Review date: August 2018
Year founded: 2010
$2500 initiation fee + $395-1295/stay
Specialty: Vacation homes >$500k in value
While ThirdHome claims over 10,000 member properties, but has about 1500 weeks available for swapping at any given time. I’m not sure how that works out, perhaps there are only really 1500 active members. Or maybe people are offering up fewer weeks than they are traveling. With the Third Home model you can buy extra stays by just paying more for a swap. All members are required to offer at least 1 week for exchange every year to stay active. Accounts are suspended for those who fail to deposit a week, but I suspect these properties are still counted in the 10k members.
ThirdHome is a luxury home exchange network. They have a few rules: Your residence must be $500K in value or more (they claim the average home value in their network is $2.3 million) and located in a “desirable area”. Primary homes cannot be listed. “Quality furnishings and amenities are expected along with a list of luxurious standards.”
I’ve heard that ThirdHome waves the $2500 membership fee for a lot of reasons, but I’ve never applied for membership so I can’t confirm that first hand. Members can also opt for a higher level of service by paying an annual membership fee.
I admit I’m a bit baffled by the pricing on this network. I think a luxury vacation home swap network makes a lot of sense. If you want to leverage your second home for stays around the world, and be ensured that it’s easy to find availability, swapping with other folks in the same situation is logical. These luxury home owners get the same level of quality in their exchanges that they are offering to others. And the ThirdHome Key system should make it quick and easy to find available weeks in desired properties. But the initiation fee and cost for each stay is very high. These folks are obviously very well off, but they’re trying to save money on travel by doing home exchanges. If money really were no object, it would be easier to travel just paying for fancy resorts or rentals around the world.
Listings: Nice pictures, overview description and indication of basic relevant details about each home. There are a lot of “ThirdHome Affiliate” listings at high end resorts like the Ritz-Carlton. These listings indicate that you may be placed in a different room than the one pictured. Some of these require a resort fee, in addition to the swap fee. I’m guessing these not condos owned by members but instead a different type of arrangement ThirdHome has set up with some resorts. Depending on the cost in Keys and fees, these places might be a good deal for members. They’re essentially buying down the cost of stays in resorts by trading a week or more of use of their luxury vacation home.
This site offers the following variations on house swapping:
- points-based swapping – ThirdHome awards travel credits, called Keys, for each stay deposited by a member, based on the value of the home, location and time of year. Members can then spend these Keys for stays at other listed properties.
- property rental – home exchange members can also offer their properties for rental. After the first year there is a commission for rentals. The rental service also includes listings for properties not included in the exchange network.
Site design: The site looks nice though relevant information about membership is not easy to find. I can’t speak to the functionality for members.
Additional features: ThirdHome is now offering experiences, which include some high end package tours. I assume they are reselling from a boutique tour company.
ThirdHome also offers house swap insurance for their members. This is called the Host Assurance Plan and it provides up to $5,000 of coverage for members not paying for premium service. Those paying an annual fee for higher levels of service can get up to $10k or $15k in coverage.
I agree with the Third Home rip-off. I’m a member of Solaz in Cabo a five-star resort and only receive three keys which gets me a dog kennel in exchange plus huge fees that are probably equivalent to the cost of the dog kennel. It is a flawed program based on fee generation. There are other ways to trade that are more equitable than this awful service.
Vindanta Resorts pitch ThridHome memberships to entice prospective buyers. An important question that I have and cannot find the answer too is this: A ThirdHome Member deposits the use of their unit (Vindanta Grand Luxxe in my case) for other Thirdhome members to use . This deposit earns me “keys” (ThirdHomes form of currency). How many Keys does a Grand Luxxe Villa earn? An important question since it takes X number of keys to book the use of Thirdhome units. Anyone have the answer?
I purchased with Diamante to get access to third home and from what I understand I need to exchange my one week at Diamante to get 2 years access to third home with keyless travel within 30 days.
3rd home is a rip off. Dont get caught in their tangled web of deciet
I suppose they have some connection. As a buyer into Diamante I have access to 3rdHome. It sounds like I can browse inventory and book a week from $395-$1295. No extra fees, nothing. Sounds a bit too good to be true…
I purchased into Diamante in Cabo and a big selling point was 3rdHome. Sales person made it sound like I do not have to put my week up for exchange, instead I can just go book a place anywhere with plenty of availability. Price for rental vary per level of house from $395-1295 per week. Is this true?
Hi Karl, are you saying that Diamante is working directly with 3rdHome? I was not aware of this connection. As far as I know 3rd Home requires you to put your home up for exchange in order to swap with other 3rd Home members. But since I’m not a member it’s possible they have worked out some deal with Diamante I don’t know about.
Hey Karl, can you pls give me your updated review of your Diamante membership? I also just bought it bc of the 3rd home pitch. And I would really appreciate the truth about how easy it really is to book. And if there’s any extra costs?