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Roger Apr 14th, 2002 05:55 PM have good or bad experinces with Home Exchange .com to relate?
I wondered about which has a very large list of home exchanges and does not charge if you are contacting someone on the list. Does anyone have any experience with this exact company I wrote to some people who have homes listed and have gotten responses and wondered now if anyone here has had good or bad things to say about contacts through that<BR><BR><BR>

topper Apr 15th, 2002 10:26 PM

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sss Apr 16th, 2002 05:31 AM

Hi Roger look up family there was a post last week about what families expect to spend on holiday.One person Ellen said she swamped homes with someone in England. She liked it said they are in your home at the same taking the same risk you did.<BR><BR>I can tell you about a friend who swapped with and the phone bill was run up to $350. They also had numerous people in the area coming over to visit. I don't know if they did this through a legitimate vacation swap broker. The swap was NYC with Cairo. Cairo got the raw end of the deal in terms of what I just spoke about.

sss Apr 16th, 2002 05:32 AM

this also might be a better question for the European thread.

Margaret Apr 21st, 2002 08:58 PM

Home exchanges occur all the time between US residents too. I have done it and most of the time it has worked fine. However you ask about the company in particular and with THEM I had problems. We were in correspondence for quite a long time period with someone listed there who has a place in Oregon and after many email exchanges about the details of our exchange last year she suddenly stopped replying to email just a few weeks before our scheduled exchange. And she never did reply to email after that so here we had planned this trip for months and suddenly were left in the lurch. It was too late to change plans or exchange with anyone else so we were stuck having to pay large motel bills and having a very nice empty house back home. So be aware that some people there are flakes and rude.

Ellen Apr 22nd, 2002 05:43 AM

Hi, I'm the person who exchanged my home in Boston for one in London last year. <BR><BR>I registered with, but got only one response to my listing and no responses to the e-mails I sent out. Thank goodness I had also registered with HomeLink, which requires payment and is also one of the largest and oldest companies.<BR><BR>The older home exchange companies, like HomeLink and Intervac, started out decades ago printing periodic "hard copy" catalogues of exchangers (some still do) and now also post info on the web. HomeLink has staggered fees: You pay less to just have web info posted, more to be in the print catalogue (makes sense!). Being in print gives you access to people who don't have an internet connection, which can be a substantial portion of the population in many places.<BR><BR>Margaret, I'm sorry you had someone back out on you. I suspect that this is less likely to happen through the paid sites, where there will be fewer people who are just listing for a lark rather than being serious about exchanging. My London family, who were experienced exchangers, went through with our exchange even though one of their children was hospitalized just before the scheduled exchange: One of the parents stayed in London with friends to be near their son, while the other came to Boston with the other children.<BR><BR>But all of these organizations just serve as clearinghouses for information; they don't screen members and they don't arrange matches. So there is some risk involved and I strongly recommend LOTS of correspondence before making a commitment, and spelling out who'll be responsible for which expenses. Usually, owners pay for regular utility bills (electricity etc.) and guests pay for extra expenses, like long-distance fees. It's quite a shame to be stuck with a $350 long-distance bill, but it's still cheaper than staying in a hotel.<BR><BR>One thing that helps is to get neighbors involved. Not only does this make your exchange guests feel more welcome, but they also know that someone is keeping an eye on what they do!<BR><BR>Finally, for your first exchange, find a family who is experienced. They'll help walk you through the process. Have a great trip!

arjay Apr 22nd, 2002 08:34 AM

Just finished reading this morning, an interesting first-person home exchange story in the current (May-June) issue of the AARP magazine. Makes some good points on things to be aware of....

jasper21 May 9th, 2013 01:46 PM

I can't recommend We've been exchanging for a few years and have found using them to be a chaotic and awkward experience. Sometimes the emails they send out are almost unintelligible. There are other services available that are much better.

vjpblovesitaly May 9th, 2013 01:53 PM

"There are other services available that are much better."

and they are??

