We are taking expressions of interest from practical and responsible house-sitter couples who have their own vehicle capable of handling country roads in winter and who are financially independent and able to make a modest contribution to the cost of utilities during their stay. We would also consider a resourceful individual house-sitter. If you live close enough to visit ahead of time to meet us, learn about our place and our area that's a plus. We would consider sitters with a cat-friendly, well-behaved dog if we can meet you and the dog ahead of time. When you contact us, please include details of your background, experience with cats and rural living in a snowy environment, why you are interested in housesitting in this area, any references or police checks that you have, questions etc.
We are in our late fifties, love the outdoors and have been involved in sustainable agriculture, land conservation, and environmental restoration/protection. Our place was an organic farm until we started needing to travel to spend time with elderly parents on a regular basis. Now that we don't have livestock we are experimenting with permaculture plantings with native plants and some non-invasive food plants to create bio-diverse habitat with a focus on pollinators. My hubby is also a photographer and amateur singer-songwriter, and I love growing, cooking, building and learning new skills. We love our house and this area of the country and are looking to find like-minded house-sitters who will appreciate all this place has to offer.
We leave December 10 or 11, and plan to return in late April or early May. We travel regularly and find that it works best when our housesitters arrive a few days ahead as this gives us the opportunity to help you get settled in and familiar with the local area and neighbors, comfortable with what is involved in living on a rural property, training you on using the generator etc., so we are looking for someone who can arrive by December 5th at the latest.
We have one sweet kitty who will appreciate your help with providing food, water and companionship while we are away, and there is a car, a truck and a tractor that need to be run periodically to maintain batteries etc. Other than that the responsibilities are those that you would have in any house that you own or rent - keeping the house clean, bringing in the mail, shovelling snow after a storm, mowing the lawn in the spring as needed, letting us know if there are any issues that need to be addressed etc.
One of our neighbors will pick up our mail once a week. We are usually available by or when we are away if you have any questions or concerns, and we have great neighbors who you can call on for advice or help if needed.
We have a neighbor who feeds our cat when we are away for a day or two, and a house-sitter who loves to coming to stay for a week when her schedule allows, so there are backup options if you need to be away for short periods.
We are 3 hrs west of NYC and 1 hour north of Philadelphia with a wonderful community of artists and musicians and organic farmers in the area. There are lots of great music venues, lovely country roads for long walks or cycling (bikes available to use), and an easy drive to good hiking areas, the local ski area , regional cultural/historical attractions (Landis Valley Museum,Lancaster County, Goschenhoppen Museum, Goggleworks, Valley Forge, Mercer Tileworks & Museum and much more).
Our house is a small, lived-in farmhouse that has idiosyncrasies of the type that you would expect to find in an older house. Heating is with a propane furnace as well as a woodstove and the house is well-insulated so it is easy to keep it warm in the winter.
We are on a very quiet country road up in the hills. If you like solitude and trees that is a plus, but if you enjoy the hustle and bustle of city life it might be a little too quiet and out of the way.
This location means that we can get power outages so you would need to feel comfortable operating our generator if the power is going to be out for more than a few hours (training provided) - it doesn't happen often and has never happened while we are away, but there is always a first time! The house has reliable dsl wi-fi, although if the goes out for some reason the internet goes down too, although once again this rarely happens.
We have a great road crew in the township and if we get snow they usually have our road plowed by 8 am. You need to feel comfortable driving on icy or snowy roads, and be OK with sitting tight if the weather is really bad. We don't have a driveway, just a parking area off from the road, so you would need to shovel snow from around your car, the path to the gate etc.
Note that the Google map doesn't show our exact location but we are near Boyertown, PA.