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House Swap US-UK

House Swap US-UK

Old Mar 22nd 2009, 11:03 am
  #1  
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Default House Swap US-UK

Having at look-see at doing this all next summer.
Seems pretty popular with Oz, Canada, etc.
Somewhat less with the US (probably Bush's fault).

Anyone looked into it, or done it even?

Have found these so far & dug around already, am looking for suggestions or experience of thems having done it.
Or is there one which is better for UK-US swaps?

Taverymuch.

http://www.homeexchange.com/view_lis...ountry=England
http://www.homelink-usa.com/
http://www.homebase-hols.com/news.shtml
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Old Mar 22nd 2009, 11:21 am
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Default Re: House Swap US-UK

I don't think i could ever do that.
I would feel well dodgy about someone living in my house while i was away , even though i would be living in theirs.
Not that anybody would want to live in my dump anyway
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Old Mar 22nd 2009, 3:13 pm
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Default Re: House Swap US-UK

Originally Posted by Xebedee View Post
Anyone looked into it, or done it even?

Have found these so far & dug around already, am looking for suggestions or experience of thems having done it.
friends of ours here in NJ did a house swap with a family in Galway, Ireland last summer and had a good experience. No idea how they arranged it.
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Old Mar 22nd 2009, 4:27 pm
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Default Re: House Swap US-UK

Originally Posted by Xebedee View Post
Having at look-see at doing this all next summer.
Seems pretty popular with Oz, Canada, etc.
Somewhat less with the US (probably Bush's fault).

Anyone looked into it, or done it even?

Have found these so far & dug around already, am looking for suggestions or experience of thems having done it.
Or is there one which is better for UK-US swaps?

Taverymuch.

http://www.homeexchange.com/view_lis...ountry=England
http://www.homelink-usa.com/
http://www.homebase-hols.com/news.shtml
There used to be a show, I think on HGTV, that covered people doing this, it was very popular. Lots of house swaps between families in UK with US families, I think I would consider doing this, but would have to do it through some sort of agency.
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Old Mar 22nd 2009, 4:40 pm
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Default Re: House Swap US-UK

Originally Posted by Xebedee View Post
Having at look-see at doing this all next summer.
Seems pretty popular with Oz, Canada, etc.
Somewhat less with the US (probably Bush's fault).

Anyone looked into it, or done it even?

Have found these so far & dug around already, am looking for suggestions or experience of thems having done it.
Or is there one which is better for UK-US swaps?

Taverymuch.

http://www.homeexchange.com/view_lis...ountry=England
http://www.homelink-usa.com/
http://www.homebase-hols.com/news.shtml
For the past 12+ years, a friend of mine and her family have arranged all their holidays via house swaps through sites such as these. They have been to some fantastic places and have never had a problem.

I myself have done numerous house swaps and house-sittings, but only with friends.

Obviously it requires a degree of trust and lots of preparation (ensuring that the house is child-proof and 'user-friendly', and securing valuables and sensitive documents etc).

And gut instinct is a wonderful "maybe-this-won't work" detector!
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Old Mar 22nd 2009, 8:00 pm
  #6  
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Default Re: House Swap US-UK

There was a thread on this a few months back when someone was looking into it.
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Old Mar 22nd 2009, 8:31 pm
  #7  
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Default Re: House Swap US-UK

We have done it, and it's a great way to get free holidays all over the world! We can't travel too far with young children, but we've had numerous offers from Oz, Africa, South America, etc. Plus we always try and swap with somebody with similar age children, which is great as it means we don't need to take lots of stuff i.e. toys, cot, pushchair, etc, with us.

If you want to stay in a home rather than a hotel, and want to save the cost of accommodation and car hire, then I highly recommend it. You just need to make sure that you get a good legal agreement in place (most of the websites have their own for you to download and sign) and exchange lots of emails/phone calls prior to the swap to get to know the people who will be staying in your home and make sure you are happy with them.

We use www.homeforexchange.com

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Old Mar 22nd 2009, 8:45 pm
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Default Re: House Swap US-UK

Originally Posted by christmasoompa View Post
We have done it, and it's a great way to get free holidays all over the world! We can't travel too far with young children, but we've had numerous offers from Oz, Africa, South America, etc. Plus we always try and swap with somebody with similar age children, which is great as it means we don't need to take lots of stuff i.e. toys, cot, pushchair, etc, with us.

