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Posted 19 November 2012 - 09:43 PM
I've read about house swapping on holidays and I am keen to try this out. However I am really paranoid about security issues in general and I am worried about having a dodgy family come in and break or steal our stuff.
Has anyone had experience with house swapping? Keen to share your experience? Any tips?
Posted 20 November 2012 - 08:10 AM
I've done it a couple of times actually. I find the fact that both families are taking on some of the risk helps.
I've always had people take excellent care of my home & pets.
I just make sure I'm pretty flexible with where and when I go. If you have a really nice house on a really great beach in Sydney you shouldn't have much trouble. But most people have to wait a while. It also helps if you're not looking for crazy popular locations (ie centre of Paris or London, right on the beach in LA etc etc) as these swaps are harder to come by.
I would definitely do it again, but some people I know wouldn't because the location they swapped for wasn't as desirable as they would have liked.
Edited by Apageintime, 21 November 2012 - 07:28 AM.
Posted 20 November 2012 - 08:22 AM
We've done a house swap and it went just fine. We were going overseas for a family reunion over Christmas a few years ago and didn't want to bunk down in another family member's lounge room. So we registered on a house swapping site and found someone nearly right away for approximately the dates that we needed - we ended up swapping for over 3 weeks.
We talked over email, skype and the phone in the months leading up to the swap so we had a good feel for the type of family that they were. Their house was at a similar level of quality to ours so we knew that they were taking a similar risk (large house at the beach with a pool). We asked for and checked their references. By the time that we left, we felt that we knew them quite well. In fact, they had left Christmas gifts for our kids under the tree, ready for when we got there.
We also swapped cars - we had to send their passport and driver's license details to our insurance company.
In the leadup, we made sure that everything in our house was working and that the house was in showhouse condition. And we took out any personal things that we would have been upset to lose/have broken.
In the end, we broke a vase and they broke a glass. Both totally trivial but both of us left out some money to cover the damage.
We would definitely do it again if we needed to.
Edited by tothebeach, 20 November 2012 - 08:24 AM.
Posted 25 November 2012 - 09:03 PM
I have looked at www.homeexchange.com. and they seem really good. We havent done one yet but are hoping to do one next year. I have noticed on that website hat a lot of Aussies want OS whereas we just want Australia. Plus you have to make sure they allow children.
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