What is Home Exchange?

You probably have heard about home exchange. If you are still wondering what the practice is, it is a process wherein two homeowners agree to swap homes at a designated time. Why would homeowners agree to swap homes within a specified period? The answer could be very simple. It is because doing so could translate to significant cost reductions and savings especially when traveling.

In general home exchange is a vacation accommodation arrangement taken by two individuals or families, who agree to swap homes for a set time. The arrangement usually is inter-community or in most cases, between two homeowners in different countries. Thus, when a family living in New York decides to take a vacation in California, for example, they could swap their home with a house owned by a family in California. The homeowner in California then assumes the temporary ownership of the family’s house in New York, and vice versa. The two families could swap homes at the same time so as the time one family gets to California, the other one gets to New York.

The swapping arrangement is usually facilitated through a designated Website for home exchanging practices. Such online sites develop and maintain home swapping databases, which contain lists of homeowners across the state or countries who are willing to exchange their homes with other houses owned by other people. However, be reminded that all arrangements are temporary. That means ownership is not legally transferred. At the end of the arrangement, homeowners would return to their original homes.

How are schedules aligned? Home swapping works when a homeowner agrees to schedule his vacation to coincide with the vacation of the other homeowner. There must be a consensual agreement about the schedule or there might be conflicts. In several instances, a homeowner gets to welcome the swap partner to his home before he goes to the house of the other.

This practice is most advantageous to frequent travelers, who find paying for hotels and vacation accommodations too expensive. This practice is also working best for families who are going to take their vacation somewhere outside their own community, state, or country. Through home swaps, accommodation problems are eliminated effectively. However, most home swap agreements only cover the home. Additional perks like cars and other utilities could be used upon agreement.

No money is to be exchanged during home swaps. However, home-exchange Websites require memberships, which is not free. Home swappers need to secure such memberships so they could enjoy home swapping services. Usually, fees range from about $50 to $100 annually, not bad if you would consider the hefty savings you could generate and the convenience you could get from such arrangements. Such clubs are the most effective venues to find other homeowners who are into swapping, although some lists could also be found in Craigslists and local classified ads, though in limited capacities.

Inter-cultural or international home swapping is now facilitated in many countries. However, home exchange arrangements in specific countries may not be possible or may pose possible legal impediments. Such issues are covered and filtered by home swapping online sites. That is one of the advantages of using the services and memberships in such dedicated clubs.

It is also possible for two families to meet in some point, somewhere so they could get to know whom they have home exchange arrangements with. Try it out.

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