Sometimes in life, to achieve your goals you may have to take some unexpected steps – and this counts for HomeSwapper as well! We spoke to HomeSwapper user, Carl. He and his family were determined to move from a small village in Lincolnshire in the midlands to Poole in Dorset on the south coast. It took them a bit longer than expected, but they learnt a lot along the way. Here Carl shares their story…
CARL: Where to start, we were trying to move for about two years to try and get down to Poole in Dorset from Frampton. So, it was a big, big move that we were looking for. But we soon found out that we couldn’t move for love nor money, because nobody really wanted to leave Dorset to come up to Lincolnshire. We were looking for a long time, on HomeSwapper every single night for hours; we must have contacted hundreds of people.
It was at this point that Carl tried a different tactic, if people didn’t want to move to where he was in Lincolnshire, maybe he would have to move somewhere more attractive to potential swappers. So, he looked for a swap in his nearest city, Nottingham.
CARL: We opened up our HomeSwapper profile saying we were happy to move to Nottingham. A lady from Nottingham messaged us and basically said, “If your house really looks like how it looks in the pictures then I’m happy to do a swap.” So, we went over and saw her house; it was nice, great big garden. We then put the papers in, had the inspections done and we were moved within 5 weeks! It went really smoothly and we moved to Nottingham with no issues whatsoever.
They were one steppingstone closer to their dream of moving to Dorset. When they moved into the Nottingham property, Carl and his family put a lot of effort into redecorating the house to make it as attractive as possible for the next swap.
CARL: We stayed in Nottingham for 18 months. So, we were there 6 months and we started up again on HomeSwapper. We redecorated our house in Nottingham on a budget, but made it look desirable. It wasn’t decorated to our tastes; it was decorated to make it look as pretty as possible. Everything was done on the cheap but to look really nice.
We got lots of messages from people in Nottingham that wanted to move in, but we didn’t want to be in Nottingham. We tried again for Dorset, which nobody wanted to leave, because it’s really nice. So, we were on HomeSwapper every night for a few hours contacting everybody who was wanting to move up here and everybody who was trying to move out of Dorset.
From there we worked backwards to work out where they wanted to move to and contacted people in those areas to see whether they wanted to move to our place to do a MultiSwap. It did become really quite complicated, you sort of learnt along the way that there were people passively trying to move if the right house came up, but they weren’t really that interested, you know they weren’t really 100%.
Carl found that the experience was very up and down. All in all, this process to achieve their dream took around 4 years. It’s a very big commitment and wouldn’t suit everybody. However, for some this slower approach to achieve the end goal could be the way forward.
CARL: One minute you would absolutely think you were moving; paperwork would be done and you would be going to view houses. Next minute, people would drop out of the MultiSwap.
So, we befriended this lady and her family, At first we tried for a direct swap because she had kind of given up hope, but because she registered disabled and had a stairlift in the house, our council turned it down and said she wasn’t allowed to move into a non-accessible house. So, we had to get back on HomeSwapper again to look for people who lived in an adapted house, that wanted to move to our house but didn’t need an adapted house.
When we found a place, the swappers from Dorset came up to Lincolnshire and we all met at the house. Everybody said it was all good. The mutual exchange had been done. We all exchanged keys there, so we wouldn’t have to move again after move date. Then, two weeks later we moved down to Dorset from Nottingham.
All in all, it probably took about four years. Which sounds shocking, but you had to work at it and we worked hard, really, really hard to do everything possible. With so many ups and downs it was like a rollercoaster.
Absolutely living the dream now, we’re right by the coast and five minutes away from the sea. It’s a beautiful day, the neighbours are perfect, the town is gorgeous and everybody is so friendly it’s unbelievable.
Carl and his family had a long-term goal and accepted that sometimes the journey to the dream isn’t quite as straightforward as you might at first, think. We found Carl’s story so inspiring and if you’re a swapper who might be open to trying an alternative path to reach your destination, we hope you do too!
The HomeSwapper Customer Support team are always on hand to give advice and tips on how to get the most from HomeSwapper. They deal with Swappers every day and have a unique insight and view on the thousands of successful swaps that take place on HomeSwapper.