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Better than the best. Keep safe.

I had a few minutes to spare so decided to Google “leaving house empty while on holiday” and I was astounded at the number of hits. As you can see it turned up 85 million articles so I feel sure this is an important topic.

Google screen shot

I naturally did not read them all.

I looked through a selection from the first page of Google hits and found a common theme.

The Good Housekeeping website nicely surmised the problem:

Over 80% of burglaries occur when a house is empty, so try to make your house look occupied when you’re out and when you’re away on holiday.

I knew the amount of burglaries was high but over 80% surprised even me.

burglar

I then looked at the statistics

UK Statistics
In the UK The Office for National Statistics figures on recorded crime show that there were 392,341 burglaries in 2014-15, while Home Office data shows only 54,466 arrests were made for burglary.

Remember 80% take place while homes are unoccupied. If a house is burgled looking at the official statistics there is a 1 in 14 chance the person will even be arrested.

So the chance of recovering your lost property is very low indeed.

USA Statistics
Here it is even worse according to the FBI there were an estimated 8,277,829 property crimes reported by law enforcement. Financial losses suffered by victims of these crimes were calculated at approximately $14.3 billion.

Just looking at those figures is enough to give anyone pause for thought.

The various sites then suggest all the normal things such as arranging for your mail to be diverted, putting your lights on a time switch, not telling people on social media that you are away, etc.safe-home1

But the best advice came from Home & Garden who said.
The best way to make sure your house is safe while you’re gone is to have someone you trust still living in it. You may be lucky enough to have a tidy and conscientious relative who’ll move in temporarily and water the plants, feed the pets and pick up the newspapers. If not, there are services you can use for house-sitting and pet-sitting while you’re away. This can be a pricey option, but it’s a solution that touches all the bases.

But we can offer you something even better!

Our service to Home Owners all over the world is FREE. Note Home and Garden said this is the pricey option but still the best.

Well we have removed the cost. You pay nothing to register, you pay nothing for a sitter. It is free!

Your risk of burglary drops by 80%
Your pets are looked after in their own home environment.
Your pot plants are watered.
And you end up blessing another family.

To find out more why not visit our website. CLICK HERE

If you have any other questions that are not answered on the website please use the contact page and I will do my best to answer you promptly.

God bless you,

Ray

We are part of the registered charity

TLC Children’s Trust

UK Charity number 1156786

www.tlc-childrenstrust.org

WordPress are adding adverts to blogs. They are not always shown but if there are adverts on this page please note they were not placed by me, not approved by me and do not imply my recommendation

A good laugh (And some answers)

dog on vacationTaking a vacation can be a real blessing but sadly as we all know there are times when it can go badly wrong.

The accommodation is not up to your expectation.

A man arrived at his holiday guest-house and met the landlady.
‘Can you sing?’ she asked.
‘No,’ he replied.
‘Well, you’d better learn quickly. There’s no lock on the bathroom door.’

Or what about this one?

A holidaymaker was complaining to his landlady about his room. ‘Look. This wall’s so thin you can almost see through it.’
‘That’s not a wall,’ she replied, ‘it’s the window.’

The food that you paid to have included in your vacation costs is somewhat disappointing as the following guest found.

‘Excuse me,’ said the guest, ‘but this steak is so tough I can’t even cut it. Take it away and bring me another.’
‘I can’t take it away,’ said the landlady. ‘You’ve bent it.’

The weather lets you down badly

A man was telling his friends about his recent vacation.  What a week it was. Only rained twice – once for three days, once for four.

We can help with some of these.

When you arrange a vacation through Christian House Sitters you will know exactly what accommodation to expect. It will not be a dingy room but a whole house. You will have seen pictures and chatted to the owner personally. Any questions will have been clarified before your arrive. So no disappointments.

With Christian House Sitters you do not pay a fee that includes your meals instead your rent-free accommodation includes the full use of a kitchen where you can prepare your food just the way you like it. Or using the money you saved by having a rent-free vacation you can choose to go to a variety of different restaurants

As for the weather. I would like to say we have that covered as well but sorry there are some things we can’t control. But because you will have had personal contact with the owners before agreeing the house sit you can ask them what the weather is normally like at that time of the year.

Remember with Christian House Sitters your vacation is rent-free, you will be looking after the home of a Christian who is away and so as well as having a great time you are also being a blessing to someone else.

