Friday, April 24, 2009

House Swapping for Seniors

~ Here is a second article about house swapping courtesy of the Aussie House Swap website. The first entry can be found here...

When you start to examine the sorts of people who take readily to house swapping, it comes as no surprise to see seniors well represented.

Naturally, many of the advantages of house swapping for holidays apply equally to seniors as they do to couples and families with children.
Rather than repeat them here, I'll refer you to our articles discussing these in detail. (House Swaps - the practical way to holiday and House Swapping - homemade for families)

As well as most of these advantages, the special circumstances of seniors give them some extra incentives and benefits when it comes to house swaps.

For example, when seniors take a holiday, they're not only looking at the out of pocket costs — which working couples can eventually recoup from their wages, salaries and overtime — but as retirees, seniors are looking to preserve a finite and probably dwindling retirement nest egg, which they have little or no chance of replenishing to any great extent.

Thus they generally have to watch their reserves pretty carefully, when it comes to fun things like holidays. House swapping is therefore especially attractive, with its "cost-of-travel-only" advantages.

Besides, seniors are less likely to be heading for the theme parks and carnivals than are the younger generation. For them, a house in the country or a cattle station is often just as attractive as a seaside resort or a big-city property (if not more so). This means that they're often available for those swaps which are not as popular with families (whether for reasons of location or season).

I spoke to several senior couples who had exchanged houses through Aussie House Swap. Here are some of the things they pointed to as their reasons for house swapping (and some distinguishing factors, compared to the younger fry):

One couple were especially conscious of the "shrinking nest-egg syndrome," and saving money was high on their list of reasons for swapping. Exploring the country was another of their motivations, so they planned swaps that would allow them to visit preferred locations over a period of months each year.

Having decided to register with Aussie House Swap, another senior couple had a definite preference for swapping with other seniors. They were clearly more comfortable leaving their home in the care of another retired couple, than having families staying in their house.

Senior house swaps are often for longer periods than family swaps. This just makes sense, given that retirees have more available time, and can swap more easily in non-holiday periods than families, whose predominant reason for swapping is to enjoy inexpensive vacations in fun locations.

Factors like these no doubt account for the high percentage of retired people amongst our growing house-swapping base.

As well as straight swap overs covering the identical period of time, some people (especially seniors) enjoy "hosting" another couple, then later on being hosted by them in return. This simply means that the owners remain at home, and host their swap partners as guests and visitors for an agreed period. They enjoy each other's company, do some exploring and shopping together, see some of the sights, and perhaps fish or play a round of golf together.

Then at a later date, they reverse the process. The hosts become the visitors, just as the visitors become the hosts in their home and town.

Hosting is a great way to build new friendships, and increase mutual empathy and understanding between people of different backgrounds and from different parts of the country, or even overseas.

How much does it cost?
Aussie House Swap membership is only $65 per year! However, if you do not manage to house swap in your first year we will give you another 12 months membership absolutely free! This is our guarantee to you! For $65 (less than the cost of one nights motel accommodation) you can make as many house swaps as you like within your 12 months.

Article courtesy of Aussie House Swap website. Like our Partner site, Home Away, Aussie House Swap gives you the opportunity to stay in someone else’s home, while they stay in yours.

Image for illustration purposes only

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