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Home Exchange Anxiety... by IVHE Member

Our home swap to Florida

Pensacola Beach Exchange

The pleasures and advantages of home exchanging have been well documented but despite the clear benefits, many are still leery of the practice. We have been home exchanging for 25 years yet the concern from friends and acquaintances remains the same. It boils down to fear.

Great IVHE swap to Puerto Rico
People are afraid of going to an unfamiliar home, in an unfamiliar or even foreign place. People are even anxious about those who may be staying in their home. We have certainly experienced those feelings, so we have learned how to dispel the anxieties. Here we will specifically address going to someone else’s home.

First, you know the location, so do some further research. With Google Earth, it’s not difficult to pinpoint the home swap and its surroundings. You don’t have to depend on a possibly biased owner reporting their neighborhood is only “minutes from town” (beach, mall, etc.). You can verify the information. 
Our home exchange to Colorado

Secondly, there is the fear that you will arrive, possibly after dark, to a home you cannot gain access to. That key that was supposed to be
in the planter? Not there. Short of breaking in, you fear you will have to find a hotel for the night or even the week! In 25 years of home exchanging, this has never happened to us. Yes, the key wasn’t where it was supposed to be, but there are many solutions to this. Many times the home swap is in a development with an office. Be sure this office has been advised you will be in the property, and has your name on file. Even better if you have a name of an on-site employee who knows you are coming.

 If the residence is in a neighborhood or building, have the name and phone number of a neighbor who can let you in - often owners have given a key to someone nearby to pick up mail, water plants, check on the place while they are gone, frequently being absent longer than your planned stay. Another common tactic is to provide the phone number of a relative who lives in the same town and can similarly assist you. We have often been greeted on arrival by a friendly face bearing food for breakfast (since often you arrive after stores are closed, it’s a nice touch, but that’s another blog).

IVHE swap to Puerto Rico
There are other fears to address such as what if the residence is not as advertised, but space dictates we stop here. I’ll give you a hint: be flexible, you probably think your house is wonderful too, oh yeah, but sometimes
the plumbing is tricky…

By Tricia Noto owner of property 185

 Home exchanging is a fabulous way to save lots of money and to become immersed in other cultures and explore new corners of the world. It really is very easy! For more information on exchanges please visit to see a stunning selection of properties available for home exchange.


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