Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Vacation Home Exchange

Although most Vacation Home Owners seek to offset the cost of vacation home ownership through renting their property, either online or through a vacation rental agent, Vacation Home Exchange is another way to leverage your investment.

There are a number of vacation home exchange networks, including Digsville, Holswap, Homex, HomeExchange, HomeForExchange, SeniorsHomeExchange, TheVacationExchange, Vacation-Home-Exchange and 1stHomeExchange, that allow you to swap your homes with another vacation home owner, so that you can take a vacation without needing to spend money renting a hotel.

Most of these vacation home exchange networks charge a small annual fee, which gives you access to thousands of other vacation home in a variety of desirable locations.

However, before joining up with any of the above networks, it is worth considering the advantages and disadvantages of vacation home exchange from the vantage point of the vacation home owner.

So, what Are the Advantages of Vacation Home Exchange?

1. It is cheaper than renting a hotel, villa or apartment!

2. You can choose from a wide variety of high quality vacation properties, in a wide variety of locations.

3. Vacation Home swapping is more personal that renting a hotel, villa or apartment. Vacation home owners who exchange their homes usually only do so a couple of times per year and they are often much more selective about who they rent to: many people report making friends with those with whom they exchange vacation homes.

4. Vacation homes that are exchanged are typically better cared for than most vacation rentals. Continued participation in vacation home exchange networks is contingent on positive feedback from the person with whom they exchange their vacation home, hence vacation home exchange owners are more likely to ensure that their vacation home is maintained to a high standard.

5. Vacation home owners who exchange their homes are more likely to take good care of your property. Being vacation home owners themselves, they understand the importance of being a good "renter".

6. Vacation home swapping is a good way to use your vacation home during low season, when you might not otherwise we able to rent your vacation home.

But there are some drawbacks:

1. You can't earn rent on your vacation home when you are exchanging it!

2. You may find it difficult to find a suitable property to exchange with. However, most of the vacation home exchange networks are so large now that this is less likely to be a problem. For example, HomeExchange has more than 20,000 listings in more than 100 countries and HomeForExchange.com has over 10,000 listings worldwide.

3. You have to pay for membership of the vacation home exchange network. However, the cost is usually very modest. For example, HomeExchange costs only $99 per year and they will give you your second year free if you don't manage to exchange your vacation home in the first year. HomeForExchange.com cost only Euro 45 per year, plus you get 6 months free as a sign on bonus.

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