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Home Swapping for points instead of with people

by John Mensinger on November 11, 2013

The creative folks at Love Home Swap have come up with a new way to exchange your home. You pledge that your home will be available for a family to use for a specified two week period or long weekend. You are awarded with “swap points” which you can use to book a home that participates in the program. The exchange is not simultaneous; this is a chance to have someone in your home when you are away on a conventional vacation, with relatives, etc.

This is an idea that other home exchange agencies have explored, no one has made it work. Love Home Swap is one of the largest and most sophisticated in the industry so maybe they will succeed.

What do you need to make this work as a homeowner?

1. The ability to pledge your home for specified dates. Easy if you have a second home or a place you can go to for two weeks, such as with your parents, children, or in-laws.

2. Confidence and trust with strangers. Always necessary in home exchange but more so here as you aren’t trading with a particular family. You let family A use your home so you can use the home of family B in the future. Love Home Swap says you have to approve the family you let in your house, which is a good idea.

3. Confidence that you will be able to find an acceptable home where you want to go on your desired vacation dates. Otherwise the points might expire which means you weren’t able to benefit from having folks use your home.

A fundamental problem is that you can’t participate without points but you can’t get points without participation. To overcome this obstacle Love Home Swap has to give points to participants before they have hosted so they can book available homes. They say their staff will review your pledge (and probably your home and its location) and decide if you get points to use before earning them by hosting.

This program won’t work for our family as we must do simultaneous home exchanges. Put more positively, the traditional system of swapping homes works great for us. We like trading with a family, knowing that they are in our house while we are at their place. We get to know them through the negotiation and by living in their home. This leads to friendships and mutual understanding—not so likely with “swap points.”

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 JP February 16, 2017 at 12:12 PM

Love Home Swap is a scam. They just tricked me into paying an exorbitant annual membership fee I never agreed to. Their staff member, Ester Sanchez del Rio, has been most unhelpful.

There are many better options for home exchanges I’m sure.

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