See also my more recent review of the First Home Exchange Alliance
Review date: April 2014
Founded in 1989
They are part of the First Home Exchange Alliance (FHEA), this site shares listings and virtually identical functionality with the following sites:
- Home Base Holidays
- Green Theme International
English, French, Spanish, Dutch, Italian, Portuguese, German. (Also includes a google translate function built in to the site.)
Listings by continent:
- Africa: 31
- Asia: 43
- North America: 361
- Middle East: 4
- Europe: 2429
- Australiasia: 365
- South & Central America & Caribbean: 30
Searching: All searches start with a drop down menu of countries and a fill-in-the blank for city or other region information. This could lead to mis-spelling issues or other geographic interpretation problems as they are not using the latest autocomplete functionality for geography searches. Searches can be narrowed down to find those looking to swap to your city but the results do not include those people willing to swap to anywhere or even those looking for your country. It appears your location (which is a box you fill in) must match exactly to one of the terms included in the member’s desired destinations.
Listings: The search results display good usable summary information and each individual listing has all the relevant details easily organized for viewing.
This site offers the following variations on house swapping:
- simultaneous or non-simultaneous house swap – this is the traditional model where two parties swap houses for an agreed upon set of dates. Non-simultaneous works best with second homes, but is also useful for people going on vacation and leaving their home empty. In this case each party picks different dates for the swap.
Site design: The Green Theme International website is a bit busy and the menu organization is not all that clear.
Additional features: Green Theme International is promoting the angle of an eco-friendly lifestyle and in addition to house swap as an environmentally friendly option, they encourage and feature environmentally friendly homes. They have a blog but have not been active on it since 2011. Up to 4 members of your family or friends can join for just £5/yr. If you want to join the FHEA swap network of sites, this one is the cheapest option.