We have houses available throughout the world. New properties keep getting added. It is exciting to see how God so often provides the perfect house for the specific needs of our sitters.

To find out more visit our website or feel free to contact me.

God bless you,

Ray
www.Christian-housesitters.com

Catch 22, Vacations and House Sitting.

Catch 22Wikipedia says that Catch-22 is a satirical, historical novel by the American author Joseph Heller, first published in 1961. The novel, set during World War II in 1943, is frequently cited as one of the great literary works of the twentieth century.

As you read the novel you discover that Catch 22 refers to an impossible choice. Whatever you decide will be the wrong decision.

So what on earth has that to do with Vacations or House Sitting?

Be patient all will soon be revealed.

Living in England I don’t often get to read the L A Times but I was very interested when  a friend sent me a copy of an article they published today under the headline

Memo to U.S. workers: Take a break

Allow me to quote some selected paragraphs. (Full article can be found at http://lat.ms/qy2G6R )

Americans ….. gripe about how they don’t get enough vacation time. For once, our whining is justified. Each year we work more and enjoy fewer vacation days than most other industrialized nations.

Indeed, you’d think that vacations are something all Americans could get behind. They’re pro-family, they’re good for our health (those who take regular vacations are less likely to die of heart disease, according the famous Framingham Heart Study and others) and, studies have found, they increase worker productivity and creativity.

If companies are serious about keeping their employees fresh, they should require workers either to use their allotted vacation time or face a financial penalty. This is not as absurd as it seems. After all, companies require that employees show up at a certain time, and meet certain productivity goals. Why not require that they recharge their batteries? That would not be an act of charity, but a smart business move. A rested worker is a more productive worker

I was astounded to read that Americans enjoy fewer vacation days than most other industrialized nations. That is wrong!

There should naturally be a balance  and the quote in the article from President Taft seems, in my opinion, to go too far in the opposite direction. I quote

In 1910, President Taft, no bleeding-heart liberal by any means, suggested that all workers get two to three months’ vacation each year. “The American people have found out that there is such a thing as exhausting the capital of one’s health and constitution.”

President Taft went too far but he was right that working without sufficient time to relax and recharge can cause serious physical and emotional problems.

This leads to a Catch 22 situation.

You know you need a vacation but you feel unable to afford one. So you work harder to make ends meet and because you did not have that much-needed break your health suffers, you become less efficient and as a result need the break even more but now have less money to spend.

The impossible choice. Do I take a vacation and get into financial difficulty or do I keep working and risk my health and my family?

We would like to help you enjoy a good vacation and at the same time save money.

Christian House Sitters is a worldwide ministry that exists to help you in this sort of situation. By registering as a Home Owner (It is Free) you benefit from being able to leave your home and animals in the care of a Christian who you have confidence will love the animals and care for you property honestly. You have the added security of being able to ask prospective House Sitters for a reference from their Church leaders. As a result you can go away without having to worry about your home and animals.

You can also save the cost of renting vacation accommodation by registering as a House Sitter. That will give you access to rent-free accommodation all over the world.

Our service has already helped many people from around the world . Let us help you.

Contact us, you have nothing to lose and we may well be able to help you have a far better vacation than you thought possible without some of those expenses.

God bless you,

Ray

http://www.Christian-housesitters.com

 

Advice to Home Owners looking for a Housesitters

AdviceIn my last blog post I gave some top tips for House Sitters and promised to follow-up with advice for those who are wanting a sitter.

The most important thing to remember is that you need to be very clear about what you are offering and what you want in return before agreeing a house sit.

We advise you to give at least the following basic information to your House Sitters. A description of the  available accommodation including the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the kitchen facilities such as microwave, cooker etc, any heating facilities such as central heating, open fire etc., your laundry facilities, the availability of a phone, computer access and TV.

Make sure that the sitter knows exactly what you are expecting from them If you have animals be sure that they are used to and comfortable with animals. Tell them what is needed such as not leaving the animals for longer than a certain period, walking dogs etc.

Always check references before agreeing to accept a sitter.

At Christian House Sitters we strongly advise that all arrangements are put down in writing and signed by both parties. Our website contains a general draft agreement that you can adapt.

