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ThirdHome Review

thirdhome review

Review date: September 2020

ThirdHome.com

Year founded: 2010

$495-1395/stay

Specialty: Vacation homes >$500k in value

English only

11,814 listings (4,385 active listings)

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.”

ThirdHome changed their pricing strategy so that there is no longer an initiation fee. All members are required to list at least one week of availability for home swapping. ThirdHome staff gave me the 11,814 count of listings. I didn’t get a response when I asked about narrowing that down to just the active listings. The website only displays the 4,385 listings so that’s my active count.

It’s very expensive to do a swap on this network. In addition to the fees paid to the network, individuals may charge additional fees. For instance one listing states: “Fees are $800 per day for a full eight (8) person staff on site that includes Adrian, your concierge, maids (they will do your laundry every day if requested), chef, and meal servers. The mandatory meal plan is provided at $65 per day per adult, and $40 per day per child under 14 and includes three (3) full meals per day, along with snacks. The menu is available on our web site.”

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 II can’t speak to the functionality for members.

Additional features: ThirdHome is now offering experiences, which include some high end package tours as a partnership with tour companies.

ThirdHome 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.

1 Comment

  • Neat. Certainly worth a look but I don’t see this making sense for smaller groups (vs traditional high end paid accommodations)… OTOH, a group of 8+ in a 4+BR house makes sense.

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