Author Topic: Would *really* like to hear from those who do home exchanges  (Read 2968 times)

EconDiva

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1130
Would *really* like to hear from those who do home exchanges
« on: January 01, 2018, 01:46:35 PM »
So I am thinking of re-joining Home Exchange and would like to hear from those who have done it before.  Last time I joined it was not a good time for me as shortly after I started planning a move out of the city I was living in.

Starting off I'd like to focus on more domestic exchanges first.  I'm in Atlanta and not certain what the volume of interest would be to exchange with me.  When I was in Chicago I got a lot of requests from Europeans to exchange.  Some cities I'd like to get to sooner rather than later would be Dallas, Minneapolis, San Francisco, NYC, potentially Nashville, Destin and Miami as well.

The annual membership is $150--when I joined in 2015 I swear it was $90.  So I'm hesitant to do it again since I didn't do any exchanges the first year and I'm not sure what kind of interest I will get being in Atlanta.  Would love to hear the experiences of those who are members.


CloserToFree

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 365
  • Location: Major U.S. City
  • 30-sth lawyer (for now), traveler, lover of nature
Re: Would *really* like to hear from those who do home exchanges
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2018, 08:26:36 PM »
I can't help, but also am really interested in hearing from people who do this.  We did this as a family when I was growing up (Intervac was what we used, but that was the 80s and 90s) and it was amazing.  My impression is that AirBNB and pay-for-stay companies have taken some of the market that used to go to actual home exchanges, but I'd love to be proven wrong.

cchrissyy

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 750
  • Location: SF Bay Area
Re: Would *really* like to hear from those who do home exchanges
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2018, 10:34:30 PM »
I'm on home exchange and FYI, they currently offer a free 2nd year if you don't end up finding an exchange your 1st year.  maybe in your case you could reach out to customer service and get them to apply it!

EconDiva

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1130
Re: Would *really* like to hear from those who do home exchanges
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2018, 10:02:33 AM »
I can't help, but also am really interested in hearing from people who do this.  We did this as a family when I was growing up (Intervac was what we used, but that was the 80s and 90s) and it was amazing.  My impression is that AirBNB and pay-for-stay companies have taken some of the market that used to go to actual home exchanges, but I'd love to be proven wrong.

That is interesting but do you really think AirBnB would have taken a substantial slice out of that market?  I mean, home exchanges are virtually free and AirBnB costs you. 

When your family was doing it did you find the homes you stayed in were comparable size-wise to your home?  I'm seeing some really nice homes available and although my place is new it's tiny so I'm a bit concerned there might not be as much demand to exchange.  But in my city I'm in a good central location.

EconDiva

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1130
Re: Would *really* like to hear from those who do home exchanges
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2018, 10:03:19 AM »
I'm on home exchange and FYI, they currently offer a free 2nd year if you don't end up finding an exchange your 1st year.  maybe in your case you could reach out to customer service and get them to apply it!

Thank you for mentioning this!!!  I am definitely going to reach out.  Worst thing they can do is say no, right?

SimpleCycle

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 934
  • Location: Chicago
Re: Would *really* like to hear from those who do home exchanges
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2018, 06:42:44 PM »
I’m on Nomador, and so far nothing has worked out, but I’ve only offered one.  We aren’t looking for real exchanges, just someone to stay when we’re on vacation.

Can people who have done this tell me more about the sites they’re on?  I’d love to get some successful stays going.

CloserToFree

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 365
  • Location: Major U.S. City
  • 30-sth lawyer (for now), traveler, lover of nature
Re: Would *really* like to hear from those who do home exchanges
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2018, 10:19:34 PM »
I can't help, but also am really interested in hearing from people who do this.  We did this as a family when I was growing up (Intervac was what we used, but that was the 80s and 90s) and it was amazing.  My impression is that AirBNB and pay-for-stay companies have taken some of the market that used to go to actual home exchanges, but I'd love to be proven wrong.

That is interesting but do you really think AirBnB would have taken a substantial slice out of that market?  I mean, home exchanges are virtually free and AirBnB costs you. 

When your family was doing it did you find the homes you stayed in were comparable size-wise to your home?  I'm seeing some really nice homes available and although my place is new it's tiny so I'm a bit concerned there might not be as much demand to exchange.  But in my city I'm in a good central location.

We exchanged mostly with other 3br+ homes, but some were nicer than ours, and sometimes we we're exchanging with a retired couple, other times a family with 2-3 older kids or teens (we were three preteens/teens plus my mom).  We were in a desirable East Coast city, exchanging w ppl in various European cities as well as in Florida.  Atlanta seems like a place you'd be able to get interest in...especially in a central location.  Good luck!

