Hi everyone, we have a dilemma that we’d like your feedback about please. For context, we are experienced sitters and home owners so understand both sides of the sitting experience.
We are heading back to the UK and Europe for 3 months March to June 2024 and want to find sitters for our lovely beachside apartment in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. It’s a very desirable location and the big bonus is we have no pets to care for, just some plants to water. You can see our place via the link on our forum profile.
The issue is, we are currently living with very loud construction noise right next door to our windows. There is a 9 storey building going up over the next 18 months. Loud construction noise starts right on 6.30am and is allowed to go until 6.30pm but normally finishes around 4pm. This is 6 days a week, Monday to Saturday. The noise has been driving us crazy so we escape for a few days at a time on local sits.
As well as this, our building’s body corporate (owners corporation) is planning major external building works and repainting over a 30 week period, likely commencing in March 2024. There will be scaffolding, platforms and abseilers all over the building. Residents in each apartment will be directly affected for about 3 weeks when work is being done on each balcony. This of course brings up the whole no 3rd party visitors during a sit rule but we will have no control over this. We would also need the sitter to move our balcony furniture and plants out of the way if our balcony work gets done while we are away.
We don’t really want to leave our place vacant for 3 months but worry that this might all be too much for a sitter and they might bail during the sit. Ideally, our place would be great for a sitter who works full time, but not from home due to the noise, or a sitter who wants to use our place for a base and do lots of travelling around Queensland or day trips. Over autumn our plants can survive 1 to 2 weeks with no water.
We would of course disclose all of this in our listing and speak with prospective sitters about it to ensure they understand what they will be living with.
We can’t change our international travel dates as we have UK sits booked plus cruise bookings.
So stters, knowing all of this, would you be ok with these sit conditions or not? Happy to hear your honest feedback and any constructive ideas.
What a dilemma!
Personally, it would be a ‘no’ from us, as we are very noise sensitive, work from home and can’t envision moving that, and enjoy an occasional nana-nap
It might suit someone who leaves to go to work each day, maybe someone new to the city who hasn’t found a rental yet. Good luck!
Just make everything clear in your listing so potential sitters can make an informed decision, you will likely find someone. I would do a sit like this. I typically work at home if I’m caring for pets, but if I’m in an airbnb or on a sit with no pets, I often go to a library or coffee shop for a change of pace. Since you don’t have pets a sitter being gone all day isn’t an issue. Long sits are appealing to many, so I think you will get applications.
Hey @Crookie I do believe there is a sitter for every scenario, even yours. It is definitely a dicey one and probably not one I could deal with. I don’t “do” mornings too well so the early banging of construction wouldn’t be great. On the plus side, it’s always nice to watch tanned young chippies walking around a building site
But where you live is nice and handy to the Sunshine Coast, Steve Irwin’s Australia Zoo, Brisbane itself and the Gold Coast, and many more great places. Just spending time in Redcliffe e.g. is lovely now. Your location alone is worth staying for! A lot of people I know actually walk around half the day with earbuds or headphones on listening to music, podcasts etc so that’s another reason someone might not be bothered by the noise.
I do believe that as you have no pets then someone is bound to jump in and take it on and relish the opportunity. I used to sell cars and one thing I was always told by my manager was “There’s a buyer for everything”, and he was right
Give it a shot.
Whomever is willing to take this as a free opportunity is probably desperate for housing, and may not take care of your property as you wish, or leave when you’d like. You could be asking for trouble. We had a similar issue with our apartment complex. Most people stayed. Those with weekend places stayed there. We decided to have some rennovations done and moved out with our pets. It was a very costly decision, but it enabled us to do a massive amount of decluttering and upgrade our home for future sale. Plus we returned to an upgraded property which is much more pleasant to live in. (To me, it would be more practical to find a neighbor who someone trustworthy to keep an eye on your place and/or if you actually know and trust someone in need of a place, move that person in.)
I think it’s worth trying. it’s possible you might find a young professional that is looking to save on a few months rent or in between places. It certainly wouldn’t work for the majority of sitters but I do think it’s possible to find someone (Brizzy is such a great city) and thankfully you have some time before your departure.
Thanks for the pronunciation “Brizzy” @Kelly
I know this is “off topic” but we met some young kids from Brisbane on some free walking tours and they would always say “Brizzy” when we asked what city they were from so it just kind of stuck along with “cheeky” I just love how Australians throw in a good “cheeky” here and there.
@Marion not necessarily I don’t think? I am from Brisbane where Crookie is from (well relatively close). I have been on the road for four years now sitting full-time but could easily find a permanent place to live tomorrow if I chose to so I don’t regard myself as desperate for housing? I do what I do because I’m a nomad and don’t like being in one place too long.
