House Sitting Business Booms In Spokane

SPOKANE — What if you could live in a comfortable home with all the amenities and, all you had to pay was a couple hundred bucks? You might have that opportunity.

With the downturn of the economy the business of house sitting is making a comeback.
Diana’s Home Sitting Services
, located here in Spokane, reports that their business has tripled as some homeowners are being forced to relocate because of lost jobs or needing to downsize.

One of the house sitters is Janet Bartman, who lives in a four bedroom West Spokane home with her energetic pooch Zoey. One of her favorite things about the house is the 50 inch flatscreen plasma TV. The couches, cookbooks and furnishings are all hers but this isn’t Janet’s house. It’s for sale.

“It allows me to live in a larger home, the rent that I’m paying to Diana’s House Sitting Service is less than half of what I’d pay, if I had to rent a house like this,” Janet said.

Bartman got fed up with the winter commute between her home in Coeur d’Alene and her job in Spokane. She’s been house sitting here for two and a half months and is responsible for keeping the house clean & presentable at all times.

“All I do is get up an extra 10 minutes before I leave for work and just spiff and make sure it’s ready for showings. The extra 10 minutes really isn’t a problem at all,” Bartman said.

Agencies screen house sitters for credit, residential, criminal, and employment history.

House sitters put down a security deposit, pay between $300 and $400 a month and are responsible for covering all utilities.

Homeowners and realtors don’t pay a dime.

“I wanted the house staged and taken care of because the homeowner had transferred to Utah, and so he needed someone to look after the house,” realtor Karen Torosian said.

Diana Ephus’ home sitting service is seeing a jump in business with realtors looking for people to fill vacant homes and homeowners having to suddenly relocate because they’ve lost their jobs or need to downsize.

“I’ve been extremely busy … my sales for home sitting have almost tripled,” Diana Ephus said.