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Money and Main Street
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Professional house sitting
Professional house sitting
Tiffany Owens
Age: 42
Former job: Freelance writer
Current job: Property caretaker for absentee homeowners
Hometown: Portland, Oregon

With the economic downturn, it's been a terrible time to be a freelance writer. Since then, my husband, Dave, and I embarked on a completely new, second career as nomadic property caretakers.

There are a lot of properties sitting empty that are unsellable due to the economic downturn, which makes them prone to theft, vandalism or maintenance problems. Having a short-term or resident caretaker provides security for the property and peace-of-mind that a small leak doesn't go unnoticed and turn into a high-dollar repair bill. Some caretaking clients are regular homeowners, the others wealthy, who utilize their multimillion-dollar vacation home several weeks out of the year.

[Property caretaking is] a means of leaving the rat race, saving money and getting management experience under our belt as a team to eventually start our own business.

Now, I garden instead of sitting in board room meetings...and I couldn't be happier.

Last updated June 19 2009: 10:01 AM ET
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