Q: My wife and I are planning a two year working contract in the UK, starting around about April next year and are wondering if anyone living in or around London, might be looking for a long term house exchange. We own and live in a lovely three bedroom house (with many features) in a secure golf estate in Harare Zimbabwe. - Bob
A: Your home sounds lovely and I’m sure you would find interest in an exchange; however, longer swaps or sabbaticals, especially as long as two years, aren’t so common as shorter, holiday length swaps. As Home Base Holidays is based in London, we have a very large choice of exchange offers in and around the city so please check for long term offers that might suit your needs. Click here to access the main search page.
Under ‘Browse Listings’ on the left side, choose Europe and then England from the drop-down lists. Under Regions, select London. Then, under Type of Exchange, tick the box beside Long Term Exchange. You will see the offers on the right-hand side. Click View Details in any listing to see the full offer and dates/destinations (note: many members are ‘open to offers’ on destination). Repeat the search, choosing (one at a time) counties surrounding London – Essex, Surrey, Hertfordshire, Kent, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Middlesex – many homes in the 'home' counties will be near good public transport links, and so easily accessible, to London.
Try to be as open and flexible as you can be when looking for long term exchanges. If you can't arrange an exchange to cover the full two year period, consider arranging more than one shorter exchange, and filling any gaps in dates with short term rental. Although generally the preference will be to be settled in one home and area for the full period, if this isn't possible, arranging one or two exchanges will give you the chance to experience different homes and areas while you are in the UK.
As you need an exchange from next April, it would be a very good idea to list your own offer on Home Base Holidays now so that it is available on the site and you can start contacting members to suggest a swap.