Review date: June 2018
Founded in 2009 in New York by a couple who are French and Spanish. Now offices are based in Paris and Madrid.
English, Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, and German
Sample listing count by region:
- United States: 868
- Europe: 7358
- Australia: 81
The vast majority of members in Home for Swap are in Europe.
Searching: Search starts with location and optionally dates and number of travelers. The results are displayed with pins on a map, alongside summary results for each home. The overview provides basic information about the listing. You can click into each one to view listing details. There are a variety of additional filters to add to your search to narrow the options. There is no filter by size of swap family. Home for Swap does have a reverse search engine to help find people interested in visiting your home town.
Listings: The actual listings themselves are displayed in a usable format, including a map of location, a summary, and details about each property. Overall information on the properties is more sparse than I see in other networks. And there is no indication of how active the members are, though a number of listings are missing pictures suggesting they are not active. It was possible for me to create a listing without paying, so it seems likely the nearly 10,000 listings include a number of folks who were testing out the network but never paid for membership.
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.
- hospitality exchange – similar to a non-simultaneous house swap but done while the members are at home.
- couchsurfing – Members are encouraged to indicate if they can “offer free temporary accommodation a member of Homeforswap who is travelling.” This means offering non-reciprocal hosted lodging.
Site design: Their display is relatively modern, and easy to navigate. When I attempted to create an account the website gave me a series of errors. But the account was activated and I received two nearly identical emails welcoming me to the network. I’m not sure if these bugs indicate lack of upkeep to the network or are just minor issues that are being fixed.
Additional features: Home for Swap has email functionality, reviews and all of the other standard offerings of a good home swap site including accommodation insurance and a house swap contract. HomeforSwap offers optional additional insurance that can be purchased with each exchange.
Overall HomeforSwap runs under the radar considering the size of this network. I’m interested to hear from active users about their experiences. Please comment below if you do exchanges through HomeforSwap.