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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 mind..an 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

Castelfiorentino, Firenze, 40k,

Italy - Toscana
Castelfiorentino, Firenze, 40k,

Our house is situated on an hilly position in the tuscan countryside, 5 minutes driving from the city of Castelfiorentino and 30-40 minutes from Firenze, Pisa, Siena, San Gimignano and the Chianti region.

The house is composed by two full equipped apartments, one on the ground floor (4 persons sleeping) and the other in the basement (2 persons sleeping). Both the apartment have a large living room with open kitchen and the use of the garden or terrace. We have four cats who are very nice and easy to take care of, but our house is not recommended for people with allergies and no other pets are admitted.

In the city of Castelfiorentino you can find the train station, shops, restaurants, museums and cultaral places to visit.