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Who Wants to House Sit a Mansion?

Updated: Feb 11, 2019 16:22
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This originally appeared in my book Young, Broke & Beautiful: Broke-Ass Stuart’s Guide to Living Cheaply.

Remember when your dad got married for the third time and left you to watch his place while he went to the Bahamas for his honeymoon?  Despite it being kinda weird that you had sex in your dad’s bed, it was pretty cool having that whole place to yourself right?  While your pops called it “watching the house so the Mexican family next door doesn’t steal anything” (yeah, your dad is a total fucking racist) what you were doing is actually called housesitting.  And you can do it for different properties all over the world.

The Caretaker Gazette is “a unique newsletter containing property caretaking and house sitting jobs, advice, and information for property caretakers, housesitters, and landowners.”  Basically the way it works is that you pay $30 a year to get the newsletter emailed to you bi-monthly plus you get access to the housesitting and caretaking jobs that are posted to the site daily.  These are often people who need a position filled immediately.  Shit, if you play your cards right you can move from place to place living rent free for a very long time.  In fact, some places even pay!  Check this listing that I just read:

“LOOKING FOR a semi-retired person or couple for part-time light duties on a small Caribbean resort. Free housing on the resort’s premises plus moderate pay in exchange for about 50 hours per month work. Applicant should be in good health, resourceful, and addiction and drug-free. If you are handy, it is a plus. Please email letter to…”

Did you read that?!? Only 50 hours work per month!  You should know though that most people don’t let just any schmuck come over and watch their 15th century manor in the English countryside.  I’m pretty sure you’ve got to provide some references and prove that you’re a reasonable and responsible member of society.  Unfortunately that might be the hard part.

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Broke-Ass Stuart - Editor In Cheap

Broke-Ass Stuart - Editor In Cheap

Stuart Schuffman, aka Broke-Ass Stuart, is a travel writer, poet, TV host, activist, and general shit-stirrer. His website is one of the most influential arts & culture sites in the San Francisco Bay Area and his freelance writing has been featured in Lonely Planet, Conde Nast Traveler, The Bold Italic, and too many other outlets to remember. His weekly column, Broke-Ass City, appears every other Thursday in the San Francisco Examiner. Stuart’s writing has been translated into four languages. In 2011 Stuart created and hosted the travel show Young, Broke, and Beautiful on IFC and in 2015 he ran for Mayor of San Francisco and got nearly 20k votes.

He's been called "an Underground legend": SF Chronicle, "an SF cult hero":SF Bay Guardian, and "the chief of cheap": Time Out New York.

1 Comment

  1. Judy Clarke
    February 16, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    I’m glad to find The Caretaker Gazette again. I had subscribed to the Gazette in the 1980’s and then got off-track in the 9-5 world. I recently renewed my subscription and have taken two housesitting gigs through the Gazette. It’s a great way to live rent-free!