If you’re looking to take a vacation or visit a new area, you may want to consider if a home swap would be a good option for you and your traveling partners. As opposed to staying in a hotel, hostel, or other type of accommodations, a home swap allows you to stay in someone else’s home while they stay at your home. To help you see if this decision is one that you’re ready for and comfortable with, here are three things to consider when doing a home swap.
Potential Money Saved
For those who have chosen to buy a home in a well traveled area, it likely won’t be hard for you to find someone who’s interested in swapping homes with you for their vacation. Along with this benefit, choosing to do a house swap can save you a lot of money on your lodging while you travel. According to Heather Levin, a contributor to Money Crashers, most home swapping websites charge a monthly membership fee of around $100. In many areas, just a basic hotel room can cost upwards of $100 per night, and likely won’t include things like a full kitchen. So by choosing to do a home swap, you could be saving a lot of money as well as getting a lot more for your money.
Although there can be a lot of benefits to doing a house swap while you’re traveling, there are some potential risks that you must be willing to accept. According to Glenn Ruffenach, a contributor to Market Watch, one of the biggest risks you’re taking is that the person you’re swapping homes with will back out. If this happens, you may have to either cancel your plans as well or find a new place to stay while traveling. Also, doing a home swap means you’re taking the risk of allowing strangers to stay at your home. To mitigate this risk, it’s important that you research the references of your guests before you let them into your home.
Set Clear Terms and Conditions
To give yourself the best chances of having your home swap come out successfully, Nora Dunn, a contributor to Wise Bread, recommends that you and the person you’re swapping homes with create a clear contract with definitive terms and conditions. Some of these terms should include what, if any, money will be exchanged, how you expect your home to be left when your guests leave, and what other amenities will be available for use. If you’re sure to cover all your bases before the home exchange even happens, you can rest easier knowing that you won’t be taken advantage of or shortchanged.
To help you have a great experience with home swapping, consider the tips mentioned above before you setup your first exchange.