If you want to stay in a home rather than a hotel, and want to save the cost of accommodation and car hire, then I highly recommend it. You just need to make sure that you get a good legal agreement in place (most of the websites have their own for you to download and sign) and exchange lots of emails/phone calls prior to the swap to get to know the people who will be staying in your home and make sure you are happy with them.

We use www.homeforexchange.com

Problem is, this it the US and unless they've got visa's or USC's, it's pretty much a no goer, perhaps 6 month stint for retired folks who are loaded but that'll be about it.
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Old Mar 22nd 2009, 8:47 pm
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Default Re: House Swap US-UK

Originally Posted by Bob View Post
Problem is, this it the US and unless they've got visa's or USC's, it's pretty much a no goer, perhaps 6 month stint for retired folks who are loaded but that'll be about it.
What is your reasoning, Bob? My friend has done several swaps in the US, using the VWP - never had any problems...
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Old Mar 22nd 2009, 9:20 pm
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Default Re: House Swap US-UK

If you don't feel you want to go as far as house swapping then this might be something of interest

http://joomla.servas.org/

We belonged to Servas when we lived in the UK and we had people from all over the world come and stay with us.
We didn't travel with them as our children were small and so we just chose to be a host family.

We were interviewed and vetted etc but I don't think the travellers are checked out.

It used to be that each stay could only be for two nights and you were expected to spend one evening with the host family exchanging information about your country etc.
Ideally the travellers were meant to spend their time with their hosts, learning about life in their country but in reality most people are more interested in seeing the sights.

At the hosts discretion the two night stay can be extended.

If you have small children the constant moving around would be a hassle but it is a really good way to see another country ...cheaply.
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Old Mar 22nd 2009, 9:42 pm
  #11  
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Default Re: House Swap US-UK

Mmmmm

Thanks for the info so far you lot.
Ours is a pretty humble place, its not some 5 bdrm mansion but we're central to some pretty cool holiday stuff, so I think it'll be ok to find a family willing to trade.

The sticking point will be the length of stay, but maybe it'll be a part-swap holiday. Thats cool.

As for the visa thing that Bob the mod mentioned, I think you can get up to 3 months here on vwp. Not too sure really.

Anyway, thanks - the legal agreement thing is a deffo. I'd think.

Question: Have you included the use of cars & how much of your junk did you leave in the place? Did you use a "pos" type storage whilst away?.

Cheersncheers.
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Old Mar 22nd 2009, 9:53 pm
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Default Re: House Swap US-UK

Originally Posted by Xebedee View Post
Having at look-see at doing this all next summer.
Seems pretty popular with Oz, Canada, etc.
Somewhat less with the US (probably Bush's fault).

Anyone looked into it, or done it even?

Have found these so far & dug around already, am looking for suggestions or experience of thems having done it.
Or is there one which is better for UK-US swaps?

Taverymuch.

http://www.homeexchange.com/view_lis...ountry=England
http://www.homelink-usa.com/
http://www.homebase-hols.com/news.shtml
I am actually considering it. It would be a perfect solution for me actually. I want to go back to England, but don't want to sell our house, we have put a lot into it.
So, I am pretty sure that as soon as I get my citizenship interview over with I will be putting our house on the house swap list. Then I will sit back and see what happens.
I don't know if many people want to live in the Virginia countryside, but it's great where we are, half an hour from towns and shops, but far enough way to be surrounded by farmland etc. We have 3 wooded acres and we love the house. I would just want to find someone who would at least take care of the place, as I would theirs.
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Old Mar 22nd 2009, 11:34 pm
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Default Re: House Swap US-UK

We did some house swaps when we lived in the UK. We had vacations in Germany, Holland and France. They all turned out fine. Sometimes it involves looking after the family pet, but that is usually mentioned if it is required or not. We did the swaps through Intervac.
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Old Mar 23rd 2009, 2:47 am
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Default Re: House Swap US-UK

Originally Posted by Elvira View Post
What is your reasoning, Bob? My friend has done several swaps in the US, using the VWP - never had any problems...
less than 90 days just seems not worth the hassle, especially if one has kids...
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Old Mar 23rd 2009, 8:11 am
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Default Re: House Swap US-UK

Originally Posted by Bob View Post
less than 90 days just seems not worth the hassle, especially if one has kids...
What hassle? You just pack up and leave, same as you would do for a normal holiday. It's actually less hassle as you have less to pack and don't have to worry about things like taking pets to a petsitter.

Most people only want a week or two, just like any normal holiday - the longest we have done was 2 weeks.
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