May 13, 2023 - Things to Do

This Boulder couple has home-swapped 30 times. Here are their tips

Eric and Shanti Kloor at Hokitika Gorge in New Zealand. Photo: Courtesy of Eric and Shanti Kloor

Eric and Shanti Kloor have been home-swapping since 1989, and have done about 30 exchanges since.

  • Most recently, the Boulder couple spent four months in New Zealand.

Why it matters: Home-swapping is one way to see the world without the often-hefty lodging expenses.

Flashback: When they started, there was no home-swapping website. They got a book of profiles and had to write letters asking folks if they'd like to exchange houses.

  • It would take weeks for a response, and sometimes require a follow-up letter asking for a response.
  • Home-swapping sites make communication nearly instantaneous now, Eric says.

At the time, letting a stranger borrow your house was a bit unconventional, but with the rise of Airbnb, people have become more comfortable with the idea, Eric says.

The big picture: Often, the people you swap with will let their neighbors and friends know you're coming, Shanti tells Axios. So you get to become part of the neighborhood, and see how people really live in a different country.

  • It makes for a richer experience, she says.

Details: There's always a chance someone could damage your house or belongings, but in 34 years, the Kloors said they had only one guest who left minor damage.

  • Sometimes, the exchanges aren't exactly equal. They live in a bungalow and have stayed in mansions. They've also traded for a tiny apartment in the right location.

Here are the Kloors' tips for anyone interested in a home-swapping adventure.

πŸ“… Book a year or more ahead of time.

πŸ“± Do a few video calls with the other homeowners before committing to the swap.

πŸ” Dedicate a closet in your home to your valuables, and keep it locked when swapping.

🌍 Be flexible with time and exact location. It takes time to find a match.

Photo: Courtesy of Eric and Shanti Kloor

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