Tara and Harrison Black with Chloe the golden retriever. Picture: Annette Dew
Tara and Harrison Black with Chloe the golden retriever. Picture: Annette Dew

Revealed: The secret to living rent-free

A MILLENNIAL couple who have been housesitting for a year and a half have revealed how they saved tens of thousands by living rent-free.

Tara and Harrison Black, both aged 26, have been full-time housesitters since April 2018, and say they have no intention of going back to rental life anytime soon.

"Since housesitting, we paid off a loan we took out to start the business, we saved for a trip to Europe and have started saving for a house deposit," Ms Black said.

Queensland is Australia's second most popular state for petsitters after New South Wales, those with young people aged 25-34 being the biggest growing age group, according to housesitting site Trusted Housesitters.

Tara and Harrison Black are permanent housesitters and have been living rent-free for 18 months. Picture: Annette Dew
Tara and Harrison Black are permanent housesitters and have been living rent-free for 18 months. Picture: Annette Dew

Ms Black said she first decided to give housesitting a try when she met someone at a networking event who said they house sat permanently, and she was intrigued by the idea.

The digital marketing manager did some research using a range of sites including Aussie House Sitters and Trusteed House Sitters before she persuaded her husband Harrison to get on-board," she said.

"At the start, she said he wasn't sold on the idea because he didn't like the idea of living out of a suitcase.

"Harry was concerned that at some point between housesits or if nothing became available we wouldn't have a place to live and the effort involved in finding housesits, applying and interviewing all while running our cafes Foster & Black."

Yet after Ms Black said she was able to line up their first lot of six-week housesits back to back, they were set.

"I asked him to trust me and give up our apartment," Ms Black said.

"He did, and now he loves our housesitting lifestyle."

Tara and Harrison Black with Chloe the golden retriever. Picture: Annette Dew
Tara and Harrison Black with Chloe the golden retriever. Picture: Annette Dew

Previously the couple paid about $475 on rent and house bills a week when living in Fortitude Valley - and feared they'd never be able to save up for their own home.

Eighteen months on, the duo haven't looked back.

While they aspire to buy their own home in the future, they said they're happy to live rent and mortgage-free for now.

Ms Black said the best part about house-sitting is trying out new suburbs and getting to explore new pockets of Brisbane, as well as saving money.

Some of their favourite housesitting homes include a beautiful large Queenslander in Stones Corner and a waterfront home in Bulimba.

 

Tara's tips for first-time housesitters

1. Embrace minimalism: Create a "packing list" of items you can't live without and try to make it as short as possible

2. Test the waters housesitting for friends and family: See if living out of a suitcase and caretaking for other people's property and pets is something you enjoy

3. Get references: Like going for a job interview, people like to see that others will vouch for your character, abilities and reliability

4. Set up a good profile: Take a high quality photo and put together a blurb about yourself and your experience

5. Set your non-negotiables: You might need wifi if you're working an online job or if you're allergic to cats this will eliminate certain housesits