Swapping homes?

 Whatever next you’re thinking but don’t panic…it’s just another trend!!  Not “wife swapping” this time, but home swapping. In Jamaican parlance, we would say:  “a di lick”!!  Okay, “it’s the latest thing” in a manner of speaking: the latest that is, in a long line of online enterprises.  The writer doesn’t yet know whether this trend will take off in Jamaica as it appears to be overseas or whether the Jamaica Real Estate sector (or Jamaicans themselves) are quite ready for this phenomenon but, bear with me and read on, because it’s sure to “reach” here and soon; what with Jamaica being the well-known tourist destination and one of many reasons for which this island is rightly famous.

Home swapping or ‘home exchange’ as it is more widely known is, simply put, just that, a ‘temporary trading of accommodation’.  In this all-pervading internet age, where computers, smartphones etc. play such a big part in our lives, there are now websites entirely dedicated to ‘home exchange’.  So, two home owners ‘find’ each other on the internet, on just such a website and agree to switch homes for a mutually agreed period of time.  Both parties if they can agree on all the ‘niceties’ involved in such an exchange, limit their travel or vacation costs, to airline tickets only.  It could work – a lot of checking and rechecking on the facts would have to be done before the final exchange otherwise it could be a disaster.   How is it possible to make sure that the home where you’re planning to stay in say, Australia, actually exists or really looks as good as it does in the photo?!  The websites visited, I assume, have their own security checks and balances in place, one would hope.

The obvious benefits are: free accommodation with all the comforts and modern conveniences of your own home while, at the same time, enjoying a holiday along with big savings on hotel bills and the fact that your property is not left unattended while you are away.  Judging from a couple of websites that deal exclusively in this type of transaction, you can swap cars too..and who knows what else..but I digress!

It’s not difficult either;  by registering with the website(s) of your choice that cater to this idea, you then go ahead and list your property information along with your desired traveldestinations. You and your residence are then part of that website’s database with your listing becoming immediately accessible to other registered, like-minded members.  After that, it’s a case of simply contact other participating homeowners resident in all far flung regions of the world!  Just pick the country; stick the proverbial pin on the map!  And, you are not limited to one exchange only, you can ‘swap homes’ as many times as you  like.

Apparently, home exchange is becoming more and more popular as a ‘vacation alternative’.  Mmmm…. I wonder how the hotel chains are taking this news!

So, if you’re feeling adventurous and daring, click on this link Make yourself at home anywhere in the world, live like a local and stay for FREE. 40,000+ Worldwide Listings  or this one: www.homeforexchange.com and think carefully before making any sudden moves…pun intended!  Not for the feint hearted!!!!

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