Why We Housesit in the Santa Cruz Area
Looking for top-notch house-sitters and pet-sitters for your Santa Cruz area home and pets? We’re John Soares and Stephanie Hoffman, and we live in Siskiyou County near Mount Shasta. We love hiking the high mountains and swimming the clear lakes in summer, and we also dig our area in late spring and early fall.
But we’ve had it with the cold winters in this area, so for many years we’ve arranged house-sitting gigs in the Santa Cruz area, including Soquel, Capitola, and Scotts Valley, during those coldest months. And we love it!
You get the peace of mind of knowing your house and pets are in the competent and caring hands of responsible people. We get to stay in your beautiful home and enjoy the mild climate and beautiful area.
About John and Stephanie
John Soares is a former college instructor who has been a successful freelance writer for businesses and nonprofits since the early 1990s. John’s also the author of several hiking guidebooks, including: 100 Classic Hikes in Northern California, fourth edition, Day Hiking: Mount Shasta, Lassen & Trinity Alps Regions, Hike the Parks: Redwood National & State Parks, and Camp for Free: Dispersed Camping & Boondocking on America’s Public Lands. John also writes the Northern California Hiking Trails blog. John has a B.S. degree in biochemistry and a master’s degree in political science, both from UC Davis. (See his LinkedIn profile for full details on his education and career, and his business writing website.)
Stephanie Hoffman is a small business and nonprofit consultant. Stephanie has a B.A. degree in psychology from SUNY Albany and a M.S. degree in organizational psychology from CSU San Jose.
What About Pets and Pet-Sitting?
We absolutely love dogs and cats. Our 14-year-old super-sweet golden retriever Molly passed away in July of 2010. We miss her so much!
You can see pics of her and read about her life on John’s hiking blog.
We presently have no pets and don’t plan to have any in the foreseeable future.
What is the Cost for House-Sitting and Pet-Sitting?
We typically don’t charge for house-sitting or pet-sitting because we feel it’s a fair exchange: we get to stay in a nice home during the winter months and you will have a very responsible couple taking care of your home and pet(s).
If your home requires upkeep beyond the usual (we can discuss this), or your beloved pet needs an abundance of extra care, then a per-day fee will apply.
Our Ideal House-Sitting Situation
We like comfortable and clean homes in safe and quiet areas. We’ll treat your home like we do our own home (and we own our own home).
Here’s what we need:
- A comfortable bedroom for sleeping with at least a queen-sized bed
- Internet access
- Typical things in a house: kitchen access, and in general the same privileges you’d give to honored guests
Here’s What We Do For You During Housesits
- Take care of your pet: food, water, meds, walks… and love and attention
- Gather mail/newspapers/UPS deliveries
- Water house plants
- Deal with any sudden emergency: pet to the vet, plumber, etc.
- Clean up after ourselves
- And we’re open to discussing other to-do’s
- We’re also non-smokers and non-druggies (‘cept the occasional glass of wine and John’s coffee)
Yup — really good ones. Names and phone numbers available on request.
In the meantime, read these house-sitting references/recommendations:
“John and Stephanie did house and pet-sitting for us last winter and we would absolutely ask them again. We met them just prior to departing on our vacation for the first time and immediately knew we could trust them to take great care of our dog and our house, which they did. They checked in with us regularly while we were gone, since that is important to our peace of mind. Our house was clean and neat when we returned, with flowers and a wonderful thank you note, and our dog was her usual mellow self. I’m not sure she even missed us! I highly recommend them and want to have them back next year.”
“Everything looks great here and thanks so much for your careful attention to our house and pets! Hope you are doing well. We will certainly recommend you and feel free to use us as a reference. Thanks again.”
“Thanks Stephanie and John for caring for our home and kitties! You guys were awesome! The house looks great and feels extremely well cared for. We felt great knowing you were here, and appreciate how everything was taken care of. We will definitely call you in the future when in need again.
All the BEST to you and yours!”
Paul Hawk and Megan Hawk
“All we’ve heard from the girls since we’ve been back is how much fun they had and how many walks they went on. I think you’ve set a new standard of living for them 🙂 Thank you so much for taking great care of the girls and our home. It was so nice to come home to a clean house!”
“I highly recommend John Soares as a house and dog sitter. We recently hired John to sit our house and dog while we were out of the country for 10 days. We were very impressed from our first meeting by the professionalism and thoroughness of John’s housesitting checklist. He kept in email contact with us while we were away as we requested, and when we returned we found a happy dog and a house in perfect condition. We were truly able to relax knowing our house and dog were in John’s hands, and can give him the highest recommendation with absolutely no reservations.”
You Guys Sound Great! How Do We Arrange a Housesit?
Fill out the contact form and give us some brief info about you, your house, your pets, and the dates you need us. John will get back to you promptly, and assuming we feel like a good fit, we’ll arrange to talk further.