Why do I need a home sitter when I am away?

Getting ready to head out of town and wondered why you might need a house sitter? You are already planning on cancelling your mail/newspaper, turning the heat down and your lights are already on a timer, so what more might you need? Is it worth spending the money on a house sitter?

Absolutely! Burglars are smart and getting smarter and unforeseen problems can happen at any time.

You primarily need a house sitter because of burglars.

To see why it is important to have your home occupied by a house sitter while you are away, look through the eyes of a burglar. Here are the four things a burglar sees when you are on holiday or away on business:

  • Lights always on, always off, or obviously on a timer – If the time your lights are on and off does not vary each night this can be a clear sign to a burglar you are not home. This applies not only to exterior lights, but also your inside lights (and curtains being opened or closed) and television;
  • Newspapers/mail/advertising leaflets – If you have a build-up of mail or newspapers it is a clear sign you are not home and haven’t been for a while. Many people try to get around this by stopping delivery when they are planning on being away from home. This seems a good idea but doesn’t stop the advertising leaflets from showing up. If you have no one at your home, or a family member stopping by on occasion, the advertising leaflets could be at your door for days giving a clear signal to burglars your house is unoccupied;
  • Not taking rubbish and recycling out on collection days – Rubbish collection is another of those regular tasks burglars will use to notice when things are different. If your neighbours have their rubbish out and ready for collection but there is none at your house this can be a clue to burglars you aren’t home. There have been instances of the rubbish collectors tipping off burglars about which house did not have anything to pick up for the day;
  • Dogs – Your beloved dog is the one factor which can help deter burglars from your house. Instead of spending money on taking your dog to a dog sitter or kennel for boarding, have our House and Home Sitters professional pet sitter come to your home instead. This is a win-win since your dog(s) will get to stay comfortably in their own familiar environment and you have one more deterrent to keep your home safe;
  • Unmaintained landscaping – If your home and landscaping are usually nicely kept and trimmed, letting it go while you are absent from home may signal to burglars your house is empty. Long grass and overgrown shrubs or weed-filled flower beds make it appear no one is home to take care of these. If you do not have a landscaping company or gardener handling these aspects for you, it’s a good idea to appoint one while you’re away.

Protecting your home from break-ins is not the only reason it’s a good idea to hire a house sitter when you will be absent from your home. There are moreover a number of unforeseen maintenance issues that can arise:

  • A water pipe could burst – with either cold weather or older pipes comes the chance of a surprise burst water pipe; if no one is home to turn off the water it could turn into an even bigger dilemma. Water will continue to leak and if left unattended mould and mildew will start to grow. Even if you have a family member or neighbour checking your house periodically, in just a few days you can be in over your head in costly repairs;
  • Rodents and Pests – When a house is empty for a week or two rodents and pests start to find their way in. If you are away from your home for an extended period of time you could return to find unwanted visitors in your rooms and damage to your furnishings;
  • Heating and Cooling Problems – There was a family who went away for a holiday and accidentally left a window in a bedroom partially open in the winter. The heat ran continuously while they were away to try to fight the cold air coming in. This led to a huge heating bill, but might also have led to boiler damage due to working harder than normal.

When you ask “Why do I need a home sitter?”, these are just a few examples of what could go wrong when you leave your home empty while you are away; there are many more examples you can find with a simple internet search. Hiring a house sitter to watch over your property while you are away greatly reduces the chance of burglary and coming home to unwanted unpleasant surprises.

Our background-checked, carefully-vetted professional house sitters at House and Home Sitters can give you peace of mind when you are away.

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