Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions by home-swappers
Frequently asked questions
Do you have any top tips for successful house swapping?
There are plenty of things you can do to make your swapping experience as good as possible. Here's a few tips –
- Spend time on your matchinghouses.com listing. The more time you spend making your property look amazing, the less time you'll spend searching
- Key to this are god photos of your home. You know yourself that what will attract you to a particular property is the pictures you gave seen. You can upload pictures when you create your listing, but add others later in response to the enquiries you are receiving
- Keep an open mind. You might have a clear idea about where and when you want to go, but sometimes being a bit adventurous can really pay off and give you an unforgettable experience
- Make sure you have it all as nailed down as possible before you start your trip. The best way to do this is by being in close contact with the person at the other end. Communication is key – you might send each other 10 to 20 messages through the site, as well as contacting each other by phone. We all know as disabled people that the best holidays are the ones where everything is as we want it to be
- Leave your own home in the state you hope to find the home to which you are travelling. Leave it clean and tidy, and maybe even lave a welcoming message, and make sure it is stocked up with the basics. There's nothing better than feeling welcomed when you arrive
- It is very rare, say experts in the industry, that any possessions you leave in your home are lost or stolen. However if there are things that you really would not wish to be broken or damaged then why not lock them away in a safe place, just to be on the safe side.
How do people contact each other to arrange their swap?
Members contact each other about home exchanges through the messaging system within the matchinghouses.com website. One of the key issues our members have encountered is that it is very frustrating to not receive a reply to a swap request. Please respond all swap requests and messages, even if the swap request is not of interest to you. Honesty is the best policy!
When you've started a conversation via matchinghouses.com it's a very good idea to make time to speak on the phone, or via Skype. There's nothing better than actually talking to the other person to make sure the property is right for you, and it's great to speak to the other person to get a good idea of where you're going.
How far in advance do I need to arrange the swap?
Some people arrange them just a few weeks before they set off. However, the further ahead you plan, the more likely you are to find a suitable holiday home.
What about our house keys?
Just leave them with a friendly neighbour and tell your swap partner where they are. Alternatively get a spare key cut and post it to them.
Can you exchange homes if you live in rented property?
Yes, provided your landlord agrees. Most landlords would rather have their property occupied than standing empty.
What about car insurance?
Your policy may allow you to add a named driver, although some do exclude foreign licence holders. Check with your insurer.
Will our house insurance still be valid?
Usually, because it’s no different to having friends to stay when you’re away. And of course there’s less chance that your place will be burgled.
For extra peace of mind you should talk to your home insurer before your trip to make sure you're covered while you swap and to give yourself a chance to take out any extra cover, if you need it.
I live in an apartment. Will that put off some home-swappers?
It shouldn’t. Many people are just as keen to stay in an apartment as in a house.