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Anyone had any experience of house swapping?

(10 Posts)
pinkmamma Mon 08-Aug-05 08:23:26

Thinking of joining up with homelink, just wondering if anyone had tried them or experienced houseswapping.

mumfor1sttime Mon 08-Aug-05 08:42:55

Hi, have put myself on homeswap website, but only few months ago, I just keep checking website to see if anything new is on there. Think its worthwile- cant lose anything can you?!
I used to live in a 3 bed maisonette on 3rd floor, a council place, I tried to get out for 7 years(I had no children then), found someone who had two bed house and she was willing to exchange(this was through the council),but she let me down at last minute, I had even packed.We eventually got a HA 2 bed which the council put us forward for. My only advise would be to keep pushing for what you want and dont give up.

pinkmamma Mon 08-Aug-05 08:45:37

Hi there - thanks for reply - I think we are talking about different things though - I am looking to do a houseswap holiday - exchange houses for a long weekend or a week or so!

mumfor1sttime Mon 08-Aug-05 08:46:53

Ah I was just thinking that as I read my reply! ha ha

pinkmamma Mon 08-Aug-05 20:41:15

bump...

polly28 Tue 09-Aug-05 00:48:24

Yes ,we did a swap about 4-5 years ago to florida.It was really good eventhough I nearly had a breakdown cleaning my house in preparation for it.Unfortunatley the house we went to was not so clean which made me want to run to a hotel.However after a thorough clean up the house was fine and it saved us a fortune.
we did meet the americans at orlando airport and they did look suspiciously like "jerry springer folk".
Also swapped cars ,ours was pranged as they were unused to small roads .They had it fixed and we couldn't tell anything had been done but be aware if they aren't used to driving here as it's a lot harder to drive here as a visitor than in the US .

I would do it again but I would be pickier about the house ie.talk about cleaning in the emails just to suus out their attitude.

I have friends who have never had a bad experience.

pinkmamma Tue 09-Aug-05 07:55:39

Eew! Bad luck on the unclean house, got to say I would not fancy that at all. Did you do it through Homelink.org - gotta say most of the houses on there look pretty good, some are amazing. Thanks for the advice anyway

polly28 Wed 10-Aug-05 01:31:39

It was homebase.co.uk.

it was fairly cheap to sign up at the time(£30.00)

jennifersofia Thu 11-Aug-05 19:02:19

We are on one at the moment - in San Sebastien northern Spain (fab place). We have done it for about 3 years now and have done about 7 swaps in the UK, France and now Spain. It has been brilliant and I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone. Our house has always been left in great condition, places we have been to have been on the whole, great. This place, for instance, is 20 min walk to centre of town and beach, a 3 bed place with great view and nice inside (and cleaner than my house,incidentally - though I did give it a real going over before we left). There has only been one place that I would actually describe as dirty, but even so, it was a great house in a good location in Toulouse. After a quick clean through it was fine. All other places I have only had to clean when we left!
For us it enables us to stay in nicer places than we would otherwise, but more than that, it is very interesting to stay in a more residential area of town and get an insider´s view on how people in other cultures live their lives. It is also great if you can manage to swap with people with children the same age as your own because then you have an in built toy cache and you don´t have to bring your own! (Not to mention things like highchairs and cots!)
I could go on and on, but won´t bore you. We have belonged to Homelink, and Intervac, both international companies. Now we only belong to Intervac as we have had much better luck with them and there seemed to be more family aged people rather than retirees. They both cost about 100 pounds per year, which is well worth it if you do one weekend swap to Paris, for instance, you save a load just on that. We also belong to the NCT homeswap, which is cheaper and is UK based, and only for families. We find this one best for the UK.
If you have any further questions, email me at jennifer'at'lesage.co.uk (can´t make the 'at' symbol on this computer)

pinkmamma Fri 12-Aug-05 13:41:29

Oh thats great to hear of positive experiences. I noticed intervac don't seem to have as many available swaps on their website compared to homelink? Did you find this the case?
Anyhow I may join NCT to start with. Thanks

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