About us: Your Reliable International House Sitters

before you go to the UK

International House Sitters

Hi, we are Faith and Alan and we are Irish Canadians.  That means we have dual citizenship and passports. Our EU or Irish passport allows us to travel freely through the EU without any issues or visas. Our Canadian passports allow us free visaless travel throughout the world as well. Which means we are international House Sitters

About us: Your Reliable International House Sitters

Hi, I am Faith  (Coates) and I retired from the Palace Theatre where I was the General Manager for 5 years.  At the theatre, I was responsible for raising money by creating special events, writing grants and generally marketing and promoting the theatre as a community space. 

One of the many fundraising events I organized at the theatre, and yes it was London Ontario, not the real London lol.

About us: Your Reliable International House Sitters
The Palace

In the 5 years that I worked there, we went from generating an income of around $100,000 per year to over $500,000.  Prior to the theatre, I worked as a marketing consultant developing social enterprise ventures that would allow not-for-profit companies to develop businesses that would generate diverse streams of income and bring in profit instead of reliance upon government funding programs.  This venture developed out of my entrepreneurial background and my 15 years as a business owner and product marketing consultant.

About us: Your Reliable International House Sitters
Our house in Ontario with our dog Marley

At home, I enjoyed working on DIY projects with Alan and decorating and designing the renovations on our century home.  My interests include writing, reading and research and for the past few years, I have been busy ghostwriting several nonfiction books, developing business plans for various companies and creating website content for individuals.

  • B.A. Social Sciences from the University of Western Ontario with a major in Anthropology and a minor in Women’s Issues.
  • Driver’s License with a clean driving record for 35 years
  • Small Business Development Certification
  • Grant Writing and Fundraising Certification (Charity Village)
  • Small Business Accounting
  • Small Business Marketing
  • ESL (teaching English as a Second Language) Certification
  • Born in the UK with EU and Canadian citizenship

This is our garden at our previous home in London, Ontario, Canada. 

About us: Your Reliable International House Sitters

Hi, I am Alan (Hogan) and we want to be your go-to reliable housesitters, we are honest, trustworthy and have an independent income from pensions and working at home.  We are international house sitters.

About us: Your Reliable International House Sitters
Alan and Pooka in Ireland

I have recently retired from Canada Post where I worked as a letter carrier for the past 30 years.  I enjoyed my years at the Post Office, primarily because I essentially worked on my own outdoors in every conceivable kind of weather.  I liked the self-sufficiency of the work and was quite happy working independently. 

our Tipperary housesit
Mowing the lawn in Tipperary

For the last year, before we moved to Mexico, I was a part-time delivery driver for Med Plus delivering medical supplies, drugs and appliances to hospitals, labs, and individuals. Outside of the Post Office I enjoyed renovating our home and became very proficient at a variety of DIY tasks. 

Together with Faith and I renovated our entire house from top to bottom including putting in two new bathrooms, a dream kitchen,  we tore down walls to open up space and create a better flow.  We replaced the flooring with new laminate flooring throughout the main floor of the house and pretty much re-designed and built a new home from the inside out. I have lots of experience with plumbing, drywall, electrical repairs, flooring installs and much more.

I also love gardening and on the exterior of the house, I built patios, copper arbours, ponds and a stream even though the back yard was a tiny (by Canadian standards) 30′ x 45′ lot.  I have a great love of motorcycles and had my own Honda Shadow for over 12 years and spent a lot of time travelling on the bike.

Faith and I have 3 sons ranging in age from 28 to 32 and while none of them are currently married, one has a fiancée and the youngest has two beautiful girls. 

In our current family there are several pets ranging from a bull mastiff/black lab cross Marley who weighs in at over 120lbs, Gizmo the brindle pug, a bearded dragon, fish and 2 Boxers.

About us: Your Reliable International House Sitters
our pug Gizmo
  • Driver’s License’s: DM (Motorcycle & Category D is up to a 26ft truck) clean record for over 35 years and an International license and an Irish License
  • Insured to drive third-party vehicles in both Ireland and the UK
  • Whitesail Certification & Boat Smart Certification
  • Small Engine Repair Certification
  • PADI Certification
  • Police Check including Vulnerable Persons check
  • Born in the UK and so have EU citizenship and Canadian

A lovely Instagram post from one of our homeowners you can see more references here.

About us: Your Reliable International House Sitters
 

5 thoughts on “About us: Your Reliable International House Sitters”

  1. Hi Faith and Alan. Very interesting to learn that you are still house-sitting after retirement. I’d been thinking about trying this because I’m essentially a digital nomad editing and writing for a travel blog for over-55s in Asia. But even though I am still fit and active, I had assumed that house-owners might not trust their places to someone who was over 70. Have you come across any house-sitters that old? For how many years do you plan to continue house-sitting?

    1. Hi, David all I can say is that you need to do it. Most homeowners prefer a more mature sitter and I know absolutely dozens who are into their 60’s and 70’s. As long as you are fit and healthy and love animals go for it. We find that the homeowners like us older sitters as we are experienced, settled and not wild partiers like in our youth. We have the great bonus of having owned our own homes or done DIY so we know how to take care of a property. We have also had pets throughout our lives and understand the needs of animals to be loved and cared for just like their families do. I actually have to change the ages on the blog as we are now in our 60’s and planning on going strong for years to come. There are more and more sits in Asia as well as Europe and the rest of the world. Being a DN means you can work from anywhere so give it a try.

  2. Thanks for the encouragement Faith. I was actually on the verge of signing up for Trusted Housesitters before the coronavirus pandemic as that was a platform recommended by one of my friends who wrote an article on housesitting for my own blog abut 18 months ago (it was that article that got me enthused about it because prior to that I didn’t know much about house and pet sitting). But I noted in one of your other posts that you said Trusted Housesitters was a difficult one for newbies. I would imagine that the biggest challenge for someone starting housesitting in their seventies will be getting those all-important first two or three references. Do you have any tips about how best to tackle that challenge?

    1. Yeah not my favourite platform, I don’t like the fact that it is the most expensive and most competitive one and also they only do a check on one person if you are a couple which seems just stupid to me. Here’s an article I wrote on all the tips and resources I have for housesitting https://xyuandbeyond.com/international-housesitting/. There are lots of tips in there on how to get started and obtain references, one of which is getting involved locally in pet rescues or dog walking or sitting for friends and neighbours just looking after their pets. You can also include personal references such work or colleagues that know you well. When I first started I had an online presence through Linkedin and Facebook which I think helped as people could see that I have been around for a while. I also talked about my history with animals and how many I have been around over the years. Once you get started thinking about it setting up a profile becomes easier.

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