House Swap Website Reviews

House Swap Holidays Review

Review date: April 2014

Specialty: New Zealand and Australia only

Founded in 2009

Owned by two Kiwis living in Australia who also run Your Home for Mine, a virtually identical site but without the Australia and New Zealand focus.

$75.95/yr (half price now)

English only

3601 listings

Although they say they are exclusively focused on New Zealand and Australia, the site does have 550 listings from other countries. 298 of the listings are in New Zealand and the rest are in Australia.

Searching: There is no search by map functionality. Searching starts with a drop down menu for geography and optional dates to enter. The advanced search function allows more geographic detail and a few features and activities as well as number of bedrooms for filters.

Listings: Search results provide the standard basic overview of properties. There could be more detail there but with no information on the swappers. Detailed listings are clean and easy to read and include a map, but the map display does not provide a pin to show where the property is exactly and so you end up just seeing a rather large region within which it could be found anywhere. Within the listings there is no standard format for displaying the number of people in the swap.

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: There are a lot of self-referencing ads that pop up around the site encouraging you to join, but presumably those go away once you pay for membership. Otherwise the site is reasonably easy to use.

Additional features: The site includes the ability to leave reviews and save listings to a favorites folder. It does not appear to have email functionality, instead members fill out a form to send an enquiry to listings they like, and the response will be directly to their personal email account. Overall the site is among the most hands off in the swap business with no contract, forums, insurance or other features.

1 Comment

  • I just looked at this one, Dawn, and might join if I am definitely going to Australia in 2015. I’ve been talking to someone in Cairns, as you may know. Because I’ve been to Australia 3x already, I want to increase my chances of getting something outside the usual suspects in the Southeast.

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