Is my house suitable for a home swap?

Q: Hello, I’m interested in doing a house swap via Home Base Holidays but what state does your home need to be in to do this? My home is comfortable, liveable, functional and furnished. However it is also full of my family’s personal stuff. To what extent is the property meant to be devoid of this, and what assurance does one have that one’s stuff will be safe if it remains?

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A: The vast majority of homes listed for home exchange are members’ primary (and usually only) residences. Real lived in homes contain furnishings and lots of personal items. Indeed, it is the family items like books, photos and keepsakes that make home exchange a much more personal experience than staying in a generic rental or hotel room (the photo is of a cosy, inviting cottage offered for exchange in the Cotswolds). Just ensure your home is clean and tidy in preparation for your exchange guests’ stay.

Home exchange is a mutual agreement between two sets of members and is based on trust that will develop over a lengthy correspondence in the run-up to exchange dates. However, it is always important to contact your home/home content insurance company to make sure you will be covered during the exchange period just on the rare chance that something is damaged. For peace of mind, some members also choose to use a lockable room or ask friends/family nearby to store certain personal items that they would not want available for use by exchange guests (e.g. a work laptop).