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October 11, 2008

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Lois

Hobiej & Cathy

Thank you both for your very thoughtful comments, written from the prospective of experienced exchangers. This will be very reassuring to M who is new to swapping homes (but also very enthusiastic about the idea and enjoying corresponding with other Home Base Holidays members). It's understandable that she would have some initial concerns, coming from the holiday rental business where transactions are commercial (thus the need for security deposits) rather than personal and built on trust between those taking part as happens in a home exchange.

Cheers
Lois

Cathy

I would not go this route, we are off on our eighth exchange at the end of the month to the Cotswolds and never has this arisen. All our exchanges have been built on trust which is what home exchange is about. I make it a point not to exchange our home for a second/holiday house as I think it is important to exchange like-for-like and I am offering our home and all that goes to make it a home and expect the same in return. A holiday house is a totally different scenario to a 'home' and whilst I agree if one is renting a holiday house then a bond or security deposit maybe appropriate however exchanging should be done on trust and I am sure we are not the only people who have built lasting friendships with our exchangees which have developed through the trust we have shared.

I believe it is very apparent from the moment one walks into the exchange house whether it is as you expected and what was given in the details - if it was not I would have no hesitation in getting a friend to go and ask the exchangers to leave our home and we would leave their home. However I really can't see this coming up if the rapport is built up during the time of accepting the exchange and it taking place - another reason to keep the emails going during that time, it would also be apparent by the emails if you were both on 'different wave-lengths'.

Our home exchanging has changed our lives - I love the fact of not knowing where our next holiday is going to be until an email pops up with the subject 'would you like to exchange....' or when we think we might like to go somewhere sitting down at the computer scrolling through to see what is on offer... I can't imagine holidaying any other way. As well as the Cotswolds exchange at the end of the month we also have another confirmed for Ottawa in February 2009 as for the rest of 2009 who knows!!!

Kind regards

Cathy

Hobiej

Hmmm, I think Nicole Feist did a piece on this a while back. From memory she refused to do a swap with someone who asked for a security deposit.

I think that most people would do the same ie refuse to swap because it suggests that someone isn't very comfortable with the arrangements. The thing is this is a club not a financial transaction. The whole operation runs on trust.

I've said before that I'm not interested in going to swap houses that are rented out as holiday lets too. For me the fact that we are exchanging with a family's HOME (whether it be their first or second home) matters a lot.

I suggest that this exchanger trys the system before she asks for a deposit. See if by corresponding with people she can get to the stage where she is comfortable without asking for a deposit. To be honest people could do SO much more than £200 worth of damage once they have you car and home. But they don't, it is a very different experience to renting and shouldn't be compared. People tend to be very careful with the swap house- more so than with their own home. Remember that in swapping you can choose you you whereas in renting you usually take whoever comes along.

However she should be realistic and expect that the occassional plate could get broken. We have had some low level breakages and broken a couple of plates ourselves (we have a couple of young kids). She should aim to swap with a family similar to hers- eg if she is a member of a couple swap with a couple not a family. She should also understand that if she is swapping her holiday rental she might be more comfortable in another holiday rental rather than amongst someones main home and their personal collection of fine art.

I strongly recommend that she swaps with experienced exchangers too the first time round, they should be able to help reassure her.

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