One way of taking advantage of the value in your home is to save money by using it as a holiday destination. Not for you of course, but for someone else!
Home exchange is an increasingly popular and flexible way of cost-effectively securing suitable holiday accommodation that might otherwise have been prohibitively expensive to rent. Using one of several reputable home exchange websites, you can offer your home to people anywhere in the world who are also interested in swapping their home for a break in the UK.
For example, someone in California might be interested in swapping with your home in Chelmsford for a couple of weeks in the summer – at no cost, other than air fares of course. Many people even include their car in the swap, subject to insurances, and some even their pets, which certainly saves kennelling fees!
The obvious question is one of security, but according to www.HomeExchange.com, in fourteen years and tens of thousands of exchanges, they have never had a report of a theft or vandalism.
And don’t be worried about “Having a Stranger in Your House”. Think of home exchange as internet dating for your home. Before you would actually go on a date with someone you met on the internet, you would exchange some emails, talk on the phone/Skype a few times, and swap recent photos. By the time you agreed to meet, it wouldn’t be with a “stranger”. You wouldn’t go on a date if you didn’t feel a connection, and the same goes for a home exchange.
Whilst the cost saving is attractive, many swappers say that the greatest benefits include the value of experiencing an area like a local rather than a tourist and having the comfort of being in a home rather than a cramped hotel room or sparsely furnished rental property. AND, you get a free house-sitter whilst you’re away. Plus, unlike AirBNB, as no money changes hands, the arrangement is highly tax efficient.
“You stay in my house while I stay in yours.” Worth a thought.