Q: I'm interested in doing a house swap via Home Base Holidays. What state does your home need to be in to do this? I know that it needs to be comfortable, liveable and functional (my home is all of these things), furnished (it is that too); however it is also full of my family's personal stuff. To what extent is the property meant to be devoid of this, and what assurance does one have that one's stuff will be safe if it remains? - Gill
A: It's great to hear that you’re interested in home exchanging. Although some members offer second/holiday homes, the vast majority list the home that they live in. Therefore, being real lived-in homes, they will contain furnishings and many personal items. Home exchanging is a mutual agreement between the two sets of members and is based on trust. However, it is always important to contact your home/home content insurance company to make sure you will be covered during the exchange period just on the rare chance that something is damaged. For peace of mind, some members also choose to use a lockable room or take advantage of friends/family nearby to store certain personal items that they would not want available during an exchange (such as a work laptop or items of sentimental value).
Home exchange members will expect to be staying in a real home rather than a generic rental or hotel room. Therefore, just make sure that your home is clean and tidy, you have left some space in wardrobes and drawers for their belongings (they won't likely need a lot of space if swapping for a short period), extra clean bedding and towels are available, your fridge is cleaned (but leave basic foodstuffs like milk, butter, bread). Also put together a welcome pack for your guests to explain how things work, local attractions, recommended restaurants, transport information and emergency numbers.
Here’s a direct link to the Home Base Holidays registration page: www.homebase-hols.com/plans but do get in touch if you have any questions.