Home Exchange

The Lowest-Cost Alternative For Exploring Potential Overseas Retirement Havens

“I recently spoke with Nicole Frank,” writes Correspondent Lucy Culpepper, “a home exchange veteran with Roof Swap.

“This idea of swapping houses is really a great option for managing the costs of an extended stay in another country. We tell readers regularly to rent first anywhere they’re considering settling long-term. But, in fact, better advice might be to swap first. It can be the lowest-cost alternative available for exploring a possible retirement location, for example, and a far superior option both to staying in a hotel (how can you get a real feel for a place ‘living’ in a hotel?) and to arranging a short-term rental (as renting in a foreign country where the language is different can be challenging and intimidating).

“Many of the people who house swap are retirees, either looking for new overseas adventures or simply wanting to return ‘home’ for a spell. They are keen to keep their travel costs to a minimum while staying in comfortable, safe locations. Some home exchanges are for short vacations; others can be for months at a time (typically, in this case, with owners of second or even third homes in different countries).

“Even if you have a tiny apartment, you could exchange it for a chateau in France! (It has happened.) The location of your home, no matter how plain it may seem, could be just where another person needs or wants to be. (Think family or friends reunions.)

“Roof Swap has listings all over the world, including in Panama, Ecuador, Peru, Mexico, Argentine, Costa Rica, Uruguay, Brazil, Malaysia, Indonesia, France… Right now there’s a two-bedroom house being offered for exchange by a retired couple in Gamboa, Panama. Their house is just 15 minutes from the luxury Gamboa Rainforest Resort. These owners are ‘interested in exchanging for almost anywhere in the world’!

“Or perhaps you would like in stay in the Ile de France, in the heart of Paris, in a renovated 17th-century apartment filled with art and antiques. The owners in this case would like to exchange with anyone in New Orleans, LA, or Santa Monica.

“I think this opens up so many possibilities, and I wish I had considered the idea long ago.

“For in-depth advice and tutorials about how to arrange a swap, visit Roof Swap’s ‘How It Works” page at www.roofswap.com.”

Kathleen Peddicord

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