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September 06, 2011

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Bob Lowry


My biggest fear is not theft or damage, but disappointment...on the part of the person swapping for our home. I am assuming that folks who do this have a nicer-than-average home and expect an upscale place in a swap. In my case they see "Scottsdale" and expect a large home with a pool on a golf course. That's not us.

What is your experience or advice in this regard?


Retired Syd

Bob: Most home-exchange websites allow you to post unlimited pictures with your listing. I keep in mind what a friend once told me: if you don't like the pictures, don't do the trade because that's the best it's ever going to look! I've never been disappointed as every place has looked exactly like the photos. When you browse listings on various home-exchange websites--you'll see a huge variety in the decor/upscale-ness/neatness.

Everyone's tastes are different. I've turned down offers that didn't entice me (or offers with no photos), just like when I'm booking an actual hotel--I have to like what I see. Just as in love, there's someone out there for everyone, though, you'd be surprised.

Bob Lowry

OK, good to know! We'll explore the possibilities. We'd be more comfortable in a house like ours, too.

LifePartII

I have always wanted to try a home exchange. We are retired and renting a year at a time, country to country but I suppose there would be nothing preventing us from tying this! Thanks for the article.

Retired Syd

LifePartII: You are doing exactly what I would like to do, renting a year at a time in new places. Alas, I'm married to someone who doesn't share my enthusiasm for that idea. Home exchanging turns out to be a good compromise for us.

Barb

Like bob, I'd be a bit concerned my suburban house might not measure up..but my primary concern are the four legged family friends. Did you do this when you had your pet, and do you visit houses where they obviously have pets?

Retired Syd

Barb: We didn't start house trading until long after we lost our pet. Some people do trades involving pet-sitting, but I NEVER would have left my doggy with strangers. I couldn't have felt comfortable. However, I am an animal lover, so would welcome the chance to pet sit if my hosts were comfortable with that. We did take care of a wonderful kitty on one of our trades, so nice to have the feline company. But usually folks send their pets on vacation too, probably because they are as uncomfortable as we would be.

Knowing how hard it is to leave your pets, though, I let folks bring them to our house if that is feasible for them (a few local folks have taken me up on that.)

Brian Luckhurst

Home Exchange is a great way to holiday and more and more of us are doing it, from all different walks of life and age groups. It may not suit
everyone but it is said if you try it once you will do it again and I agree with that.

We offer three types, the normal swap at the same time, a Non-simultaneous Exchange when you swap at different dates and Hospitality Exchange which is when you stay with your swap partner and then they reciprocate later.

Have a look at some Home Exchange websites and see what is on offer. Some sites are good, some not so, some are free and some charge, although I think too much at times. Some exchangers also sign up with more than one website, which I also recommend.

Re security of your home and valuables. Don't forget you are staying in their home and I always say to our members, lock away your valubles if you are worried about theft or breakages. I know the other party would also be
happier not to have to worry about breaking a valuable item and they will often put things away when they first arrive at the exchange home.

We also advise our members that they must communicate with the other party and get to know each other and if there are any doubts, either about the property/location or the exchangers themselves do not exchange, move on and arrange nother swap.

If you have any questions please have a look at our Q&A page which may help you with some of them.

However you vacation, enjoy your travels.

Brian Luckhurst from Home Exchange 50plus

Motel Management

I'll be glad if you show more pictures of that room. That'll be great for me.

Chuck Wiggins

I see this thread is a bit old, but perhaps comments will still be seen. I'm getting ready to retire at the end of this year, and love the idea of home exchange. But I'm wondering if it is rarely available for folks not in "hot" travel destinations, such as the California coast, New York, etc. We live in Cincinnati, a very livable city with lots going on, but not the draw of an NYC. Anyone with experiences or situations like mine that's had any luck with home exchange?

Retired Syd

Chuck: You'd be surprised. Go browse homeexchange.com and see all the places available. Cities you'd never think of and they definitely get traded. Think about all the people that are from Cincinnati that may have family they want to visit. Or a wedding of an old friend they want to attend. Or a high school reunion. A million different possibilities.

You often have to kiss a lot of frogs. But just keep at it and I'll bet you'll find something. It's a great thing for retirement, because it often takes more time to find a trade than finding a rental or hotel room. But you'll have the time when you're retired!

Nita

Do you recommend a particular program? I don't even know where to start!

Retired Syd

Nita: I recommend starting at homeexchange.com. They have the largest number of listings and a good Q&A page about home exchange. It costs a little to join, but you can browse for free until you're ready to exchange yourself.

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