When the sitter arrives please leave them with information about local facilities such as your church, your doctor, the nearest hospital, public transport and your emergency contact number. If they will be looking after your pets don’t forget to leave the details about your vet.

If you leave food please make it very clear to the Sitters if you expect them to use it or to use and then replace it.

We highly recommend that House Sitters arrive at least a day before the Home Owner departs in order to get to know the home and animals.

House sitting is a real blessing to both owners and sitters when it is planned and arranged correctly. If you have any questions you can probably find the answer on our website. See the FAQ page, The House Sitting Explained page, The Suggested Agreement page, and the Advice to Sitters page. You can also contact us via the contact page and we will always do our best to reply promptly and to answer your questions.

God bless you,
Ray

www.christian-housesitters.com

TOP TIPS FOR HOUSE SITTERS

Tips

NOTE: We will be posting tips for Owners in a few days time so don’t feel left out

Running Christian House Sitters I have noticed that some of our sitters get loads of house sits while others do not seem to get any or at best very few. This started me wondering why.  I believe the following tips will help you become a successful house sitter.

Your Profile is probably the most important factor. We all know how important first impressions are in every area of life. When you apply for a house sit the first thing the owner receives is a copy of your profile. If it looks interesting you have a chance but if it is empty or lacking good information they are much more likely to consider another applicant.

So what should be in your profile?

First tell the truth! This may sound obvious but, for example, pretending to love animals when you are not keen on them is unfair to you, the owner and the pets. You may get this house sit but you will never get a decent reference from the owner for your future sits.

Tell the owners about yourself, your interests, your experience as a  house sitter (if you have any) how you feel about looking after animals etc. This information helps the owner to decide which potential sitter will fit in best with their needs.

Be ready to provide good references. We advise our owners to ask for 2 references and we suggest that one of those should be from a leader in your church. Tell the people you have given as a reference that you have used their name. It is very unlikely that you will get the house if your references do not reply to the owner.

Before you agree to the house sit it is very important that you have conversation is with the owners during which you find out exactly what they are expecting from you and what they are offering. That way, there are no nasty surprises either party. Hopefully the owners will have listed all their requirements and the details of the property accurately when they joined but it is still worth confirming everything.

If you are going to be looking after animals please find out from the owners what they expect you to do. For example it may be important not to leave the animals alone for more than a set number of hours. You do not want to find this out after you have arrived. It is far better to know before you agree to the house sit.

We strongly recommend that you ask the owners to write down exactly what is expected of you. This may include things such as looking after animals, watering the pot plants, taking in the mail or taking telephone messages, etc.

Please make a point of arranging your arrival and departure time with the owners before the house sit. Plan your journey carefully as it is obviously important to the owners to be able to leave for their holiday on time and it is very inconvenient if you arrive late.

Remember the owners have been kind enough to allow you the use of their property while they are away so treat it with respect. When they come back, they will expect to find that the house is clean and well looked after.

Sadly, accidents do happen, and occasionally there may be a breakage. When that happens, it is your responsibility. And we would expect you to inform the owners as soon as possible and to arrange to either repair or replace the damaged item.

It is always thoughtful and appreciated when a house sitter prepares a meal for the returning family. Remember they have no doubt had a long journey and the last thing they feel like doing on arriving home is preparing a meal.

Discuss with the owners how they feel about you using any supplies that they have left in the house. Do not simply assume that they have been there for your benefit. The owners may will be expecting to use those products when they return. If you do use anything naturally, it is good manners to replace it. In the same way you are expected to cover the cost of telephone calls which you make during their absence.

When you are sitting do a good job. These small things make an enormous difference and will be remembered when you use that owner as a reference for future sits. There is no better reference than a satisfied owner.

Housesitting is a wonderful way to enjoy your holiday without having the expense of renting accommodation but it is important to prepare correctly.

That will mean that you have the very best holiday and your home owners benefit from having you there as well.

If you have any questions or comments please either leave them here or contact me via the contact form on www.Christian-housesitters.com

God bless you,

Ray

www.christian-housesitters.com

Am I Crazy?

There are times when I wonder if we are crazy.Crazy

Officially I am retired but I am working hard every day, without any financial reward, running Christian House Sitters.

We have members all over the world  so we receive emails throughout the day and night because of the different time zones. I have a policy of never letting anyone wait more that 12 hours for a reply. Most get a reply far sooner. As a result I monitor the site for about 18 hours a day. Not constantly but checking on things.

