House Swap Website Reviews

Home for Exchange Review

Review date: April 2014

Founded in 2005


Owned by Ans Lammers, an individual with web dev and house swapping experience

English, French, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, Sweedish

13,451 listings

Listings by region:

  • Africa & Asia: 412
  • Americas & Carribean: 2807
    • USA: 1579
  • Europe: 8504
  • Oceana: 1728

Searching: When searching on the map, you can only display the actual listings associated with a location by drilling down to the lowest level displayed on the map. There’s no way to stop when viewing the south of Spain and show everything on the map at that point. The filters within the search are the standard features. As with other sites, selecting my state will only return people who specifically called out my state as a place of interest, even if they listed my anywhere as an option. When I search on people wanting to come to San Francisco it returns people interested in LA and San Diego too, which is an interesting algorithm potentially based on distance from desired destination.

Listings: The display of search results nicely summarizes the houses returned including how many travelers there are and the house rules, where they want to swap, and available dates. The advanced search facility includes the standard search options. As with most other sites, this one does not allow you to specify how many people would be traveling to 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.

Site design: Simple and usable.

Additional features: The site includes a standard home exchange contract as well as optional insurance members can purchase. According to the FAQ, the site does not have a built in email facility, instead members use a contact form which is forwarded to the personal email address of whoever they want to contact. In this way you don’t give out your email address, but instead have a series of contact forms forwarded back and forth until you choose to share more details with each other. This sounds a bit more difficult to manage than other sites because members need to manage their own email, file relevant ones away and archive those that are not relevant.


  • Homeforexchange has been sold. I allowed my membership to expire because I am not happy with the way in is now being run.
    I am not in favour of free sites. They take away any need for responsibility for your listing. Thai was bad enough on Homeforexchange where you would look at a listing and find they were looking for a swap two years ago.
    The other big problem I had, was I actively contacted people on the site with proposals for swaps. Last time I looked, I had received less than 30% replies, the rest ignored me.


  • When I joined in 2010, Homeforexchange had around 13.000 members and Membership was fairly inexpensive – a three-year-membership cost around 85 € back then; a single year cost around 40 €.

    Since then, member numbers have eroded to around 9.000 members and prices have roughly tripled (now 96 € a year for a middle-ground membership) when the new pricing scheme was implemented after the takeover. Still average compared to other sites – but quite annoying if you see the dynamics as opposed to the membership numbers.

    Moreover, members seem to have become less active and responsive (no wonder if you lose old members but get only few enthusiastic starters in) so it isn’t the same vibrant community as in 2010 anymore.

    My current three-year-membership still lasts for a year and a half but I may allow it to expire unless something happens.

  • Something has changed indeed. Now i get calls from the UK to talk about my experation. Why call me? If i pick up i pay a part of the cost. If I dont renew my profile will be removed. That never happened in the past. If you are not a paying member normally yr profile stays but you cannot communicate. I find it bit more ‘agressive’. So I have to rethink my renewal. Sad..

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