Author: Vidhu Bajaj, from HashChing
Many retirees, undergrads and young couples in Australia are living and travelling for free, thanks to the concept of house sitting that has rapidly grown across the country.
“Who would mind living mortgage-free, rent-free and stress-free, with the opportunity to explore new areas and meet new people?” says Susan, who decided to take up house-sitting with her husband when they both retired in 2016. Today, they can travel to destinations they always wanted to, without the burden of expensive hotel bills! Besides, they both love animals and receive copious amounts of pet therapy during their house-sitting stints across the country.
The couple uses Aussie House Sitters, an online platform that links homeowners to home sitters. Susan says it is possible to find listings for a few weeks to several months. The couple tries to find consecutive house sits – which means they can live rent-free and mortgage-free without bothering for an alternate arrangement.
“We like to look up the destination first, so that we can explore regions we have never visited before,” says Paul, Susan’s husband. ‘It could be a house in the suburbs or a waterfront property or even a farmhouse. Our responsibility is to look after the house, pets and gardens, and we take our job seriously because we want to continue doing it,” he adds. “Of course, if you don’t want to look after pets, you don’t have to. You can search for house sits on the Aussie House Sitters website by date, location and the animals you want (or not).”
A way of life
House-sitting has become a way of life for many retirees like Susan and Paul. House sitters don’t get any money for their job, but they do get free accommodation and the opportunity to explore new areas and meet new people.
“Good reviews matter in the industry – and if someone likes your job, they are likely to hire you directly the next time they need trusted hands to leave their house and pet(s) in,” explains Susan who has completed five house sitting gigs with her husband in the past two years. The couple is on friendly terms with most of the families who engaged them.
House sitting, indeed, offers an affordable way to live and travel for free. With no rent, no mortgage payments and no utility bills – it is the ultimate lifestyle one could wish for. Besides, it can also save you a lot of money when you travel.
House sitting to fund your home loan deposit
In addition to retirees, many young couples are embracing house-sitting to save money for their future goals. With fewer belongings to lug around and the ability to adapt to new situations quickly, youngsters can easily move around, savings thousands of dollars on living expenses that they can put towards their home loan deposit. Take Lin and Richard’s example. A young couple in their mid-20s, Richard works in a café while Lin is completing her graduation. Through house-sitting, they are able to save upwards of $20,000 on their rental payments and utility bills that they are saving for their home loan deposit since the past couple of years.
Lin and Richard plan to buy their first home in the next few months. In addition to the amount they have saved, Lin’s parents have agreed to gift them some cash towards their home loan deposit, making it easier for the couple to borrow for their dream home. Besides, the couple can take advantage of the first home owner grant (FHOG) in their State as well as any applicable stamp duty exemptions.
Lin and Richard can save even more money by choosing the right home loan for their purchase. With HashChing, it is possible to compare broker pre-negotiated home loan rates from over 60 lenders, including the big four banks, on a single platform. If you are planning to buy a house like Lin and Richard in the near future, HashChing can help you own your home sooner by offering more savings and choice on your home loan. Compare rates online or fill up this contact form to have a verified mortgage broker contact you.
HashChing is Australia’s first borrower-friendly mortgage marketplace that allows users to compare discounted broker-negotiated mortgage rates from over 70 lenders across Australia, online.
Disclaimer: while due care is taken, the viewpoints expressed by contributors do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Your Investment Property.
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