NeoPatrick May 9th, 2013 02:30 PM

Jasper, just so I understand. . .you came here and registered for the sole purpose of bringing up an 11 year old thread and putting down the company named. Meanwhile you say you are experienced home swappers, but you don't offer a single suggestion even though you know some that are better? What am I missing here.

virginiafish May 10th, 2013 01:38 PM

We are with and had a wonderful experience with an exchange. If you want more information, please let me know and we can talk.

virginiafish May 10th, 2013 01:39 PM

you may want to look at this thread:

sheri_lp May 10th, 2013 06:22 PM

I thought it said "homesexchange"


lauren_s_kahn Aug 31st, 2013 02:31 PM

I personally detest Ed Kushins, the guy who owns the site, just wants your money. He really doesn't care if you cut a deal or not. He also has an imbalance of North American listings. If you want to exchange within North America, you might get something, but getting a deal overseas is really tough due to the imbalance of listings (something Kushins does not want to discuss or admit). In Europe over half's listings are in France. So, if you do get an offer from Europe, it will likely be in France. Someone, who is a member said only French people were interested in her house. I asked her whether she had researched the location of the listings before signing up. Of course, she hadn't.

Newer home exchange services have overwhelming numbers of people new to exchanging who do not know what they want. The end result is members do not issue offers or respond when they are asked. After a year on, I gave up on the site--and all experienced exchangers with whom I have discussed this have a variation of the same story I had. Most do not renew.

The sites all experienced exchangers belong to are either Intervac or Homelink. These are the two oldest exchange services. Intervac is great for North Americans who want to go to Europe as there are many more European listings versus North American listings. Homelink, while excellent within Europe (but not quite as good there as Intervac) also is the place to go if you are in North America and want to exchange within North America--or if you want to go down under.

I have gotten European exchanges from both Intervac and Homelink. Next summer I will be doing 2 in Poland from Intervac followed by one in Frankfurt from Homelink. Now that I am retired, I try to stay abroad for 2 months. You put back to back deals together to do this as most people only have 2-4 weeks vacation time. This past summer I did a home exchange in Toulouse from Intervac, return of home hospitality in Bordeaux from Homelink (1 week--my maximum for hospitality exchanges; the family had visited me previously) and a home exchange in Salamanca, Spain, from Intervac.

I have been down under 3 times. All of those exchanges were from Homelink. The only exception was a 3 night hospitality exchange in Hobart, Tasmania, which came through Intervac.

So, it does depend on where you live and where you want to go. Despite my abysmal experience with, if you live in a European country other than France and want to come to North America, due to the imbalance of numbers, it might work for you because you'd have your pick of North Americans.

The bottom line with the gazillion new home exchange sites that have been started is make sure the one you join is the right fit for what you want--and has sufficient numbers of members to increase the odds of getting a swap. Remember also that no one inspects the home. I have had some wonderful homes, but also some horrible ones. This past summer I had one in Toulouse where the home was dirty and had a lot of things wrong with it. Home exchange does have down side that all the websites would prefer not to discuss. They want you to think you just look at a photo of a house with a pool, write to them, and you have a deal. It is not so simple.

There is plenty of advice on my website about home exchanging. You could start here:

Remember everyone's home looks nice in photos because the photos are staged. Photos also do not reveal if a home is dirty or clean.

I have done 54 exchanges and have had a few homes that belong in the Home Exchange Hall of Shame. There is really no way to protect against that. I think my rate for really unsatisfactory homes is 10-15% of the total--all of which were in Europe or Australia. Remember, that, if you go to Europe, they live in much smaller places. The home you will get will not "match" what you have in the US or Canada. My take on this? If you want "equity" do not exchange.

lauren_s_kahn Sep 15th, 2013 08:07 AM now has more problems. They launched a new website, it immediately broke down and the staff went to Italy to "celebrate" as soon as the website was launched. To be forewarned is to be forearmed:

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