Housesitting 103 ~ Get a Backgound Check

Experienced house sitters have told us it is a very good idea to get a background check.  A quick visit to your local police station will earn you a document that says you have never done anything illegal in your home town.  I’m not so sure that would sway my decision to invite a stranger into my home, but apparently it helps.

Since hubs and I plan to take our house sitting adventure to other countries, we thought we should go full banana and get the FBI verified check.  Go big or go home!

So, last October we took a little noon-time field trip to meet up with the roving fingerprint lady.  She sets up in the hallway at various local courthouses and does a booming business inking and pressing fingertips into tiny squares.  Twenty bucks apiece and a few minutes of our time and we’d be out the door and on to a lovely lunch.

Or so we thought.  The indignities of growing old seem to pop up when you least expect them.  Who know that old fingers are DRY fingers and if you have DRY fingers, the cheerful fingerprinting lady cannot get a usable print.  Ink.  Press. Check.  Nope.  Ink. Press. Check. Nope.  I was up first and it was becoming somewhat embarrassing as I was holding up an ever-growing line of 20-somethings who were there on their work breaks hoping to pop in and out in ten minutes.  Well that was definitely not going to happen. Because the old people with the dried up fingers are on re-take number TWENTY!  Finally, all 8 fingers and my two decrepit thumb prints passed muster and she moved on to hubs.  I have to be honest here and say that even though I felt bad for the long line of folks waiting for us to be done with it, I was not unhappy that his fingers were as blurred by time as mine.  The friendly fingerprint lady finally dosed him up with some kind of very thick hand grease and voila! we were outta there.  Cheers were heard from the back of the line.

All we had to do next was fill out the simple one page form, attach our perfectly inked prints, toss in a check for $36 (for two – quite a bargain) and mail everything off to the FBI office in Maryland.   And wait.

And wait. Wait. Wait. Wait.

The form clearly stated that with the current backlog, we should not expect anything back for 21 days but to not even think about calling them for 4-6 weeks.

So we waited and then waited again.

I was beginning to worry.  What if our paperwork had somehow gotten lost and our hard-won fingerprints had to be taken all over again?  Do not make me go there.

Finally, last Tuesday, about 4 1/2 months after we started this process, a lovely brown envelope from The Department of Justice arrived in the mail.  I’d passed FBI scrutiny and now had a very nondescript piece of paper to prove it.  And my fingerprints had not been rejected – which really was my biggest concern.

fbi2

What about hubs?  He’s still waiting.  I keep asking if there is anything he wants to confess, but he swears he’s clean.

So far, we have not been asked for a police/security background check for any of the house sits we have applied for or gotten, but I am confident that having them will add to our resume and profile.  Proof that we are always willing to go the extra mile.

The other benefit that came out of this experience?  I am now diligent very about hand cream!

We are actively seeking house sits for Summer/Fall in the western US and Canada.  If you know anyone who would benefit from our services, please send them over to our website Global Housesitting Pros.  Thanks for helping us spread the word.

Cheers!

Nancy

 

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10 thoughts on “Housesitting 103 ~ Get a Backgound Check

  1. We also have a police check available for prospective homeowners, Nancy, and have provided it when requested. Often, just stating we have one is enough for some folks. It indicates we’re professional, who we say are, AND trustworthy people. Happy housesitting!

    • Hello Dianne, It is wonderful to hear from a fellow house-sitter. You and your husband are ahead of us on this great journey and I am sure I could learn a great deal from you! I see on your website that you have quite a number of sits already lined up. What is your favorite site for finding great sits? Happy travels. Nancy

  2. Hi there Nancy,

    Just curious about the FBI check, does that cover the entire world or just the USA? We have lived in a few countries for over a year and last time we needed a police clearance we had to get one from each country and then translate them into English. Plus they are only valid for a year!!

    Hence we have not had one done recently.
    Regards
    John

    • Thanks for the comment John. I am not convinced of the full value of having a police/security check. The FBI check covers all of the USA which seems better than a local police check but still only covers so much. I think that the fact that a person is willing to go through the process at least makes them seem “secure”. I would definitely not do anything beyond what we have and would probably renew every 3-5 years as needed. So far, no one has actually asked to see this hard won document.

  3. Wow – you were both brave to sell everything and decided to travel the world! How is this going now? I am eager to find out how this decision panned out for you guys.

    • We are still in the process but hope to fully launch by the end of the year. In the meantime, we’ve been testing the waters through house-siting and home exchange. We have had wonderful experiences so far checking out possible retirement locations and meeting so many interesting and fun new people along the way. Thanks for checking in on us.

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