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Email from a Cat

cat typingI love animals, always have done so when I received an email that claimed to have been written by a cat I was naturally fascinated.

The email was sent to Christian House Sitters as a thank you from a cat whose ‘owners’ had been away on vacation.

 

Here is what the cat wrote:

 

Hi,

My name is Calypso and I wanted to say a big thank you to Christian House Sitters for the way that you have improved my life.

I have staff (they mistakenly think that they own me but actually they just work for me) and from time to time they have a habit of deserting me. They say that they are going on their annual vacation and I see them excitedly packing their suitcases and getting ready. They look really happy but I have learned that it is bad news. It means I am going to be dumped at the cattery for 2 weeks. Now don’t get me wrong it is a very good cattery and they seem to try their very best but I ask you, do I look like someone who should be locked away in prison?

I have tried to explain this to my staff. I have even tried pulling stuff out the suitcase when they are packing but to no avail.

Once I decided to climb into the  case and join them on their vacation in order to find out what it is all about but I was discovered and ended up in the cattery again. But this year it all changed! I saw them packing and I felt really depressed but instead of taking me to prison they had arranged for substitute staff to take their place. They called then House Sitters. They were great. Gave me the attention I deserve, fed me my normal food, in the normal place and at the normal time and I had a great time.

Vacation is no longer a word that brings dread to my heart. Thanks for sending the House Sitters. I am telling all the other cats in the street to share the good news with their staff.

Yours thankfully,

Calypso the Cat

If your cat is trying to tell you something it might be saying that you should click on this link Christian House Sitters

The secret of saving money

Picture of moneyMoney is tight!

Not just for me personally but it seems that everyone is having to watch their spending very carefully. We are all looking to save money. This has resulted in many people making false economies. Things that looked great at first but eventually ended up being counter productive.

One area a lot of people are cutting back is on their vacation budget. That is good but sadly some are falling into the trap of either not having a vacation or settling for a shorter than normal break. As we have shown in previous posts this can have an adverse effect on your physical and emotional health, it can make you less productive at work and can cause damage to your family.

So what we want is a solution that will enable you to have your cake and to eat it at the same time. In other words to have a really great vacation and still save money.

This is where Christian House Sitters can really help!

Hotel Room

By permission Alex Mahan

Out of interest I spent some time today looking at the average cost of a reasonable (3 star) hotel in the UK for a couple with 2 children. The average was around £85 per night without food. For this you get to stay in an impersonal often small hotel room.

A 2 week break would therefore cost approximately £1190 ( $1900 ). Add to this that if you are a home owner with a dog my research today showed that it will cost you about £600 ($900) to have someone pop in once a day for the 2 weeks and feed / walk you dog. The rest of the time the dog is left alone and the house is unoccupied.

But by registering as a House Sitter you could stay in a lovely spacious house rather than a hotel room and it would cost you no rent at all. An immediate saving of about  £1,190 ($1900) and if you also register as a home owner (you do not need to register as both. You can register as either a sitter or an owner only if you prefer) you save another £600 ($900) bringing your savings to around £1790 ($2,800)

House

One of our listed rent-free houses

So may I recommend that you have a look at our website . But by registering as a home owner you can have a Christian living in your home, looking after the home and the dog and it will cost nothing

Have a look. Click here or contact me for more information

 

God bless you

Ray

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

Explaining the basics of House Sitting with CHS

Have you ever noticed that things you think are simple and obvious are sometimes difficult for others to understand?Puzzled Man

I was under the impression that Christian House Sitters was a very simple concept that everyone would immediately understand. I was wrong.

So if anyone is still confused here is a short, simple summary of what we do.

Who can Join? Any Christian who belongs to a recognised Christian Church. People can register as a House Sitters, a Home Owners or as Both.

If you register as an owner we find a  house sitter to move into your home while you are  away on holiday. They look after your home and pets for you and  in return they receive a rent free holiday in your home. So the house owner saves money by not having to pay anyone to look after their home and pets.They have the security of knowing that their home and pets are being looked after by a responsible Christian.

If you register as a sitter you get to travel and stay rent free in lovely homes rather than an expensive and often characterless hotel room.

People ask about safety. Naturally one has to take precautions. We strongly advise all home owners to get two references before entering into any agreement. As this is a Christian site and all members must list their church connection we suggest one of the reference should be obtained from their church leaders. We also include a general outline of an agreement for both parties to sign.

So what actually happens? Well if you register as an owner we list your house details (without the specific address) on the restricted section of our website that can only be viewed by registered sitters. We also email all registered sitters drawing their attention to the listing.

Sitters then decide which houses they are interested in and click an enquiry button. That automatically sends the owners their details and their profile info. Then it is over to the owner to make contact and decide which application they like best, check references and arrange the sit.

What does this all cost? Registration as an owner is free.  Registration as a sitter is only £25 per year. All of which goes to supporting a Christian Children’s Home in Kenya. The cost of running the service is covered by my wife and I as a service.

Were do we have sitters and houses? All over the world.

If you have any questions let me know or have a look at our  website.

God bless you,

Ray

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

On Holiday in Scotland

Hi,

This blog entry is being written with a distinctly Scottish accent. Although to be honest you may not notice it when you read.

Why Scottish?  Well Marilyn and I are on a farm in Dalton near Lockerbie in Scotland. We arrived here yesterday and will be here for another 9 days. We are House Sitting for a lovely family who needed a holiday. They joined Christian House Sitters and listed their house a couple of months ago but for some very odd reason nobody wanted it. I can only assume that folk thought Scotland would be cold in October. They were wrong!

Because these people really needed a holiday Marilyn and I felt God wanted us to do the house sit for them if nobody else offered.

So here we are. As I look out the window I see farm fields with cows grazing. In the other direction there are fields with sheep and horses. Surrounding us is some absolutely beautiful scenery.

It really feels as if we are on holiday.

Do we have a lot of work to do here? No not much. They have 2 delightful and very loving boxer dogs who go for a short walk. Short because both dogs are getting old so can’t go too far. In addition there are 3 beautiful, friendly cats, a hampster and 2 chickens. We could easily do all our work in an hour leaving the rest of the time free to relax, see the area and have a country holiday.

There are so many other fabulous holidays available on the Christian House Sitters web site. Come and look around. You may find your ideal holiday rent free. Some do not even have any pets to look after.

Ray

www.Christian-housesitters.com

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