Home Exchange Network Reviews

HomeExchange Review

Review updated: September 2023


Founded in 2011 under the name Guest to Guest. This network bought and integrated HomeExchange.com (which was founded in 1992) in 2018 and took on the name HomeExchange.

Free trial, $220/year

Single founder, created by 22 families from around the world

English, French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, German, Dutch

140,000 listings in 133 countries

HomeExchange is by far the biggest network out there. And their geographic diversity offers excellent opportunities for travel around the world. This network is the leader in the points-based exchange model. It’s been their focus from the start. Points allow for greater flexibility in finding swaps. But they can also lead to a sense of monetizing the process.

Listings by region:

  • Asia: 1%
  • North America: 23%
  • South America: 2%
  • Europe: 70%
  • Africa: 1%
  • Oceana: 3%


Searches start with typing in a location and optionally entering the number of travelers and travel dates. The searches return home summary profiles, alongside a map of listings. These search results are sorted by the relative activity and verification status of the members, which roughly translates into the likelihood that you will get a response to your request. There is an additional filter to hide anyone with less than 80% response rate if desired.

The website includes a reverse search option. This important feature enables searching for people who want to swap to your area. Of course this will only capture people who have explicitly listed your area as a desired destination.


Search results return listings with a picture and few details about the home. You can click into each one to see the details of the home and the member.

Individual listing details include a lot of information about each property in a readable format. My only criticism here is that it would be nice to have summary information on the owners (family size and number of kids) on the initial search results page, in case you’re looking for a reciprocal swap. Listings do indicate whether you have already contacted a member.

HomeExchange allows members to set calendar availability in three ways:

  • available for reciprocal exchange
  • available to host a GuestPoints stay
  • open to any request

This is useful because you can note when your home will be available while you are away and so can host a guest, but you can also indicate the dates you are hoping to do an exchange and will also need lodging yourself.

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.
  • GuestPoints – earn points by letting people stay in your house when you will be away, and redeem points to stay in other people’s homes

HomeExchange gives 500 GuestPoints for setting up your account and an additional 200 for verifying your listings. You can also earn 250 GuestPoints after sending your first 10 requests, and 50 points for each person you refer to the network. This is a reduction in the sign up bonuses HomeExchange offered in the past, which is a good thing. Awarding lots of free points can lead to a problem with too many points in the system. Some HomeExchange members complain that this is already the case. Though I am able to find places to use my points with much difficulty.

Primarily you earn GuestPoints by letting people stay in your home. Average properties charge between 100 and 200 points a night. The rate is suggested by HomeExchange based on information you enter about your house, but this can be modified somewhat by the user.

HomeExchange does allow people to purchase GuestPoints if you don’t have enough for a swap. The first 20% of the total GuestPoints needed costs 10 cents per GP. For the remaining GuestPoints needed the cost is 1 euro per GP. Obviously at that cost it’s usually not going to be a good value to buy GuestPoints for the entire value of the stay.

Site design: Modern look and feel with good responsiveness.

Additional features:

The email facility is functional and reasonably well organized. They have some built in translation tools to try to display messages in the primary language of each user. Each message is displayed with details of the person’s home, a picture if available, and requested swap dates, which is very helpful.

HomeExchange is one of only a few networks offering insurance for home swaps. You can find the details of what is covered here. Many people find it reassuring that HomeExchange will provide some financial assistance for hotel stays (up to $120/night) when a home swap is cancelled and no alternative can be found. The insurance also covers damages to hosts’ homes, up to $1,000,000. This includes a $500 deposit secured from the guests when a swap is finalized, which is used to cover damage up to this amount. At the end of an exchange the host is asked to release the $500 deposit hold upon verification that all went as expected during the swap.

Overall I’ve had good success using HomeExchange to find swaps. I find the points system particularly useful when I’m traveling alone and my home won’t be empty, and when I need lodging for only a short period of time and so am unlikely to find a simultaneous exchange. People who quit the network and joined other smaller swap communities over the past year complain about too much focus on monetizing points, a loss of the sense of generosity and goodwill among members, and lack of responsiveness from people in the network.

Read my interview with the founder of Guest to Guest for more information about the history of this network.

If you’re trying to figure out which one to join, check out my reviews of all the major home exchange networks.


