What has been your biggest house-sitting surprise? Mine was when I arrived at a large house in an English village for a sit. The owner showed me around the house (large and rather ostentatiously decorated), and then led me down to the basement.
I was expecting the laundry, boiler etc, so imagine my surprise when she flipped on the lights and I was greeted by a huge indoor swimming pool! The place also has a large home cinema, sauna, and enormous yurt in the garden (with wifi!).
The pets are lovely, the owners too, and I have been invited back to sit there on several occasions since (including next month).
What’s been your biggest surprise?
Wow! I think that might be hard to top!
@Rhe Oh my!
My biggest surprise was a wine fridge, where all the bottles in the door were meant for me. And my stay was a bit too short to drink all of those! It came with a nice photo book about the local wines that the HO had written.
My biggest surprise is when the dogs turn out to be as perfect as their humans describe them to be. I’ve had two such sits, where the dogs were beloved by everyone — neighbors and strangers — everywhere we went. They were good with kids and other pets in public as well. They walked well on lead and off. And if I took them to say a pub, they were well behaved. They happen to live in wonderful locations and I’ve been asked back.
That cinema is awesome @Rhe, you lucky thing!
Biggest surprise for me was a card table laden with jigsaw puzzles that the host had left out for me. I must have mentioned in the video call I did that it was a hobby of mine. Just a small thing, but a pleasant surprise.
@Rhe Our first THS application and confirmed housesit was also in the U.K. countryside . When we received the welcome guide we were surprised to read about the outdoor heated pool .
There was no mention of the pool ( or the tennis court) in the listing or photos . We were very fortunate to stay there during a heatwave and went swimming in the pool everyday.
That would be almost impossible to beat!
Thanks amazing @Rhe. I’ve found that many HO’s don’t mention nice extra’s like pools in my experience. I’ve had access to 5 swimming pools so far (4 private and a community one). I’ve only used 3 of them as the other 2 weren’t heated and it was a little too cold for me including where I’m currently sitting!
I’ve also sat at a large home that had an indoor cinema and gym.
Of course there’s the nice surprises like food and drink being available to the sitter. I wrote a thread about my current sit (my first repeat sit) where the HO’s left me a fridge and freezer full of steaks, lobster, prawns amongst other food to eat, champagne for new years eve and asked the weekly cleaner to take me shopping at their expense for any groceries I wanted.
I’m disappointed to be finishing this sit next week!
Yes, I agree, some of owners ‘undersell’ their fabulous houses in their profile, I guess in order to not encourage the ‘wrong’ type of sitter.
Nothing quite as huge but we were surprised to find our pet sit had a gorgeous hot tub looking out over the forest. It wasn’t in the listing and we sat out there every sunset (sometimes listening to coyotes howling!) It was really nice and unexpected!
Having this view from the kitchen window while house sitting overlooking Loch Ness
Wow! That definitely tops my nicest sit, but I still rather enjoyed mine.
Mine had heated towel racks and kitties who went potty. It was the easiest sit ever and I was treated like a queen. The refrigerator was practically empty except a few items left for me and offered use of their array of spices. To top it off, the cats loved to be held. The house was sparkling clean and, did I mention heated towel racks? That still cracks me up. I felt like I was at a spa.
@explorer Sounds great! I love a heated towel rail. Reminds me of probably our favourite sit to date which had heated toilet seats - I was blown away by that!
Same here, there was this table with tons of puzzles!!! It was a 2 month sit. .
My surprise was that I just had to feed and walk 2 dogs, and occasionally check the pool.
Just remembered the 3 story, 4br, 5 bathroom duplex in gated community in Hanoi. Came with 1 dog, 3 cleaners twice a week, a housekeeper who called to see if I was ok, and a car with driver if I needed it.
Currently sitting in Satellite Beach, Florida. I knew the sit was in a beach town but I was pleasantly surprised to find it is ON the beach.
Surprised that on Nomador, I’ve landed sits in NYC and Hong Kong back to back with low effort.
I joined recently to see whether I could get sits in locations where THS sits are thin. All I did was copy-paste my THS profile and point to my THS reviews. I also used my standard THS application msg, slightly customized for relevance to each sit.
I went in with low expectations and ended up rarely checking Nomador, because I found the user-interface and features weak and talked to several owners who seemed flakey (they’d posted sit dates and then it turns out they were tentative). I was thinking I wouldn’t renew, because I don’t want to spend time pursuing iffy sits. But I checked back last week and landed NYC and Hong Kong this week (both cat sits), so maybe I will renew. I expect THS to be my mainstay, though.
Ooh good info! I’m having a think about other sites I could use but I’m not sure it’s worth the hassle of managing calendars across different sites (or more whether I’d be able to do it without messing up dates). They both sound like great sits though!
I double-check about dates and want to make sure I don’t screw up my calendar with sits on multiple sites. It gets more complicated, so unless I get great sits on an additional site, I won’t bother continuing or adding memberships. I think that also depends, because some folks prioritize sitting more, are full-time nomads and depend on stacking sits to maintain their lifestyle and finances. For me, sitting is great, but entirely optional.