Neil & Laurie - House and Pet Sitters

We will take loving care of your home and your pets

Why Engage a House and Pet Sitter?

Despite its expanding worldwide popularity, the growing trend of house and pet sitting may be unfamiliar to you. It is an aspect of the contemporary idea of shared economy.

House sitters live in your home while you are away and care for it just like you do.

They keep your home clean and tidy, care for gardens and pets, and provide security by occupying your otherwise vacant home.

Since they are staying in your home, house sitters are there to act quickly should there be a maintenance emergency such as a leaking water heater, burst water pipe, or other event that could damage your house while you are not there.

Most House and Pet Sitters Don’t Expect To Be Paid

House sitters consider staying in your home as an even exchange. They receive free accommodations in an area they are interested in visiting and the homeowner receives the care of their home and pets at little or no cost.

Pet Sitting Included

If you have a pet, engaging a house sitter means that your pet can stay happy at home in their own beds, eating their regular diet, and continuing their regular activities like walks and going to the dog park.

Folks who house sit are pet lovers and will quickly befriend your pets and provide them with the love and attention they crave while you are away.

Pet Sitting Included

If you have a pet, engaging a house sitter means that your pet can stay happy at home in their own beds, eating their regular diet, and continuing their regular activities like walks and going to the dog park.

Folks who house sit are pet lovers and will quickly befriend your pets and provide them with the love and attention they crave while you are away.

The savings from not having to board your pet can be enormous as well as much less traumatic to both your pet and you. With a pet sitter staying in your home, you can easily check in at any time and see how things are going with your beloved pet.

Veterinarians agree that animals respond to a different carer better than a new environment. Many pets are bonded with the sights, smells, and sounds of their own home, so it is preferable to allow them to remain in familiar surroundings while their owners are away.

House sitters provide many other services

House and pet sitting agreements are as individual as the home owners and sitters are. You can request that the sitter you engage take care of whatever needs doing.

House sitters are usually willing to do chores, such as:

• Watering your indoor plants
• Keeping your garden thriving
• Maintaining your pool or hot tub
• Mowing your lawn
• Bringing in your mail and perhaps contacting you in the event of an important letter or bill
• Overseeing and disbursing funds to service or maintenance staff
• Handling home emergencies

Experienced, Reliable House and Pet Sitters

When engaging a house sitter, here are some of the things you will want to know:

1. Will they show up when I need them to?
2. Do they know how to care for a house?
3. Do they have experience taking care of pets?
4. Do they have references from previous homeowners?

Why engage Neil and Laurie Stolmaker?

Laurie and Neil Stolmaker have proven themselves to be reliable, trustworthy house and pet sitters who have earned the thanks and appreciation of homeowners throughout the United States, in Australia, in New Zealand, in Canada, in Mexico, In Honduras and in Costa Rica.

You can read our testimonials on the References tab above.

We have performed numerous  diverse tasks for the homeowners who have engaged us. You can read about the services that we provide on the Services tab above.

The huge difference. Renting out your house while you travel

If you are lucky, you may live in an area where it is possible to rent out your home while you travel. Airbnb makes this particularly easy. So why engage a house sitter instead of earning money leasing your home to someone?

There are actually many important differences between engaging a house sitter to look after your home and renting your home to strangers.


Perhaps the most important one centers on responsibility. When you rent your home to someone, you are responsible to insure that your home remains a safe and comfortable place for your renters. If while you are away, something goes wrong, for example, the refrigerator, plumbing, or heating system suddenly need repairs, you are responsible for getting things fixed.

This can be quite challenging, especially if you are traveling in a foreign country. Your renters have a right to expect that you will take care of the problem quickly, with as little discomfort to them as possible. After all, they are paying you to stay there.

With a house sitter staying in your home while you are traveling, the situation is quite different. House sitters understand that it is their responsibility to care for your home, including handling emergencies.

Here is an example. During one of our house sits, the hot water boiler in the basement began leaking quite badly. It was fortunate for the home owners that we were there, because it would have caused a huge flood.

We noticed it quite quickly and turned off the water supply to stop the flooding. We immediately contacted the home owners by email to explain the situation and let them know that we intended to contact the plumber whose phone number they had left for us. With their okay, we did so, and waited for the repair folks to arrive.

We supervised the repairs and once they were completed, wrote another email to the home owners letting them know that the problem was a valve that had failed, and told them the amount of the bill. Of course, they were thankful that they had engaged house sitters and that we had acted in their stead in handling the emergency so that they didn’t need to interrupt their trip or even be inconvenienced.


When you rent your home to strangers, you will likely want to prepare it for them by emptying it of your prized possessions and valuables. This is because you have no reliable way of knowing that the renters are trustworthy. Will they maintain the upkeep of your home the way you want? Will they treat your possessions with the same care that you do?

Qualified house sitters have references. You can learn of their dependability and reliability from other homeowners. You have the ability to check their references and interview them beforehand. You can, and should, schedule at least a couple of days of overlap, where you can spend time with the house sitters and get to know them enough to build a trusting relationship.

This is a huge difference from renting your home to strangers!


When someone pays you to stay in your home, you have a financial relationship. You want to get a fair price for your rental and they want to pay a fair price to stay there. This creates certain expectations on both sides. You are making a business deal.

When you engage a house sitter, there is usually no money changing hands. You are providing a comfortable, temporary place for the house sitter to live. The house sitter in turn, is taking care of your pets and home while you are away. It is an even exchange, a win-win situation, a level playing field. This feels much different!


If you have pets that you don’t wish to kennel because of the expense and total disruption of the routines of your pet, engaging a house and pet sitter is an easy choice. The benefits are huge and there is no cost to you at all!


Renting out your home while you travel is a viable option and of course, many folks do so successfully. The alternative, engaging a house sitter, has a long list of benefits for the homeowner. Each homeowner will need to think carefully about which option best fits their situation.


We love house and pet sitting. We would be happy to answer any questions you may have, either about our services or house and pet sitting in general.

We can be easily reached on our Contact page. You can also reach us by email at