Many of us would imagine a seaside apartment, a cliff top characterful timber framed house or a ski slope side chalet when we are asked to describe a typical holiday home. Perhaps this is because we have in our minds the type of places we personally would like to escape to from our own day to day routines in the UK. So just because we are desperate to leave behind quaint village life or the bright lights of the city for a Caribbean beach shack, we shouldn’t discount the fact that just as we dream of our ideal holiday destinations, someone out there across the pond might be dreaming of escaping to a home just like yours. If you’ve been thinking how much you’d like to spend some time in the South of France, why wouldn’t a French homeowner dream about all a house swap London could offer them, particularly with the 2012 Olympics just around the corner?
Share and Swap Alike
The concept of home swapping has been around for decades now, but has usually been limited to those lucky enough to have family or friends that they can trust living or owning a second home some distance away. A new web service, Love Home Swap allows home owners to make the most of their social networks such as Facebook to find people they know who may be living somewhere abroad, and would consider a home swap for a week or two. Outside of their personal social network, homeowners using the on line home swapping service can build virtual friendships and a level of trust with fellow homeowners on Love Home Swap’s interactive website and messaging service. Because Love Home Swap members must pay a subscription to the site, only those truly serious about offering their own homes in exchange for a stay in someone else’s property are going to be online. Better still, Love Home Swap formalise the procedure with a signed home swapping agreement between the parties prior to any travel arrangements being made, so homeowners can feel safe that they are protected and supported by a written agreement if anything goes wrong during the swap.
From Brighton to Barbados
Not only does home swapping allow home owners to build friendships and to see new parts of the world from a more personalised viewpoint, it can also be a fantastic way to make savings on the annual family holiday. A family of 5 could make huge savings on their yearly get-away, as taking part in a house swap eliminates accommodation costs. For some families, this can make the difference between being able to afford a flight abroad, so anyone with a home fit for swapping could find they’re ready to upgrade their holiday from a week in Brighton to 14 days of sun in Barbados.
Long term holiday homes
Long term, home swapping is a good way for homeowners to dabble in and practice the art of letting their property as a holiday home full time. For first time landlords, or anyone finding themselves suddenly lumbered with a property, the thought of letting straight away can be a little daunting, especially short term letting. Using a supportive home swapping scheme is a great way to ease into the process of long term holiday letting, which could turn what was once a necessity investment in to a profitable asset that allows a further step on to the property ladder or towards starting a property portfolio.