Home Exchange Network Reviews

First Home Exchange Alliance Review

First Home Exchange Alliance
 Review updated: August 2019

The First Home Exchange Alliance (FHEA) includes four networks that share listings and virtually identical functionality:

$40/yr – $79/yr

English only

1935 listings

  • Europe: 1433
  • North America: 191

These four networks now share a search engine and most of the website functionality but continue to advertise themselves as distinct home exchange networks. They even have different pricing and trial memberships. Hint: join Green Theme International for the cheapest price ($40/year). I find the membership (via Home Base Holidays) to be pretty active and very responsive, though definitely concentrated in Europe.

Searching: Searches start with a geography prompt and include filters for various relevant features of the home and swap family. The network offers a customizable reverse search to help find people looking to visit your home town. There is a no map search functionality and the results of the search are only displayed as a list with no map view.

Listings: The search results display good usable summary information and each individual listing has all the relevant details easily organized for viewing.

This network 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.

For more information on the philosophy and direction of this network, check out my interview with Mark Sealey of Home Base Holidays.

If you’re trying to figure out which house swap network to join, browse through my reviews of the networks.

2 Comments

  • Good tip about GTI being cheaper to join.
    Any more tips on getting discounts on membership for, say, homeexchang.com (now $A180!!) and other sites?
    They do sometimes offer discounts but it is a bit hit-and-miss.
    Your work much appreciated

    • Sorry, I think there are really not many tricks around the high price of some of the bigger home exchange networks. While there are often deals for new members, you really want a profile with some reviews and exchange experience so starting over is probably not a good idea. All I can suggest is giving your business to the free ones if you don’t think the price is worth it, and hope to send a message with your spending (or not spending) on the expensive sites. I try to roughly work out how much I’m getting in return for my memberships in terms of free lodging, and if it’s significantly more than the cost of membership I will renew for another year.

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