You must be willing to lend your own house to wild stranger people.
There are two players that are considered the largest in the home exchange market:
At www. exchange.com you have to pay 1100 kroner a year for membership.
At www. home link. org you have to pay 1020 kroner for a membership.
Would you like to lend your home this summer against being able to live for free with someone else? If the thought of having foreigners in your home does not sound intimidating, maybe home exchange might be something for you.
In the movie “The Holiday”, which is based on the home exchange concept, swaps two foreign houses with each other. One woman is in a luxury villa in Los Angeles, while the other is in a quiet, cozy village in England.
According to Tanya Kristiansen, Norwegian spokesperson for housing exchange home exchange.com, the movie is not so far from what is the reality.
– Now there was a wonderful nice home in the movie, but there are houses in our archive with the same standard. The question is only if those who switch away this home would like to spend a vacation in your home, she says.
Kristiansen has even changed residence 11 times after joining the network in 2003.
– By substitution housing can be an economically smart choice. Also, it’s an exciting alternative if you could imagine a different way of holidaying, she says, pointing out that you will get a different impression of the resort by living in someone’s house or apartment.
– You will not become tourist in the same way, she sticks.
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Benefits of home exchange
Two Norwegian women who have tested each side are Celine Refsnes from Holmlia in Oslo, and Trine Ravndal from Kråkerøy in Fredrikstad. Refsnes has exchanged housing through home exchange.com so many times she has come out of the census, while Ravndal has swapped five times and used homelink. org.
Tips for Home Exchange
Be honest about your home
Publish nice and welcoming photos
Do not lie about the area where you live
If you have children – try to find a family of children you can change
Are you afraid of theft of assets? Lock things inside a room!
Create a perm with useful info for the family who are living with you
Take good time to search the database for homes
Write an attractive presentation text of both yourself and your home
Enter the symbols on the home exchange page and learn what they mean
It may be a good idea to choose a family that has changed several times and received good reviews
Be aware of one of the disadvantages of home exchange: Cancellation may occur on short notice, but there is some kind of insurance scheme for this.
Sources: Housing Exchanges Refsnes and Ravndal
Together they have visited countries such as France, Belgium, England, USA, Italy, Spain and Denmark. Both also have housing changes planned in front of this summer’s summer vacation.
– The very best thing about home exchange is that it is such a reasonable way to vacation. It makes it possible for most people to travel on holiday and to be away for a couple of weeks, “says Refsnes, who finds it very fun to see a home from the inside.
– It gives you a unique insight into the family’s everyday life and cultural differences from us in Norway.
Ravndal adds that home exchange can realize the dream of traveling to a destination that has been unattainable because it would be too expensive. Through the exchange of homes, her children have experienced a different culture in a completely different way than if they had traveled on a package tour to the South.
They’ve got friends in the neighborhood, been on beautiful beaches, seeing famous cities while picking up eggs from hens, caring for animals and harvesting vegetables, she says..
Refnes points out the benefits of children getting toys and their own bedrooms in the house.
– We have stayed in hotels with young children who have left at 19. 00. After they fell asleep, we had to sit in the room for the rest of the evening. It’s not a vacation for me, she sticks.
Nearly 500 Norwegian registered
Currently, 467 Norwegian profiles are registered in the home exchange network home exchange.com. HomeLink. org has 160 Norwegian homes registered in the network. These are paying members who actively exchange houses and who have their own homes and resorts available for exchange.
– Members of Home Exchange.com can exchange housing with over 62. 000 members in 146 countries, says Kristiansen, adding that there are Americans, French and Spaniards who are the most keen on the housing exchange market.
In addition, there are many from Italy, the Netherlands and Denmark. Sweden has twice as many members as Norway.
– Norwegians hang a little after. Good economy here on land is probably part of the reason. But we detect that the network in Norway is growing, Kristiansen points out.
That so many Norwegians have their own holiday homes in the mountains, at sea or abroad, are probably also part of the reason why not so many Norwegians have tested the home exchange concept.
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The bed is a barrier
There is no doubt that many are excited about the concept. Nevertheless, not everyone is comfortable lending their home to strangers.
– Many think about it with the bed and I think it’s a wall for many to let strangers into their bedroom. But believe me, you come very quickly and we change and wash the bedding both before and after the visit, “says Refsnes, pointing out that in a hotel bed thousands of people have stayed before you.
– For home exchange, only this one family as swap rates is bed with you and it is quite similar to them.
Who is home exchange for?
Kristiansen emphasizes that home exchange is suitable for anyone who has an open mind who likes to discover new things, see new countries and learn new languages.
– You do not need to travel abroad. It is clearly possible to change houses or cottages with a family in Norway, says Kristiansen, adding that home exchange is perfect for families with children.
– Home exchange gives you and your family a safe base in a regular home. Very often children’s families choose to swap with spirit children’s families. It’s so convenient, you get a child seat in the car, you can borrow a stroller, they have toys, baby cot and high chair available, she sticks.
The concept also fits very well for teachers with long holidays and retirees who would like to be away for a longer period of time.
Can also change car
Both Refsnes and Ravndal have, in connection with a change of house, also exchanged a car.
– We always change cars when we change homes, so we have the opportunity to travel around and look around, Refnes says.
Ravndal says that written agreements about who can run and what to pay if something happens.
– We once experienced that one of the substitutes cared for our car, but he was fine for the deal, “she said..
Notify the insurance company
Vidar Korsberg Dalsbø handles insurance cases in DNB and advises those who will change housing to tell if this to the insurance company in advance.
– I would say there is a problem in relation to vandalism and theft by the person who lives temporarily in the home. Basically, this is not covered by the insurance, and as far as I can see, there is no home exchange.com or homelink. org any type of guarantee or insurance against this, but they emphasize that their experience is that this is a non-existent issue, says Korsberg Dalsbø.
The loan is, according to Korsberg Dalsbø, as far as possible, as far as you stay within the limits of insurance.
– That is, the insurance has not specified specifically that the owner is the only driver or that it is a requirement relative to the youngest driver’s age, he points out.
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