My thinking re Airbnb was more that people now rent out their own homes for $$$ rather than swapping, but I could be totally wrong about that.

EconDiva

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1130
Re: Would *really* like to hear from those who do home exchanges
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2018, 06:43:21 AM »
Iím on Nomador, and so far nothing has worked out, but Iíve only offered one.  We arenít looking for real exchanges, just someone to stay when weíre on vacation.

Can people who have done this tell me more about the sites theyíre on?  Iíd love to get some successful stays going.

I'd also like to know what sites are best...I was using HomeLink and had plenty of interest in my place in the South Loop in Chi. I'm eyeing HomeExchange but their annual fee is expensive at $150.

EconDiva

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1130
Re: Would *really* like to hear from those who do home exchanges
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2018, 09:28:51 AM »
I'm on home exchange and FYI, they currently offer a free 2nd year if you don't end up finding an exchange your 1st year.  maybe in your case you could reach out to customer service and get them to apply it!

They renewed my membership for another year for FREE!

YESSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

cchrissyy

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 750
  • Location: SF Bay Area
Re: Would *really* like to hear from those who do home exchanges
« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2018, 09:47:37 AM »
Yay!

Regarding domestic exchanges and having a smaller place, I do think you'll be able to find plenty of willing people. For instance I recently hosted somebody for a weekend who lived only a few hours away and was here to visit family members and preferred a free stay in a house instead of using a local hotel. but she was just a single lady and would have been just fine in a smaller house or apartment.  Anyway we made our place available and it could have been a simltaneous exchange or a non-simultaneous one, but what I ended up doing was just taking a HomeExchange "balloon" which I will redeem with somebody else next summer : ) 

anyway my point being, I don't know your apartment or your area of Atlanta but I think pretty much everywhere there are people who visit family, or college, or work, and who prefer not to pay for a hotel, and you can decide if you want to swap with them (again, simultaneously or not!)  or you can stock up on credits to stay somewhere you DO want in the future.  Remember to be proactive - I get many requests from possible exchanges but also I sometimes run the search of "people who say they want to come here" and reach out to them proactively.

EconDiva

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1130
Re: Would *really* like to hear from those who do home exchanges
« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2018, 09:58:46 AM »
Yay!

Regarding domestic exchanges and having a smaller place, I do think you'll be able to find plenty of willing people. For instance I recently hosted somebody for a weekend who lived only a few hours away and was here to visit family members and preferred a free stay in a house instead of using a local hotel. but she was just a single lady and would have been just fine in a smaller house or apartment.  Anyway we made our place available and it could have been a simltaneous exchange or a non-simultaneous one, but what I ended up doing was just taking a HomeExchange "balloon" which I will redeem with somebody else next summer : ) 

anyway my point being, I don't know your apartment or your area of Atlanta but I think pretty much everywhere there are people who visit family, or college, or work, and who prefer not to pay for a hotel, and you can decide if you want to swap with them (again, simultaneously or not!)  or you can stock up on credits to stay somewhere you DO want in the future.  Remember to be proactive - I get many requests from possible exchanges but also I sometimes run the search of "people who say they want to come here" and reach out to them proactively.

Thanks for the info!

Just as an FYI, I'm actually doing HomeLink, not Home Exchange (my bad)...so I'm not familiar with the credit usage....

cchrissyy

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 750
  • Location: SF Bay Area
Re: Would *really* like to hear from those who do home exchanges
« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2018, 10:50:17 AM »
oh ok, I don't know about that system but FYI for anyone reading, on HomeExchange you can find other people who want a simultaneous exchange, or who will plan with you for a non-simultaneous kind, or you can skip the direct exchanging completely and earn credits for future stays somewhere else. in their system, a stay = a stay. there is no other factor like how long the stay was or how big/nice your place is. just, if you let somebody stay at your place, you get credit for 1 stay (they call this a balloon) and that is worth redeeming for one stay anywhere else.  So can go anywhere, you don't need to find somebody in a town you want to visit who also wants to visit your town.

I'm presently in a few conversations about summer travel that will be direct exchanges with other people. But I'm also always willing to get out of my house for somebody else to have a short stay so I can earn credits that I'll use for longer stays or to extend future trips.  (example - I want a 2 week summer trip to be based in two cities - 1week as a direct exchange and 1 week using up a credit)

Home Exchange seems to be maybe 1/2 primary homes and 1/2 second or vacation homes. People are usually very willing to accommodate a longer stay in their vacation home during whatever season they're not using it. I do notice many of the vacation homes are cross-listed on VRBO or ABNB. Those owners prefer the $ and will only exchange if they think it's unlikely to rent those days. That will be openly mentioned in the ad, so you can link to the calendar and reviews.

