they live in your house while you are away and it feels comfortable to
them because all their stuff is there and they've nested. Moreover, as
a paid ''house-sitter''
(*not* someone asked to drop by and pick up mail &/or water the
plants) they are obligated to actually be there, to be present any time
they are not out grocery shopping or taking classes.
We've been using house-sitters for our dog for almost 5 years now, and
we've had great success. Advertise or ask around at UC
Berkeley: most students love the opportunity to have a whole house for
themselves rather than the apartment/dorm-share situation most of them
are dealing with.
I would pay around $15/night for a cat.
I wonder if anyone has paid a house sitter before! Our
babysitter lives 30 minutes away and works for us and another
person in Berkeley. We will be away alot this summer and she
will stay in our house, feed cats and bring in mail. How much do
I pay her? It makes life more convenient for her in several
ways: closer to work, big house- no roommates but she is really
helping us out as well. We pay her about $260 week for some part
time childcare now.
Thanks for your suggestions,
As a college student/part time nanny I often housesit for short
time periods (4 days, a week) and usually charge $15 a day with
no pets and $20 a day with pets. With just cats (as opposed to
dogs, who take more time,) and for a longer period of time I
would probably say $15 a day.
-Hope this helps
I am also thinking about this. There is a retired gentleman who
will be coming to our home to dogsit and will spend the night. I
asked him his fee, and he implied that different families pay him
different amounts depending on their financial resources, which
is very generous of him. He seemed to size us up and asked for
$25/day. I want to hear other responses, so I can know if this
is a fair fee for him.
I plan on asking a college age daughter of a close friend and
neighbor to sit our 2 cats this Summer for 2 different trips.
For one we'll be gone only a few days, but the other is a 2-
week trip. By ''sit'' I really mean to make sure their food
bowls are full and they get a little attention every day or
so. The 2 week trip would also require cleaning out the cat
boxes at least once. She would be welcome to sleep over if she
wants to, but doesn't have to. I was wondering what people
think a fair price to pay for these services would be?
In the past, I have paid a ''professional'' (i.e. adult) catsitter
$10 per day for food, water, attention. A neighborhood child has
received $5 per day and often the parent will drop by just to
make sure the child is fulfilling their responsibilities. When I
have loaned my home while I am away, the house sitter took care
of the pets for free as part of the deal.
I pay $20/visit for a pet sitting service to come to my house
and feed my two cats, clean the litter box, get my mail, and
water my plants. They come every other day when I'm on vacation.
I pay high school kids who don't have to go more than a couple
of houses away $5 per day, with an extra $5 per each litter box
change (about every 3-4 days). I would probably double that
for someone older, who had to travel farther, or who was
spending more time with the animals. I inquired of a
professional service, and was told $40 a day.
Probably a Cheapskate!
''Professional'' pet-sitters usually charge about $15 a day to
feed/water/clean the litter box. They'll also water your plants
if you have them (though no discount for not having them).
We are going to be out of town for a week and would like to ask
the 2 boys around the corner (8 &13) to feed our cat and
collect our newspapers. What would be a fare rate to offer
I usually pay anywhere from $2.50-$5.00 a day, depending on how
much I'm having the kids (of similar age) do. If it's spring
and there are lots of vegetables to be watered, if I have a cat
whose lonely and I want them to spend extra time with her, then
I pay closer to $5 for those times. But just mail and a quick
feed (of 4 cats), maybe less. Good luck!
We pay neighbor kids $5 a day to feed our guinea pig and bring in
the mail and newspaper. The job only takes about 10 minutes, but
it is a real bargain considering that it cost $10 a day just to
board the guinea pig. $35 for a week seems like a lot of money to
kids that age. (If we are going away to somewhere exciting, I
also bring back small souvenirs for the sitters.)**********
For 8 and 13 year olds, I'd ask their parents what they think is
fair. A number of years ago we hired the 9 year old across the
street to feed our cat, and his mom thought we way overpaid
him. She wasn't upset with us, but she was kind of shocked by
what we thought was a pretty normal rate. (I think it was
something like $5 per day? I really don't remember,
unfortunately). But the point is, I think the parent would like
to have some input. If you think it is really too low, and the
kids do a great job, you could always add a little ''tip'' at the
We pay the 15-year old boy across the street $10/day (AM and PM
visit) or $5/visit to come over, bring in mail and newpapers,
walk dog for at least half an hour, and feed dog. I thought
that was decent to generous rate - considering that it's the
same as I pay my adult baby-sitter and more than I pay some teen-
aged baby-sitters - but I wanted to make it worth his while so
that he really does spend time with the dog. Interested to hear
what others are paying.
I paid a 9-year-old neighbor kid $10 a visit. His eyes kinda
popped out of his head, so I think it was a bit high. Maybe $7 a
My family is going away for Thanksgiving. I have hired my
daughter's boyfriend, a grad student, to housesit and care for
our two dogs while we are away. Does anyone have any idea what I
should pay him? Thanks for your advice.
Re: Paying housesitter - my wife and I have never actually paid
our housesitters, but we have indeed regaled them with gifts from
places we've traveled, special home cooked feasts, big batches of
their favorite cookies, etc. The various friends and friends of
friends who have watered the plants and fed the cats have always
been willing volunteers who usually jump at the chance to have a
house and kitchen all to themselves, away from their room mates.
I've also on occasion offered the use of our old but reliable VW
Golf during their stay just to sweeten the deal.
Dino and Nat, El Cerrito
When we go out of town we pay our nanny to come by twice a day
to feed our five animals (1 dog, 2 cats, 2 birds). She also brings
in the mail, opens the cat door in the morning, closes it at night,
walks the dog. She drives to Berkeley from Oakland so I am basically
paying her for the trouble and the expense of driving to our house
twice a day. I pay her $5 per car trip, which works out to $10/day.
When I have paid a neighborhood teenager to do the same thing, I pay
$5/day (but make sure the teen's parents know about the gig - teens
this page was last updated: Aug 18, 2009
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