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Home Swapping - Laura McKenzie























 


Home swapping means you and another couple or family will swap homes for an agreed length of time whether it’s your primary residence or a vacation home.

• What are some of the reasons to do a home swap?

1. It's a free place to stay.  You can spend the money you save on rooms for restaurants & activities you normally couldn’t afford.
2. If you're doing a home exchange, your home is being cared for while you're away
3. You get a much closer look at other cultures. You get a "feel" for the places you visit
4. The connections you make with your home exchange partners can turn into friendships
5. More flexibility and freedom. You can prepare meals at home, and come and go as you please
6. You've got more privacy

• If I want to do a home swap where do I start?

Homeexchange.com

HIGHER END PROPERTIES:
Homeexchangegold.com
LoveHomeSwap.com

SPECIALTY EXCHANGES:
Seniorshomeexchange.com

• What are some of the misconceptions of home swapping?
- Homes swaps don’t have to be simultaneous if you have a vacation home or
guest house that sits empty a lot of the time. You can do a simultaneous or non-simultaneous exchange.  

- The swap is not totally free.  Most sites charge a membership or service fee.

• What are some tips on swapping your home so it works?

Communication.  
1. Don’t assume anything.  Lots of photos & emails & Skype calls
& agreements on everything including watering the plants, to car exchange, breakage, repairs, cleaning, laundry, groceries on arrival, etc.

2. Create a locked closet for personal linens or belongings you don’t
want others to use.

3. Clean out a closet and drawers for your guests to use- move your own
clothes into a garment box, locked closet or storage area.

4. Board your pets or leave with a friend.

5. Check with your home insurance to make sure you’re fully covered
during a swap.

6. Ask for personal references, especially if they have exchanged before.

7. Discuss how bills will be handled, including emergency repairs.

8. Arrange key swap, and a local contact (neighbor, relative, etc.)

Hospitality & Courtesy :  
-Leave some breakfast supplies, and local recommendations for
restaurants & activities;  
-Leave your house clean and theirs as well when you leave.  Change the
sheets, wash the towels, and clean the refrigerator, or agree that you will each hire a cleaning service or pay the maid.
-Leave instructions to operate theTV, VCR, thermostats.
-Leave emergency numbers and repair or maintainance contacts

• What is the difference in home swapping and vacation rentals by owner?
    
It is the renting out of a furnished apartment or house on a temporary basis to tourists as an alternative to a hotel.  Vacation rentals are usually not primary residences so owner personal items are less of a problem.

• What are some of the benefits of listing a home on “vacation rentals by owner?”

Extra income if you have a guest house, second home, or condo.

One disadvantage:  Yearly listing fees.

• What are some of the benefits of renting from someone who has a VRBO?
    
1. Average nightly rate cheaper
2. Usually bigger rooms
3. Dine on your own time b/c you have a private kitchen
4. Many pet-friendly
5. Baby and kid amenities (some rentals have cribs, highchairs, etc…)
6. Since you've talked with the owner in advance, you know exactly what you're paying for before check-in.
7. Privacy: No maids, no thin walls to hear people in the room next to you, no overcrowded pool/hot tub


• What are some of the best websites for vacation rentals by owner?

VRBO.com - Vacation rentals by owner is another great way to stay.  You can rent an apartment to a villa or even a tree house!  

Airbnb.com - Airbnb is a trusted community marketplace for people to list, discover, and book unique accommodations around the world — online or from a mobile phone. Whether an apartment for a night, a castle for a week, or a villa for a month, Airbnb connects people to unique travel experiences, at any price point, in more than 33,000 cities and 192 countries. Airbnb.com costs: 3% booking fee plus 10% service fee. Paid by owner.




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