Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know my home is safe?
This is the single most-asked question. The simple answer is, “You don’t.” However, in fifty years of exchanging we have had very few instances of damage and no reports of theft. Most problems are at the level of, “housekeeping standards,” at the home being visited. Even in these rare situations exchangers return to find their own home just as they left it. While you are setting up your exchange you will get to know the other family. You also know the other exchanger’s profession and have a good idea of the home involved before you make your first contact. Remember, your home is much safer while you are gone because it is not empty.
Who pays the bills?
Pay your mortgage and utilities as you normally would and agree beforehand who should pay extraordinary expenses such as long distance telephone calls. If a car-exchange is involved you should use our Auto Exchange Agreement Form and discuss who pays for minor or major damage.
Who exchanges homes?
Most of our members are professionals (doctors, engineers, teachers, etc.), business executives, and retirees. In general, they are in an upper income bracket and well educated.
What about insurance?
As insurance practices vary from province to province, you should discuss this with your agent. In general, your homeowner’s insurance would cover intentional (criminal) damage to the home. Some European offices offer home exchange insurance to members.
Would someone want to visit my area?
Everyone in Europe does not live in the middle of London or on the Cote d’Azur. Europeans do not expect all Canadians to have oceanfront condos.
What if I want to list a second home?
Make a photocopy of the Listing Form and fill it out using the mailing address of your primary residence on both forms. Be sure to insert the Postal Code of the second home in the top right corner of the Listing Form. This will locate the home in the correct part of the correct province. Or, of course, you can just bring up our online Subscription Form again. It is sometimes helpful to list one home under your spouse’s name to help identify which home members are interested in exchanging.
Is there still time to arrange an exchange?
New members are joining every day. The most successful exchangers are those who are active and mail out many invitations. The more flexible your plans, the greater your opportunities. Prepare a one-page letter describing your home, its environment, local attractions, your family, and other information. Send 50 or so copies by mail or e-mail to prospective exchangers as soon as you get website access or receive your directory. Consider contacting members by phone.
How late can I make changes to or corrections in my listing?
The PRESS deadlines shown on the on-line schedule are the same for submitting both listings and changes.
Do I have to live in a tourist destination?
No, of course not. Members live throughout the countries listed. In big cities, rural areas, mountains, and, yes, resort areas.
Are the homes modest or expensive?
The range of homes is large, as you can see by browsing the online listings. Our members tend to be professionals and educators and the type of home is what you would expect from these groups.
I live in an apartment. Can I exchange it?
Yes. Typically, members in large cities live in apartments. We make no distinction between condominiums, apartments, etc.
Can renters use your service?
Yes. However, you probably need to check this out with your landlord.
What about car insurance?
You need to discuss this with your agent. Though most insurance polices are similar, yours will contain clauses pertaining to your own circumstances. Automobile Insurance practices vary from company to company & province to province. Most auto insurance policies cover guest drivers. Members are invited to utilize our Auto Exchange Agreement Forms. If your company flatly states that you are not covered, or if you do not wish to assume a risk, all we can suggest is renting a car for the other exchange party. Car rentals is easy and cheape in TURKEY may be far less expensive than in Europe which makes this a more attractive option than forgoing the car exchange and renting a car in Europe for yourself.
Do I need a special license to drive overseas?
Not necessarily, but you may feel mor confident with an International Drivers License. Your insurance agent and the folks at AAA/BCAA can help you with this.