Frequently Asked Questions
What is Home Exchange?
Home exchange is a vacation alternative whereby two parties agree to swap houses for their stay.
How do I arrange for an exchange?
It’s easy. Once you are registered:
- Click on the world map then on the country or state of your preference.
- Click on the listing of your choice.
- Send a privacy protected email to the selected listing directly from our site.
Is Home Exchange safe?
Remarkably safe! Experience has shown that even minor incidents are the exception. Your exchange partner is likely to have the same concerns regarding safety and upkeep as you do. Knowing that you are both entrusting your homes to one another, provides a natural incentive to treat it with care. We encourage you to get to know your future house swap partner in advance and to explore information regarding your vacation home, mutual interests as well as cultural highlights in your respective regions. You will feel more at ease, knowing you are entrusting your home to someone with whom you have established a rapport.
Familiarize yourself with your partner’s listing and don’t hesitate to ask detailed questions about the exchange home and your expectations.
What should I do with my valuables?
Home Exchange is about trust. Usually just leave things where they are. If you don’t feel comfortable with this concept, you can always lock especially valuable items like jewellery, porcelain etc. away.
Do I need an insurance?
Most homeowner’s insurances cover exchange partners as invited guests in your home, but check with your own home insurance company to be on the safe side.
Can I exchange cars?
Yes! It´s entirely up to you and your exchange partner. Many home exchange partners like to trade cars as well as homes. It is especially practical when traveling overseas. Make sure you have written permission from the vehicle owner, especially in foreign countries. Also, it’s helpful to provide a copy of a valid driver’s license. Most car insurances cover “permitted” drivers. But please check with your own insurance company.
Do I need a special license to drive overseas?
You should have an International Drivers License. Check with your local authorities, insurance agent or your automobile club (AAA, ADAC, etc.).
What about pets?
Some people bring their pets along with them to pet friendly homes. Check our database for members in a similar situation.
Does the exchange have to be simultaneous?
Not necessarily. Many people exchange their second homes, which allows for a lot more flexibility. Also, your exchange partners might be away from their primary home on another trip, while you stay at their place.
In our Advanced Search you find a section “Type of Exchange”. Here you can search explicitly for “Second Homes”.
Who exchanges homes through us?
More people than you might think. If you have a country house in Tuscany, a penthouse with a view over Sidney Harbor, or a beach front home in California, you are likely to get a lot of inquires. But even if your home is not in a tourist area you will have good chances of finding interesting exchange partners. For one thing, home exchangers are well traveled. They often like to explore new places and meet new, interesting people.
A busy family from Paris might just love the piece and quiet of a New England country home. Or somebody might come to your area for business reasons or to visit family and friends. Your home listing gives you lots of opportunities to let other members know what’s special about your home and town.
How much does the membership with JewettStreet.com cost?
A one year unlimited membership is $59.95/ €59.95. Included in this price are up to three listings! (e.g. your primary home, your second home and your RV.) You are entitled to as many exchanges as you like and there are no other charges.
Why should I pay for a membership fee if there are free sites?
There dozens of home exchange sites available on the Internet. Some have been around for decades, others are brand-new. There are big differences in the quality and services of home exchange clubs. Ask yourself, for instance, how easily can you navigate through their system,
how quickly do they respond to a customer question,
do they have advertisement on the site,
how do you like the overall appeal of the site?
Choose one or several clubs that feel right to you.
Home Exchange sites that ask you for a small membership fee usually are established sites. Their members are committed home exchangers, often returning year after year. This gives you a much greater chance of finding your own home exchange.
Consider how much you pay for a simple hotel room in any metropolitan area. Just one night at you first home exchange destination will already cover the costs of your membership with an established home exchange agency.
In addition, if you don't find a home exchange in your first year, JewettStreet, for instance, offers you an additional free six months of membership and develops a personal home exchange success strategy with you.
So, in case you still wonder if you should join a free or a fee-based home exchange club, remember, you get what you pay for!
What advantages does home exchange offer?
Home Exchange offers free accommodation. A modest yearly membership fee with JewettStreet.com can save you a substantial amount of money in hotel and restaurant costs. We are convinced that home exchange offers you something a hotel can’t: the comfort of a real home and the local connections.
What about house cleaning?
Some members arrange for cleaning. In any case, it is expected that you leave the house in the state you found it. From experience, we can say that our motto “care for your exchange partner’s home as you would like to have yours cared for” works quite well.
In which countries can I exchange homes?
Every day, new listings from all over the world are added to JewettStreet.com’s database. Search our listings for national and international exchanges.
How long is a typical home exchange?
