10 Facts of Home Swapping

A slew of companies have opened that have catered to the home-swapping trend, i.e. Love home Swap, Knok and CasaHop. Sites like HomeLink, HomeExchange and Intervac are companies that were catalyst to this trend.

Love Home Swap, Knok and CasaHop are evolving the idea into social media screenings by recommendations and personalization algorithms. As home swapping has been practiced for decades now, and the help of social media the movement has come back with flying colors.

Kate Costabel, who is a representative for HomeLink USA spoke with USA Today to give 10 need-to-know aspects of what home swappers must learn before trading keys.

·         Home Swapping is not everyone’s thing: When people who you’ve never met, you should ask yourself – how do you feel about them stepping foot in your real estate in San Diego? Let alone by themselves. Even though the arrangement is said by many experts that the home-swapping community is safe, your comfort level with your home and belongings are one to measure before you jump in.

·         Like Hotels – Home Swapping isn’t Free: Many dependable home swapping sites are not free. Some are, but they’re not as reputable. Annual rates for a membership to a home swapping site starts at $39 and could range to higher than $159 (which is not far from a two-to-three night stay at a hotel). Before signing up, do your research on these sites.

·         Three Different Home Swapping Options: Simultaneous exchange, non-simultaneous exchange or hospitality exchange. Simultaneous exchange is when you stay in the person’s home your exchanging while they stay in yours. Non-simultaneous is similar, but you stay in the home swappers second home. The hospitality exchange is when you are a guest at the home swapper’s home as they host you.

·         Make Your Expectations Clear: So you make your home swapping experience stress-free, become acquainted with your exchangers. Ask yourself the question – what do you expect of your guests? Should I leave them food? Should I contact a cleaning service? How will the exchange for the key be completed? Once these questions are answered, your experience should be without tension.

·         Renters could participate: You don’t have to be a homeowner to partake in home swapping. This is especially could work well when the exchanger or you yourself purchase a home of your own. However, always make sure with your landlord if rent could be paid to through a sub letter.

·         Swappers could use Your Car: This goes for the area. If there is public transportation available in a bigger city, then you may not need to do this. But swapping cars becomes cost effective on your end, and is very common in the home-exchange community.

·         Do your research: Like said earlier, before jumping into home swapping, find the right website. Some sites have different guideline processes, fees, etc. Many could find their match through Facebook (they have an app for that!), while other websites like IVHE and HomeLink depend on references.

·         Don’t wait till the last minute: This goes along with research. Most of the options you have to sift through before you make a final choice of who you will exchange with. Costabel encourages to take three to six months before international travel and sometimes even nine month in advance.

·         It is Safe to Home Swap: It is a safe way to stay abroad and within the United States. Costabel who obviously shares her allegiance with HomeLink – said to USA Today that her company is celebrating the 60th anniversary this year. When you complete your home exchange, always tell the next how it goes, and to share the experiences with your respective websites.


By Linda Moore

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