Also, by sitting for a longer duration, it gives me a little time to stop and smell the roses before moving on to the next sit. I still go to the UK and beyond to housesit so there is no point my having a permanent place of abode, too costly to travel AND run a home when travelling long term as I do, and many others feel the same way.
I have just finished a six month sit and two, one month sits and currently on a six week sit. In January I return to another one for six months and each and every one of the homeowners has definitively stated how good the house was on their return and how happy and well cared for the pets were.
We aren’t desperate, we are just people who love to travel more than sitting in one place for the rest of our lives. I live to travel, not travel to live.
Sorry you had a bad experience
Hi @Crookie it is indeed a dilemma for you both. I, too, have a combined membership even though I no longer have pets. I have been travelling internationally to sit since 2016, away generally for 3 - 4 months, but choose not to have a sitter in my home. I am fortunate to have excellent neighbours, great friends and family who keep an eye on my home, collecting the little mail that is delivered but more importantly, staying a couple of nights every now and then to honour my home insurance policy requirements and check everything is okay. Do you have such a network that you could rely on to do this instead of using a sitter?
You have admitted that you need to escape from your apartment frequently because of the noise and lack of privacy so I think it is very hard to ask strangers to contend with this for three months. Yes, you may be fortunate to secure a sitter who works away from home during the day but I feel your sitter pool will be limited (not like your last experience) and perhaps the quality of sitter may be affected. As you admit, it may be a worrying time whilst away wondering whether your sitter will bail out during the sit.
You are very upfront with the circumstances a sitter/s will face in your listing so I guess you can only float it and see what response you receive. Good luck in whatever you choose to do.
I think if you’re clear on the challenges & have a good chat with the sitters beforehand then you may find a fit. As you say, someone who just needs a night time base. A full time worker, an explorer, someone with lots of family nearby but they still like their own bed and to escape in the evenings. Give it a whirl
Try it @Crookie. You have absolutely nothing to lose in creating and posting what you have on offer. Open and honest in the listing and in your interview process will find you the right person, one who will value and appreciate your home and the opportunity.
As you know, I have other commitments but would be interested if that were not the case. I have fallen in love with Australian culture and open and willing to find another joyous reason to return longer term.
People have their own personal reasons for choosing to sit that we know nothing about. Your challenge is to find the best person for your needs.
And that you will only find by taking that first step.
I agree I am biased because of an experience I had with someone wanting to stay in our place while we were away. But given the noise, I don’t see this appealing to most sitters, so I’d be super careful about an agenda.
@Marion I totally understand
@Marion I disagree. As I said above, I would do a sit like this and I’m certainly not desperate for housing. I’m a highly educated (PhD), professional woman. I’m traveling full-time now because I can do my job from anywhere, but I can buy a house whenever I decide I’m ready to settle down in one place for a long time again. Since this sit has no pets there doesn’t seem to be any reason that the sitter would need to be there all day everyday. It’s a great location to explore the area. And personally, I like to stay in each area I visit for a few months to really experience it.
I’ve seen lots of sits with requirements I would not agree to, but other sitters do. Some would agree to this and others wouldn’t. As always, it’s about finding the right fit for the sit.
This isn’t about having a long term THS sitter in a place. It’s the particular circumstance of the noise, possible construction dust, etc To me someone willing to commit to being there for several months through that raises some red flags. I just think caution is advised.
@Marion to be honest, the cost of housing and utilities, food, transport etc etc here now is through the roof so if someone is looking to housesit in a home with or without pets, to save a little money and have a roof over their head, I don’t see a problem with that whatsoever. Not everyone is bad, goodness even so many on TH have had really bad experiences with the wrong sitters, despite their background or number of reviews etc
I am a well educated older woman who doesn’t own a home and choose my lifestyle and I am certainly not alone here. I think it would be nice for you to move on from your bad experience if you could, as hard as that might be, and give other sitters the benefit of the doubt. We are pretty good people usually and hopefully your experience was a one off for most
This sit could potentially work for folks who’ve lived in big cities with major construction before. Happens a lot in such places. Also, might work for someone who’d appreciate free housing and goes to work every day during construction hours, which isn’t unusual. Since this sit would involve no pets, that doesn’t seem like a tall order to fill.
Of course, you’d screen applicants, but you’d do that no matter the sit.
And FWIW, my husband and I’ve previously bought new construction in cities where our home was built before others. It didn’t take long to get used to the noise and such.
@Amparo would gladly have you sit when our travel stars align