Cool or Creepy?

September 17, 2008 6:56 am

Awhile back, I read an article in a magazine that intrigued me. It was about people going on vacation and actually swapping houses with another family. You go shack up at their house and they shack up at yours. You even get to drive their car while you’re there. How f’ing awesome is that?

The premise of the home exchange is to pick a desirable location and then find someone with the same accommodations you need. If you have kids, you find a family with similarly aged kids who have cribs and toddler beds and the like. It seems cool, right? Not having to travel with every single kid contraption you own since they’ll all be waiting for you when you get there. I’ve even read about people sharing their babysitters with visiting families.

I grew up in FL, so I’ve never lived in the northern climate. I’ve visited and seen snow on a few occasions and I’ve always wanted to live somewhere with snow. I know, you northerners are snickering at me because I’m crazy. I just think it would be cool to survive the snow, but only if it were for a short while. Our house is probably a desirable destination since we live close to the beach. We have a big pool and a patio built to entertain. Wouldn’t it be perfect to trade in my FL beach pad for a secluded snowy house?

The creepy part is, someone else will be in YOUR home. GETTING IT ON in your bed, getting naked in your shower. Ugh. Also, how can you trust that they aren’t going to clean out your house and steal your car? What if they’re complete slobs and trash the place? What if I came home to this:

(Not my actual house, thanks Google)
The websites advertising home exchanges are all quick to bow out of any legal obligation. Basically all they do is set you up with other people who are looking to home swap and then jump the hell back. They’re basically Craigs List with a better GUI.

I’m definitely interested in doing something like this some day but I’ll probably never grow the balls to go through with it. If I did, I would definitely have to stay state side because the thought of going to another country and letting someone stay here scares the shit out of me, there’s just too much at stake. Do you guys know anyone who has ever done this? Did they find their rabbit boiling on the stove when they got home?

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10 Comments

  1. Sprite's Keeper
    on
    1

    I saw a movie just last year that involved house swapping and thought, Yeah, right. First I’d heard of it. I barely let my kid touch stuff in the house. A perfect stranger? Um, NO.

    Sprite’s Keepers last blog post..It Was THIS Big!

  2. Krystal
    on
    2

    I saw that movie too but of course – that was a movie -I’d fear the same things you stated.

    Krystals last blog post..Wordless Wednesday: Opening Day Video of Miracle League Baseball Team

  3. JuJu
    on
    3

    yikes… that would make me too nervous. And I would come home from a nice vacation wanting to scrub every surface in my house because who knows what went on while I was gone. Now if it was like a friend of a friend that I could get good references on then that might be another thing…. I have some great friends in winter places!!!!

  4. YummY!
    on
    4

    Be very afraid!

    My sister in law had a beach house she rented out and people would trash that in a weeks time. She had ONE CLOSET that they kept their personal things on and had a padlock on it and some guests would BREAK OFF THE PADLOCK!

  5. Miss Jack
    on
    5

    I think I saw the same article. I was VERY intrigued with this concept…my husband on the other hand, not so much. Maybe if it was someone we knew, like a friend of a friend. Howver, thanks for mentioning the sex and germs…but what about the hotel you stay at? Don’t you think people are having sex and spreading germs there as well? It’s just that it’s not YOUR stuff, I guess.

    Miss Jacks last blog post..Survey…

  6. cyndi
    on
    6

    I think that movie was Cameron Diaz’s Holiday – frothy romance and bazillion dollar mansions with maidservice notwithstanding, it wouldn’t seem so vactiony to be in someone’s regular house, ykwim? Keep us posted on whether you try it 🙂

  7. Work At Home Mom Tara
    on
    7

    I am not sure I could let anyone come into my home I do not know and I am not so sure I would want to sleep in someone else’s bed. The thought kind of creeps me out a bit.

    Work At Home Mom Taras last blog post..New Look Contest Winners

  8. mrsbear
    on
    8

    My husband would never go for that. It took me forever just to convince him to hire a dog sitter for our last vacation. I think in an ideal world, it’s a pretty good deal, unfortunately in the real world, people trash your stuff and boil your bunny. What can you do? Keep strangers out of your house.

    mrsbears last blog post..Black Boxes

  9. HeatherPride
    on
    9

    Yeah, in theory it’s a cool idea but when you break it down into all its separate nekkid parts? No. No nekkid strangers in my bed or jetted tub, thanks.

    Not that anyone would want to visit St. Louis where I live anyway!

    HeatherPrides last blog post..….Or Are You Just Happy to See Me?

  10. simply anonymom
    on
    10

    My ILs have met many friends on cruises. They have even swapped houses with said people on occasion. Being that we live in an undesirable vacation place (WA state) mostly they stay at others houses instead of them staying here.

    I would go on vaca and rent a home, but I do not know if I could flat out swap houses with someone. Maybe if I “knew” them or had a deposit and credit references…

    simply anonymoms last blog post..I have a confession…

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