How would you like to live in an exotic location completely rent-free? Caretaker.org makes it possible by offering online listings of property caretaking and house sitting jobs around the world.
Thanks to the internet, it is now more feasible than ever to lead a mobile lifestyle, and increasingly, people are ready to make it happen for them. Companies like Care Taker make it easy for people to enjoy the luxury of travel without the bank-breaking price tag thanks to the mutually beneficial relationship the site fosters.
No matter what type of living arrangement you've dreamed about, the chances are good CareTaker has a match for those desires. They offer rent-free living on "estates, mansions, farms, ranches, resort homes, retreat centers, camps, hunting and fishing lodges, vacation homes, private islands, and any other kind of property imaginable."
I was so intrigued, I had to contact Gary C. Dunn, the publisher of the Care Take Gazette.
When I asked him who used the service, Dunn told me that it was "twenty-somethings to eighty-somethings." In other words, people in just about any age are included in the 10,000+ people signed up for the site. He categorized them into three types:
1) Property owners looking to find housesitters/property caretakers
2) Professionals like Doctors and Lawyers who are wanna-be-caretakers but don't bother to respond to the homeowners who advertise their empty homes with us - these professionals are just pipe-dreamers and enjoy reading all the rent-free living opportunities we publish and helpful articles
3) Subscribers who want to live rent-free and contact the homeowners who advertise their homes in The Caretaker Gazette.
My next question was how people will know it's safe.
"We keep detailed databases for each advertiser and each subscriber and in 26 years of publishing The Caretaker Gazette, we have never heard of any serious problems and have never been contacted by any law enforcement department regarding any crimes or problems," he told me. "Many homeowners will only advertise their empty home with us because they are aware of our subscriber database and feel much safer knowing that one of our subscribers will be living in their home."
Sound like the next big thing? I thought so, and he agreed.
"With a sour economy right now, many people are looking to get rid of that monkey on their back called monthly rent or mortgage payments."
This could well become the future way of the gypsy!
For those interested, here are some sample ads:
HOUSESITTERS needed on the Great Keppel Island to look after a holiday house. Live in flat available, perfect for a couple.
BELIZE, CENTRAL AMERICA
HOUSESITTER WANTED during owner's absence. You can explore the jungle, fish, snorkel in the coral reef, or take some canoe trips. I need a housesitter for the month of June. Have your own bedroom, living room and bath on 3rd floor overlooking the Caribbean. Pay for telephone, electricity, and your own food.
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.