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So who has actually done homeswap holidays? Tell me about it please...

(17 Posts)
WilfSell Wed 23-Jul-08 14:08:08

...read about this on another thread. Think it's a really good idea. Not sure anyone in, oh, south of France or Australia will really want to come to Staffordshire, but we do live in quite a good spot.

I'd be very interested to hear of actual experiences, good and bad. Please. Thankyou.

Hey. Just a thought: is there a MN homeswap thingy?

brimfull Wed 23-Jul-08 14:12:18

have done it to florida

was brilliant

we swapped cars as well

it was a pita cleaning the house before hand but worth it.

I arranged for friends to pick them up from the airport and they did the same.

They had all the stuff you need for kids,bikes,pool,playstation,toys etc.

Also invaluable local info about where to go and not to go.

We used homebase.co.uk as it was the cheapest to join.

cthea Wed 23-Jul-08 14:17:46

The NCT also have a register. It's about £30 to join (one-off? per year? I don't know).

WilfSell Wed 23-Jul-08 15:46:53

Thanks - do you have to put lots of stuff away in storage somehow? Can you only do it if you have a really fab house in great location?!

Anyone else got experiences?

Anyone swapped in the UK?

WilfSell Wed 23-Jul-08 16:06:00

You don't actually mean homebase.co.uk though do you ggirl since the only swaps they do are for faulty lawnmowers and paint in the wrong shade...

Any better offers of good sites? grin

moondog Wed 23-Jul-08 16:11:02

www.homeexchange.com looksgood.
Guardianhasa site too.
Idida swap last year with an Mner *London-North Wales_and it was great.

WilfSell Wed 23-Jul-08 16:17:43

Moondog, did you just organise through the normal MN boards then?

Hmmm, maybe I could advertise...

I slightly dread the kind of shape I'd have to get the house in though. Maybe it would work for a long weekend first.

whippet Wed 23-Jul-08 16:18:06

Yes! Did one to California last year.
We live quite close to London and the family wanted to 'do' the sights etc.

We locked all 'unavailable' stuff in one spare room.

Their house was fab - huge, with pool etc. Didn't want to come home!

Both we and the other family are doing another one this summer, so it must have been deemed a success!!

we used HomeforExchange.com

whippet Wed 23-Jul-08 16:20:44

Wilf - you'd be surprised at who wants to visit - especially expat retirees from Australia, S.Africa, NZ/ USA who want to come back to see grandchildren etc!

Mind, we did have some awful requests like "here's my filthy one-bedroomed flat with cockroches in central San Paolo - can we swap for your luxury executive home???"

Er..... no....

WilfSell Wed 23-Jul-08 16:24:58

Whippet, I might pick your brain again if you don't mind... see that's what I think people will think of mine. OK, it's quite a big house and garden is lovely and it is near lots of things to do but I can't promise no teeny bits of weetabix in the carpet or a full on power-showered wet room etc... I'm not sure I'll be able to compete.

Are the houses all fabola?

moondog Wed 23-Jul-08 16:39:11

Wilf, arranged through MN. CD wastrying to set up formal MNswapping scenewhich isagreat idea.

whippet Wed 23-Jul-08 16:46:33

No - not all the houses are fabulous by any means!

To be honest I think there is a fair amount of 'self-sorting' goes on so, e.g. people seem to judge houses suitable for swapping based on similar sq ft/ no. of rooms, and assess the 'type' of people based on occupations/interests. I know that sounds HIGHLY judgemental, but it's all people have to go on, and in our case it seems to have worked really well. You soon get a sense whether the potential swapees are 'people like you' or not!

There are lots of very modest houses up for swapping. However I think it's fair to say don't expect to swap a 2-bed-semi for a luxury palace somewhere.

It's worth searching your exact county/town in the free search to see if there is anyone who specifically wants to come to your area for some reason.

Lots of the people who e-mailed us were coming for a wedding, or to visit family etc.

I think you do need to leave your house clean and tidy though, and that was the worst part for me. If you can afford it, it's worth geting one of those companies who will come in and deep clean for you just before grin.

I tell you what though, it's a good excuse and reason to get rid of clutter and get all those jobs that your DH has been putting off done. hmm

brimfull Wed 23-Jul-08 17:09:18

www.homebase-hols.com/

whippet Wed 23-Jul-08 17:32:59

Wilf - 6 people from AUS/ NZ want to come to Staffordshire!

Here!

We did it through Intervac with a American family for 3 weeks- left cars for each other at airports, locked up one cupboard of treasures, made sure the rest was insured.

Worst thing- the major house clean beforehand- even though we had a mutual no-excessive cleaning agreement!

Best thing- landing straight into a community- loads of advice as to where how to travel to local places, a houseful of books and toys etc. Children were out playing/baking cookies with neighbours within minutes of arrival.

It was a very positive experience, we will do it again as soon as the builders have finished knocking down walls here. We have stayed friends with the people we swopped with, and their neighbours across the road.

WilfSell Wed 23-Jul-08 18:57:29

blimey Whippet, how exciting.

Might try it with someone in the UK first. Now just have to persuade the DH...

WilfSell Wed 23-Jul-08 19:37:18

bumping for the evening shift

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