I also spend a lot of time and energy promoting our ministry. As I said we do not make money from this ministry, rather than making me money costs us money.

Am I crazy? No I do not think I am I believe there are very good reasons to do what we are doing.

So why do we do it?

There are 2 reasons.

Christian House Sitters has blessed many Christians around the world who could not otherwise have afforded a vacation. We believe that in itself is a great ministry to the people of God.

But there is also a vital second reason.

There is a Children’s Home in Kenya run by a Christian team. These wonderful people have dedicated their lives to looking after the children. They do not get a salary just food and somewhere to sleep and we give them each a gift of about £10 per month.

Marilyn, my wife, is in regular contact with the home and guides them in every decision. She also keeps an eagle eye on how they use the money that is donated.

I have just been looking through their financial report for last month. All the staff donated back at least 80% of their personal (very small gift) to help buy food for the children.

In the local community people are very poor. But I found my heart deeply touched by the following entries:
Gift of a small fish
Gift of beans (Value about 50p)
Gift of a vegetable (Value about 35p)
Etc, etc.

This is sacrificial giving.

When I look at that my own small gift of time and money it seems insignificant. These people have so little yet gladly share what they have.

Please will you prayerfully consider helping us to support these hungry children.

The income from Christian House Sitters only provides about 25% of their minimum requirements. We have a few regular sponsors and also receive occasional gifts.

Somehow God stretches the money and the basic needs are covered. But every month is an adventure in faith.

You can help by sponsoring a child, by making an occassional gift, by telling your church, friends and contacts and naturally by praying for us.

We would like to do so much more. When our income is sufficient to cover the basics we will need to buy them more beds. At present the children sleep 2 to a bed. They need a kitchen as at present cooking is done on an open fire under a tree, they need additional dormitories, etc.

These are God’s children. Please help us to help them!

To find out more about Christian House Sitters please visit our website.
God bless you,
Ray
www.christian-housesitters.com

Flying Fun or Funny Flying

I have an interest in travel and in vacations. After all that is what we provide for people through Christian House Sitters. Knowing this and that I was originally from South Africa a friend kindly sent me an article about Kulula Airlines. I had a good laugh then decided to check if it was true. According to Snopes it is actually true
I hope you enjoy this as much as I did.

—o0o—

Kulula palneKulula is an Airline with head office situated in Johannesburg. Kulula airline attendants make an effort to make the in-flight “safety lecture” and announcements a bit more entertaining. Here are some real examples that have been heard or reported:

—o0o—

On a flight with a very “senior” flight attendant crew, the pilot said, “Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve reached cruising altitude and will be turning down the cabin lights. This is for your comfort and to enhance the appearance of your flight attendants.”

—o0o—

On landing, the stewardess said, “Please be sure to take all of your belongings.. If you’re going to leave anything, please make sure it’s something we’d like to have.”

—o0o—

From a Kulula employee: ” Welcome aboard Kulula 271 to Port Elizabeth. To operate your seat belt, insert the metal tab into the buckle, and pull tight. It works just like every other seat belt; and, if you don’t know how to operate one, you probably shouldn’t be out in public unsupervised.”

—o0o—

“As you exit the plane, make sure to gather all of your belongings. Anything left behind will be distributed evenly among the flight attendants. Please do not leave children or spouses..”

—o0o—

“Weather at our destination is 50 degrees with some broken clouds, but we’ll try to have them fixed before we arrive.”

—o0o—

From the pilot during his welcome message: “Kulula Airlines is pleased to announce that we have some of the best flight attendants in the industry. Unfortunately, none of them are on this flight!”

—o0o—

Heard on a Kulula flight. “Ladies and gentlemen, if you wish to smoke, the smoking section on this airplane is on the wing.. If you can light ’em, you can smoke ’em.”

—o0o—

You may not fly with Kulula for your next vacation but wherever and however you travel do remember that Christian House Sitters can help.

We operate worldwide providing rent-free vacations for our registered sitters and reliable people to look after the homes and pets of our registered owners.

We are not a business but a ministry and all the income goes to look after and feed children at a Christian Children’s Home in Kenya

You can read all about us on our website.
God bless you,

Ray
http://www.christian-housesitters.com/

 

 

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