With the cost of airfare, rental cars and resorts, a summer vacation can quickly surpass the budget. But what if you didn’t need to stay in a hotel or even pay for a vacation rental? House swapping is another choice.
This tendency was gaining steam, and now among the most popular websites for home swapping, HomeExchange.com, has more than 42,000 listings in 150 nations. If this has piqued your curiosity, here is what you want to know to make a swap of your own.
Vanni Archive/Architectural Photography
Can swap a home rather than stay in a hotel? Aside from saving substantial money, staying in a home or apartment really gives you the taste of an area. You’re able to settle in and feel as a neighborhood rather than a person, and the homeowner you are swapping with will probably fill you in on all kinds of neighborhood keys not from the guidebooks. Another big bonus for foodies is being able to use great neighborhood fresh foods to cook dinner in “home” instead of eating out for every meal.
Fabrizia Frezza Architecture & Interiors
Dream about where you would like to go … With apartment and home listings all around the planet, the world is your oyster. A villa in Italy? A whitewashed home on a Greek island? Why not?
… but keep an open mind. While there are lots of foreign listings to choose from, you may be surprised and find something appealing a little closer to home. What about a beach home in Florida or North Carolina, or even a sun-filled apartment in Los Angeles?
JARCHITECTS: AIA, Jim Rymsza
But I just have a regular home in the suburbs. Who’d wish to rent? If you’re concerned that nobody will want to stay in your home, do not be. By what I have heard concerning the house-swapping community, you’d be surprised at how well homes in “ordinary” towns perform. Some people are traveling on business or might have relatives in your region, so don’t discount your home before you start. You might be surprised.
Hugh Jefferson Randolph Architects
Play up your home’s strengths. That said, it will pay to highlight what is so good about your home specifically. Why should someone choose it? If you have an especially spacious or newly remodeled kitchen, be sure to describe its characteristics in detail and take excellent pictures in natural light.
Learn how to “sell” your region. Pretend a comparative is coming to visit. What will top your list of must-see regional attractions? What do you enjoy about your neighborhood? Perhaps there is a good café or farmer’s market in walking distance, or even a wonderful row of antiques shops, or a mythical stone of a museum. Shine the best possible light on your neighborhood to entice people who might know little about it.
Scot Meacham Wood Design
Spruce up your external zone. When you have a lawn or patio, be sure to have somewhere for people to sit — and in case you have a table for al fresco diningtable, all the better! There’s nothing wrong with a tiny bit of staging, so go ahead and place your table for dinner prior to snapping the photos to go for your home’s listing.
Maximize sleeping area. Especially if you are swapping with a household, the amount of people your home sleeps can be a deal breaker. Make it a selling point rather of squeezing in an extra twin bed or 2, or swapping out a regular couch for a sleeper variant.
Kerrie L. Kelly
What about my dog? Or vehicle? Or precious stuff? Or … ? There are plenty of ifs involved in setting up a home swap, and it’s certainly not for everyone. That said, there are hundreds and hundreds of happy home swappers on the market, and by the coverage on individual swapping websites, issues seem to be somewhat rare. As it’s a reciprocal arrangement, the majority of people may want to care for your home as they expect you are caring for theirs. Just use your common sense and lock up anything quite valuable or which you’d be heartbroken to lose.
As for Fido, a few home swappers make caring for pets part of the arrangement, while some prefer to take the pups elsewhere while the house is currently used. Roughly half of home swappers using HomeExchange.com include their vehicle in the swap, but it is your call.
Prepared to swap? Listed below are a number of tools to check out:
HomeExchange.com. It guarantees you’ll find a swap, or you get the following year free.Craigslist. Look under “home,” afterward “home swap. “Digsville. Additionally, it has a swap guarantee.Intervac. Among the very first house-swapping providers, this site currently offers more than 30,000 listings.HomeLink. Second-year-free assurance; this site is just another of the pioneers of this concept.