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anyone done a house swap?

(6 Posts)
bottle Fri 31-Dec-04 12:19:34

been thinking of doing this would be interested to know how people find it pros and cons and reputable house swappy sites

tallulah Fri 31-Dec-04 18:01:32

I haven't done this as an adult, but my parents used to rent out our house every year (to pay for our holiday). We went on two mutual swaps (us in the house of the people in ours) & one where we went to someone else's house, but not the house of the people in ours (IYSWIM).

The plus is that you don't have to take stuff with you because everything you need is there. Also you tend to be in a residential area so you see the place from an insiders viewpoint. The neighbours were always friendly. We had animals & obviously the people in your house have to look after them- similarly we acquired some temporary pets (the highlight was an aviary of tame finches!).

The minus is that before you go away you have to have the house immaculately clean & tidy in every room. Anything valuable or private or precious has to be put away somewhere safe- locked up or put in the loft or given to a neighbour for safety. Anything left out will be used by the visitors.

I met one lot (I was 16 & didn't want to go away with my parents). They asked me where the flannels were!!! They also wanted to know why there wasn't a daily paper (which the parents had cancelled while we were away!). It was really weird to go into my bedroom & see this other girl in residence.

TBH I couldn't do it myself, as I can't bear the thought of having people in my house (& we'd never get it clean enough in a million years), but my parents never had any trouble. They used to do theirs through a company called Hinloopen & would only rent out to Dutch & German families- never English & certainly never French! HTH

KangaSantaMummy Fri 31-Dec-04 18:21:36

I sort of did this one year we had my cousin live in our coast house for 2 weeks for them to dogsit our labrador and to have a seaside holiday while we went to CANADA.

every thing was fine apart from we had springcleaned everywhere and left fresh flowers in the rooms.

asked her to use the OLD towels {which are blue and white stipes and red ones also they are rather tatty} for the beach.

We also have set of pale blue towels for the bathroom they are a set and luxury ones

anyway when we came home they were showing us the photos and there were ones of them on the beach wrapped up and lying on luxury towels.

she realised but said nothing and I was so shocked I didn't either.

I know it is only something small but I was annoyed.

Also they did not tidy up when they left {they are very very very houseproud} in their house.

She also invited her parents to come down her mum is VERY VERY VERY NOSEY.

A funny thing happened there though my uncle sat in the dogs chair {a very old armchair}, which is very smelly and hairy and old.

Dog has died now

so even with family it is not simple.

I could never do it with strangers, we bought new bedlinen etc for them as well.

bottle Fri 31-Dec-04 19:40:25

sounds a bit of a stress bucket, shame as it could be so cheap, anyone else got a view

jennifersofia Sat 01-Jan-05 22:06:31

Yeah, we have done it loads of times, internationally and in the UK and it has nearly always been a good experience. Really interesting, loads more space, 'new' toys for babbies to play with, can cook own food, much cheaper, go to places wouldn't normally go to, etc.
Downsides - can be stressful getting place tidy while trying to pack - esp first few times when I went all out. Now I just do a basic clean (bathroom, change sheets, hoover) and am really clear with prospective swappers what our level of cleanliness is (eg - moderate). Also just had someone cancel swap at last moment for the first time - a pain as our car hire was non-refundable. However, they did offer to pay us costs.
On the balance, I think they are great!
We do it through NCT for the UK and Intervac for international.

bottle Mon 03-Jan-05 17:28:27

thanks all

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