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Blog from HomeLink Ireland Member, October 20, 2011

House Swapping

by Julianne Mooney


You turn the key and cross the threshold into the house when suddenly it hits you, someone is turning your key in your door and walking into your house and it’s too late to turn back.

House swapping started back in the 1950′s, mostly practiced by teachers and university lecturers, but today more and more people are choosing to hand the keys to their home over to strangers and accept their keys in return. It sounds absurd and immediately you think, but what if they thrash the house? What if? Well there are a million ‘what if’s’.
There is no doubt that house swapping works on trust. However, keep in mind that while you are letting someone into your home, they are doing likewise. The beauty of it is you can go on holiday and have all the comforts of home around you. There’s no need to bring the heavy pram or car seat, you have use of a car and a stocked spice cupboard. All this for the price of a flight. Now this is how to holiday on a budget!

If you’ve seen The Holiday with Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet, you may have romantic notions of arriving to a luxury mansion  in LA, equipped with its own pool, surround sound system, and for those single and looking for love, a man at the ready to fall in love with you. Who am I to dash these dreams? The great thing about house swapping is that you go to places you may never have thought of visiting and anything is possible. You just have to keep an open maybe lock away any breakable heirlooms just in case ;-)

This morning on Ireland AM I talked about house swapping, it’s history, how it works and some popular places to choose from. To download the information 

Contact Marie Murphy in Homelink for details


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Seeking USA


UK - London

Our 3 bed maisonette is located in Hampstead, in central London close to the Northern Line tube station (Belsize Park) and two minutes from the overground Silverlink Station.

It is a very comfortable flat, with an open plan kitchen/reception, decked patio garden, family bathroom and additional water closet upstairs. The master bedroom is large with a king size bed, and we have two other bedrooms with single beds. But we do have a comfortable sofabed. We also have wireless internet access.

It's a lovely village atmosphere and there are wonderful shops and lots of things to see. Beautiful Hampstead Heath is only moments away for walkers/joggers and there is a gym nearby which accepts weekly membership. We live very close to Camden Town market which is great fun for kids and teenagers, Hampstead Village, where dozens of boutiques and cafes can be found and next to South End Green, home to independent cafes as well as M&S & Starbucks. Take either the bus or the tube to visit some 300 museums and art galleries in Central London from one block away.