Review date: April 2014

roofswap.com

roofswap.com

[November 2014 update: this site no longer exists and the domain is now used by someone offering advice on home exchange.]

roofswap.com

Year founded: unknown

$99 per year

Ownership: unknown

English only, with paid translation services

18,000 listings

Listing searches do not return numbers of results so there is no easy way to calculate number of listings by country or region or validate the 18,000 claim.

Searching: The map based search facility is quite nice at quickly narrowing you down to country of interest. But you can’t go lower than the country nor can you search within country results. The search not using the map is driven by keyword rather than using one of the more sophisticated geographic algorithms, which means that typing in Granada results in some places in that city in Spain as well as houses in Granada Hills, California, and also listings in which people mentioned the word Granada “i.e. we are 3 hours from Granada by car.”  Within the keyword search you have the option of filtering by a variety of standard criteria. Although when I tried filtering by date available the site gave me a database error.

Listings: The display of search results summarizes nicely the house as well as the member’s desired destinations and available dates.

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Site design: For this size the site is surprisingly out of date and buggy. The content on the site looks like it hasn’t been updated in a while. For instance it describes house swapping as “the concept was recently featured in the movie ‘The Holiday'”, a 2006 film. They also compare themselves to LoveHomeSwap using very old membership numbers for that site.

Additional features: Roof Swap offers standard contracts for swappers, and also a home exchange insurance plan that protects against last minute cancellations as well as damage to your house. They also host a member forum on their site, but the recent content appears to be almost exclusively spam from just a few sources, with an overwhelming volume making them basically unusable.