CloserToFree

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 365
  • Location: Major U.S. City
  • 30-sth lawyer (for now), traveler, lover of nature
Re: Would *really* like to hear from those who do home exchanges
« Reply #12 on: January 03, 2018, 07:29:01 PM »
@cchrissyy that is great to know and really interesting.  I love the flexibility.  Will definitely look into HomeExchange.

ysette9

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5580
  • Location: Bay Area, CA
    • Insert Snappy Title Here (Journal)
Re: Would *really* like to hear from those who do home exchanges
« Reply #13 on: January 03, 2018, 08:56:09 PM »
I donít have direct experience but my parents have done this a number of times, each time with someone in Europe. They had mostly successful exchanges and I joined them a couple of times. The only issue I think they ran into is that my motherís work asked her to limit her vacations to no more than two weeks at a time and the folks in Europe wanted at least three weeks, so her opportunities were reduced. Now that we have our own house this is something I hope to do one day in the future.

Lessons learned: be clear in communicating expectations for things like WiFi access, what state to leave the house in, whether you will have cleaning people come before you get home, etc. so there are no surprises at the state of the house when you get home. If you exchange cars, be clear on expectations as well. In one case my father racked up an automatic speeding ticket on a toll road when he got to the next toll booth too quickly, but that was offset by the other party getting a parking ticket with one of my parentsí cars.

AMandM

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 926
Re: Would *really* like to hear from those who do home exchanges
« Reply #14 on: January 04, 2018, 12:35:06 PM »
My sister belongs to homeexchange and has done lots of successful exchanges.  She's gone to NYC, Morocco, Paris, the Outer Banks, all kinds of cool places. It probably helps that she lives in a cool house in a trendy, arty neighbourhood of Montreal.  But she's also stayed in suburban houses outside big cities.  The free accommodation, the extra space, and the amenities (kitchen, play space for the kids) are worth a bit of travel to the downtown attractions.

She says the biggest issue is cleaning--the whole house has to be clean and tidy ("at the same time!" as she put it).

zinnie

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 619
  • Location: Boston
Re: Would *really* like to hear from those who do home exchanges
« Reply #15 on: January 04, 2018, 12:42:21 PM »
I havenít done it yet but someone I met at an mmm meetup recommended Trusted Housesitters. Have been meaning to sign up! I was just going to do it locally first to build up a reputation.

HipGnosis

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1593
Re: Would *really* like to hear from those who do home exchanges
« Reply #16 on: January 04, 2018, 06:33:18 PM »
I did an internet search of 'home exchange review' and got this:
http://sharetraveler.com/best-home-exchange-networks-2017-version/




EconDiva

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1130
Re: Would *really* like to hear from those who do home exchanges
« Reply #17 on: January 05, 2018, 07:51:02 AM »
I did an internet search of 'home exchange review' and got this:
http://sharetraveler.com/best-home-exchange-networks-2017-version/

She's broken down much of the research I had planned on doing since I'm a newbie to home exchanging.

Thanks so much for sharing!!

mikescepaniak

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 53
    • Michael Harry Scepaniak's blog
Re: Would *really* like to hear from those who do home exchanges
« Reply #18 on: August 21, 2018, 03:12:09 PM »
I did an internet search of 'home exchange review' and got this:
http://sharetraveler.com/best-home-exchange-networks-2017-version/

Thanks for posting this. Note that it appears that the author posts a revised version of their article every year.

I've just started looking in to home exchanges/swaps and am finding AlteCocker's writings to be very helpful:
https://altecockertravels.weebly.com/how-to-do-a-home-exchange.html


nkt0

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 216
Re: Would *really* like to hear from those who do home exchanges
« Reply #19 on: August 21, 2018, 03:30:19 PM »
ptf

EconDiva

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1130
Re: Would *really* like to hear from those who do home exchanges
« Reply #20 on: August 22, 2018, 12:15:38 PM »
I did an internet search of 'home exchange review' and got this:
http://sharetraveler.com/best-home-exchange-networks-2017-version/

Thanks for posting this. Note that it appears that the author posts a revised version of their article every year.

I've just started looking in to home exchanges/swaps and am finding AlteCocker's writings to be very helpful:
https://altecockertravels.weebly.com/how-to-do-a-home-exchange.html

Thank you for mentioning this!