It is up to you and your exchange partner. Some people like a weekend in New York, others a week skiing in the Alps. Others escape winter all together and trade it for a summer in New Zealand. Without hotel costs, you might want to make more frequent trips.
Our top priority is the protection of your privacy. That’s why we have developed an advanced system that allows for transparency with your protection in mind. Visitors and potential exchange partners may visit your listing and contact you directly from your listing. Your personal contact information is not accessable. You decide to whom you want to reveal your contact information.
May I exchange my rented apartment?
Generally, yes. Exchanging your home for a short period of time is no different than having guests visit while you’re away. However, we recommend doublechecking with the owner of the apartment and get any permission necessary.
What advantages does a JewettStreet.com membership offer?
- A guaranteed home exchange in your first year, or the next 6 months are on us!
- Personal coaching how to arrange a successful home exchange.
- Absolute discrection.
- Membership includes up to 3 listings! (e.g. your primary home, your second home, your yacht, your RV).
- A user- friendly and easy to navigate website.
- A 1-click contact form allows for easy first contact between members.
- You can load up to 7 photos for each listing.
- We have an extensive Advanced Search function.
- We offer you a quick response customer service by email and phone.
- Our listings are up-to-date.
- Our team of international travelers (of various cultural backgrounds) have lived overseas for many years. Whatever your question, rest assured you will be in good hands. We will help you find the best possible solution.
What is a hospitality exchange?
Instead of exchanging homes at a time that is convenient for both exchange partners, hospitality exchangers stay with you as your guests and then you stay at their home as their guests. It is a great first step to becoming familiar with the idea of home exchange without leaving your possessions to strangers. As a second step, you might like to exchange houses with your guests.
I receive many exchange inquiries. Should I respond to all of them?
As a courtesy to your follow home exchangers, we encourage you to answer all inquiries, even if it is just a short note of regret that you cannot take up the exchange offer at this time. This is just courteous and allows members to get on with pursuing other exchange possibilities. Our built-in-alert-system notifies us of any overuse in sending out inquiries.
The JewettStreet mail system automatically sends any initial inquiry. Therefore, an inquirer does not know your email address unless you answer the inquiry email. Please do contact JewettStreet.com before sending a response email if you feel unsure about the inquirer's sincerity.
Can I exchange either my primary or secondary home?
Yes, you can. Each Jewettstreet.com listing indicates whether a home is primary or secondary. A primary home will very often have more amenities and luxuries, however, a vacation home may be just what you’re looking for when you just want to relax! Additionally, the second/vacation homes will be available more often than a primary home giving you more options for exchange.
How luxurious does my place have to be for it to be attractive to other members?
This is a common question. Remember, home exchangers usually look for an interesting location to stay so they can explore the region and meet people for a couple of days or weeks. Of course, amenities are important. However, we know of many exchanges where an older couple with a Villa in Provence has traded for a family apartment in Boston. If someone is really looking for a luxurious villa or penthouse, they can search the database for exactly that.
We prefer not having children stay in our home, can we specify this?
Many seniors, singles or couples without children are joining JewettStreet.com creating for you the opportunity to exchange with members without kids. Parents of young children can check our database for homes where children are welcome. (Usually, parents prefer to stay in a child proof place anyway. It promises a much more relaxed vacation for them. They will do their own child-concerned search in our database that will satisfy their needs.)
What kind of people exchange their homes?
People from all walks of live. However, it seems that especially professionals (doctors, engineers, teachers, etc.), business executives, and retirees from all over the world do home exchange. Home Exchangers are people with an open mind and an interest in foreign cultures. Many members speak more than one foreign language. Most members speak English.
How can I renew my membership?
30 days before your membership ends we will notify you. This allows for easy online renewal of your membership.
What should I include in my email to a potential exchange partner?
Make it personal and write about the advantages of your home and your area. Include a description of your property and neighborhood, write something about yourself and your family and the dates you would like to swap your house.
I would prefer not to pay by credit card on the Internet. Is there another way I can pay?
Yes. You may pay by cheque or international money order in Euros or US Dollars or give credit or debit card details by phone. You may also pay your membership fee directly into our bank account. Contact JewettStreet.com at info@JewettStreet.com or phone at +49(0)8158 997842 for further information on different methods of payment.
Why do I have to pay a membership fee to join?
JewettStreet.com members want to be contacted by others who, by paying a small membership fee and including their own exchange offers on the site, demonstrate a genuine interest in arranging exchanges.
Please feel free to contact us for more information at info(at)JewettStreet.com or phone us at +49 (0)8158 997842 (9 am to 5 pm CET (Central European Time) or 3 am to 3 pm EST (Eastern Standard Time) Monday through Friday.