Review date: April 2014
Updated: November 2014
Only in America was acquired by HomeExchange.com in October 2014 and entirely integrated into that site. OIA no longer exists separate from HE.com.
Specialty: the Continental U.S., Hawaii, Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean
Founded by Helen Salem, retired California community college English instructor
There is no way to get counts of listings by state or region.
Searching: Searches start with country or region on a map and can then be narrowed down using filters to a specific city. Filters also allow selection of specific dates, people wanting to come to my city, and a few details about the house itself.
Listings: The search returns listings with a paragraph description and a picture. There is no standard format for basic information so you have to read through each paragraph to select the houses that meet your requirements. It’s not possible to view individual listings as a visitor.
This site offers a 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.
Site design: The site is usable but feels dated and does not have many features.
Additional features: OIA offers sample home exchange agreements and an internal email system for members to contact each other.
Summary: This is a pretty basic house swap site, without many features. But if you only want to travel within the Continental U.S., Hawaii, Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean, and you don’t want to be bothered by listings or invitations from anywhere else in the world, this might be a good site for you to join. OIA does have a relatively large number of listings in this specific region of the world. Though the larger house swap sites have these numbers and a lot of other options and features as well.