In a previous post I talked about our family looking for a house exchange in England. This was challenging for several reasons:
1) The location had to be within two hours of my wife’s relatives.
2) Dates were fixed—we had booked our airline tickets.
3) Only six months lead time. This seems sufficient but trans-Atlantic exchanges are often agreed to nine months or more in advance.
Given these problems we contacted over 100 different families at HomeExchange.com, HomeforExchange.com, HomeLink, Home Base Holidays, and Love Home Swap. More than half were quick to politely decline—they weren’t interested in the location, the dates didn’t work, or they had made other plans. Several said they would consider an exchange in the future. This could work out because we visit the relatives every year.
We had two positive responses from Home Base Holidays. They are ideal for locating home exchanges in England, as half their members are British. The two potential partners were new to house swapping, easy to find using the “most recent listings” search. This is a happy hunting ground because the families are not already taken. A disadvantage to new listings is they may have incomplete information—not enough photos and descriptions. We didn’t let this discourage us, we contacted them anyway. Our two potential partners were quick to furnish additional photos and information. We ended up with a lovely house in London, less than 15 minutes by train from Waterloo Station.
We are looking forward to exploring and experiencing London this summer from the comfort of home.