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April 15, 2013

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Home Base Holidays

Excellent points - thank you for your comment. I'm sure it is true that doing home swaps does motivate many members to take more care to ensure their homea are kept up to a good standard in the knowledge that home exchange visitors may have high expectations. However, many members would be keeping their homes in equally good condition whether arranging exchanges or not.

It is certainly true that many home exchangers own upmarket homes and that saving money is not generally the prime motivation for doing swaps. However, even amongst the relatively well off, certainly in large cities like London where housing costs are extremely high, a good number of homes offered for swaps are small, modest flats. Although some members with grander homes do want to swap to similar, we find with Home Base Holidays members that many are not particularly bothered by this and will swap with anyone offering a home in the location they want as long as it's big enough to accommodate them.

Thanks again for your comment - a good topic to go into further in a separate blog post as it would be interesting to get feedback from home exchangers from a variety of backgrounds and circumstances.

Mrshobiejoe

Interesting thought, I'm too late to reply to Martha but I found (10) interesting. It all depends where you start from I guess but I wouldn't say that any travelling is going to be easy in tight financial circumstances and given the high expectations of standards by home swappers doing it really cheaply might not work well. Looking around the listings on home exchange sites it's clearly the comfortable middle class who dominate in this area, they are leveraging off their assets. Whilst that keeps costs down it's still not as cheap as say camping in Cornwall unless you have already put a fair investment into your house and are planning on driving to wherever you swap to.

There might well be space for a more budget style but whilst this form of travelling keeps costs down I don't think you should realistically expect to do it on a shoe string. We spend a fair chunk of money every year in painting and upgrading our house and it's doing the house swaps that focuses our minds in doing this- mostly because it gives us a deadline!! Obviously we also benefit from the work we do and the house maintains its value but I do look at our home through critical eyes a lot more than I would if only we had to live there. Looking at the houses we swap to they are generally of a fairly high standard too with no obvious economic constraints. I think I might even argue swapping is more for the family with a big mortgage or a comfortable pension with grand housing plans who likes to stay in the same.

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