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September 08, 2018


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Excellent Post! Thanks for sharing this interesting information.

Lois, Home Base Holidays

Thank you, Janice. Your detailed feedback on your experiences is very valuable as it shows that, although it's possible to arrange a successful non-simultaneous home swap, good communication is even more important than with a much more common simultaneous swap.

I hope you would be happy for us to publish your comment as a separate post some time soon so that more people, perhaps considering a non-simultaneous exchange (possibly combined with house sitting as you have done) for the first time, will understand the finer points on how to ensure it works for everyone involved.

Thanks again for your thoughtful comment.

Janice Barrett

We recently arranged a non-sim exchange and it seemed to work well, but took a lot of communication and liaison.
We arranged to exchange our holiday home in France with another person's holiday home in Portugal. So far, so good. Since we are not at our holiday home all the time, the options were left open for dates. Then we were approached by an Australian couple to exchange our English home with their New South Wales home. We wrote back to say that we did not want to make the journey over there but that if they were still struggling in a few months, they could get back to us for house-sitting whilst we were in Portugal. So they did.
We set our dates for going to Portugal, based on the time the Aussies wanted our English place (are you keeping up?). We jiggled the dates a bit and got everything to coincide. The Aussies also wanted to be able to have their English friends over to stay in our place for a few nights. We checked everything out and ok'd it.
So we went to Porto whilst the Aussies stayed in our English home, meaning our house was not left unattended for a few weeks. We didn't meet them as they arrived after we left, and then they left our place the day we got back.
The Portugal holiday home was fab and we knew our English home was being looked after - we kept in touch, sending photos and chatty emails over the period. The lady who owned the Portugal home has yet to stay in our holiday home in France - she would like to do this next year, so we are flexible - after all, we have already stayed in her place for free!
So in fact, we combined non-sim exchange and house-sitting, which, with lots of communication, worked out well (so far!).
We have had people house-sit before when we have been visiting rellies overseas - always meaning to keep their place 'on the back burner' for a future exchange, but never got round to it. Since house insurance is invalid if the property is unoccupied after 30 days (on most policies), it makes sense to have someone there. A property is much less likely to be broken into if there is someone in the house, they say.
This is what I like about this home exchange company - there is enough flexibility to allow people to exchange sim/non-sim, house-sit, pet-sit, rent, etc etc. As long as there is lots of communication and everyone knows exactly what's expected, it should work fine. I'd not recommend it to inexperienced exchangers or large groups, but it has worked for us a few times and everyone involved seems to have been happy. Just keep up the lines of communication before and during the exchange, make sure you are friendly and professional, read homeswap reports, take advice, check with your house insurance people, and be respectful of the property you are in!

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