House Swap Website Reviews

Exchange Zones Review


Review date: April 2014

Year founded: unknown

$6.98 per month, $17.98 per 3 months, or $58 per year

Jan Koncewicz lists himself as owner on an external website though the site itself has no reference to ownership or history.

English only

15,000 listings, of which 13,000 are for home swaps.

Listings for select countries:

  • Brazil: 115
  • North America: 6894
  • UK: 548
  • France: 1114
  • Australia: 565

A search on Belize returned 8 results but only 3 were for home exchanges and several were hostels listing their services. On the other hand, Granada, Spain returned 13 listings, all for house swaps. So the listings in some regions might be skewed towards rentals but overall this is a house swap site.

Searching: The search is based on drop down menus that drill down on geography so you will always get the results you expect for a given city or town, though you do need to know the region of the country in which you can find that town. The search results give a reasonable overview of the properties but no information on the people with whom you would swap. If you need to filter down to a specific number of people (i.e. your house only has 1 bedroom and cannot accommodate a big family), you have to click through to each listing to see the family size.

Listings: The search results return a list that doesn’t have much information about each individual house, and some unnecessary social media links on each listing instead. Within each individual listing there is a map and good overview information but nothing about the family with whom you would be swapping making it impossible to eliminate people who would not fit in your house.

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.
  • property rental – This includes B&B, traditional vacation rental, and homestay listings which they are promoting as a paid extended stay in someone’s home.

Site design: A dated look with too many social media links, but still reasonably functional.

Additional features: Based in the United States, this site had an active blog until January 2012. The site owners do not show much activity in recent years, but their facebook page has regular posts and there are still a lot of active users on the site. The site charges for a variety of small services like publicizing links to external websites, for instance they have a permanent link in the bottom of the page to a site about Vancouver.

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