  • I was very disappointed in the Lack of Communication and respect the company at Home Exchange has for it’s customers.
    My wife and I have reached out VIA EMAIL. This is the ONLY method to get in touch with the company through a CONTACT US link. No Phone number at all. After research, it seems they are located in Paris. I could be wrong. They are not willing to share this info.

    NO RESPONSE from Home Exchange after 4 attempts to get in touch.

    We are very respectful guests. We have a beautiful home and have shared it a few times. We received a startling review with a slanderous attack on our family by a host. I only made this exchange through an email, no actual phone contact.

    This review, as I understand, is not within the bondaries of the Home Exchange policy, yet when we tried to reach Home Ex. to discuss, NO RESPONSE.

    ___SEE BELOW

    When using the Platform, you agree that you will:

    Not post on the Platform, or transmit to other Guests, Members, us, or our employees, any defamatory, inaccurate, abusive, obscene, profane, offensive, sexually oriented, threatening, harassing, racially offensive, or illegal material or communication, or any material that infringes or violates another party’s rights (including, but not limited to, intellectual property rights, and rights of privacy and publicity).


    Additionally, it is hard to find someone to trade with. Simultaneous is difficult. Additionally, if you continue with Home Ex. and no one trades with you, you have NO POINTS to offer to anyone and can not trade regardless.

    I do not recommend.

  • I am very disappointed with the service.

    When i joined guesttoguest i had many people staying in my house. This was not always easy but i gained GP’s. the deal was – people stay at my house, i stay at someone else’s house and if i want i pay for insurance.

    Then i mistakingly signed up for a yearly membership, which i didnt want. And i paid for it. And when I emailed them about it they didn’t offer a refund.

    I tried to find exchanges but i never went on one as there werent any suitable ones available, ever!

    And now, if I want to go on just one exchange, I have to pay for a yearly membership! This was NEVER what i signed up for. I went to so much trouble collecting guestpoints by having people stay over and now i have to pay some yearly membership fee.

    I emailed them about it. They don’t care.

  • Thanks so much for the info. Very helpful–especially the info on the points. I don’t think I like the points system either! It reminds me of when we had a time-share–entirely different, I know–but nothing was available in London, New York City, and other major cities we wanted to visit. I’m in the process of taking photos of my house so that I can join and list, but my house is a mess because of the virus! We haven’t had company in so long that I’ve let the house cleaning go! Thanks again.

  • Minor improvements made in the past year, but it’s still a long way from what we had with Home Exchange before the merger. Agree that we desperately need the number of travellers clearly shown and major improvements to the reverse search map – I can no longer reverse search for just “Australia” and find everyone who wants anywhere in Australia like i used to. I have been able to use some of my Guest Points this year, but I have accumulated so many I won’t want to host again for many years, so that’s 2 more houses not available for points. I am completely opposed to selling guest points, & giving away free guest points (especially to new listings). It is virtually impossible to get a points exchange in major cities like London, Paris or New York. We are staying with HE for now because of the higher number of listings, but hoping the much friendlier People Like Us network will continue to grow!

  • I’m new to home exchanges and just beginning to compare different websites. I’m confused by this review about Home Exchange: It states:

    “Two membership options:
    $15 per night during home swaps
    $150/year ”

    and then goes on to say:
    “Because membership is free, the listings on HomeExchange never expire.”
    Can anyone explain?

    • Actually this has changed a bit this year, but they still keep unpaid member’s profiles active. You just need to pay $150 when/if you want to book an exchange. So there are a bunch of people who haven’t paid but whose listings are still active.

    • @Sharon : the offer per night was removed at the end of 2019, you register for free, and suscribe to the annual membership to finalize your first exchange.

  • I agree with the above posts, since the merger the quality of members contacting me is way down, the system has become very beaurcratic and too complicated and the quality of management has plunged. Original home exchange site was superb this is like dealing with the government

  • Have been a member for over 10 years and im leaving….this company turned into AIR BNB w people coming to my home w little respect and almost IMPOSSIBLE to use the Points I have incured …

    • We agree with the above post. We had many positive experiences but since the merge with GuesttoGuest the site has become impossible. The administrators are rigid and unhelpful. I too have points and can’t seem to use them anywhere (now useless points that we collected before the merger). The few requests we now get are from people who seem to think our primary home is an AIR BNB that we can vacate last minute to accomodate them like a hotel.