Sometimes a change of scenery is just what the doctor ordered. For Peter and his family, the hustle and bustle of his hometown, London was wearing thin. He was looking for a swap somewhere else in the UK and following a successful mutual exchange, he’s moved to Nottingham for a fresh start!
Peter was new to mutual exchange and HomeSwapper when he started his swapping journey earlier in the year. He spoke to us about researching the areas of the homes you see on the site and tips for communicating with potential swaps.
“I was in Barking, Essex in a 2-bedroom council flat. Initially, I was up in a block of flats and they moved us, as it was down for demolition. The local council moved us into a ground floor flat six months ago. We decided to use that opportunity to try and get out. We went on the HomeSwapper pages and we found a house in Nottingham.”
Were you thinking of Nottingham from the start?
“I was quite open to anywhere, but very keen to get out – London’s just too congested. I’ve got a little boy who’s nine and I wanted a better environment for him to grow up in. Younger people love London and as you get older you get a bit more fed up with it.”
“A lady contacted me; she wanted to come to London and I wanted to get out. Then she joined the HomeSwapper page, and we continued the process – now we’ve swapped!”
How did you do your research?
For privacy reasons on HomeSwapper, when looking at potential homes, users can see a postcode but not a door number. Using the postcodes available, Peter found a way to explore the area before making contact:
“I used Google Earth to see what the local area was like. I also looked at the crime statistics and things like that within the area.”
What did you learn trying to swap?
Not all viewings and conversations are going to work out but it’s important to be honest with other swappers:
“I had a few people come and visit. One lady came down, but she didn’t like it. One let me down in Nottingham. Prepare for disappointment, you have to be pretty laid back with it I suppose. So long as people are honest with you and you’re honest with them, I think it works.”
After some let downs, one of the things Peter asked people, without prying too much was their reason for moving. When he spoke to Sandra* (who he swapped with), she:
“Seemed quite solid and I actually asked her why she wanted to come. She said it was for family reasons, for me that was quite a good indicator that she was serious about moving.”
Any tips on how to communicate and things to look out for?
“Listening out for the little things that people say. If they answer you quickly, I think that lets you know whether they’re really interested. If people ask questions about the neighbourhood or ‘are your neighbours any good?’, it gives the impression they’re really interested in your home.”
Peter made sure he was really interested in the homes he found before he reached out to people but was easy-going when conversations and swaps didn’t work out. We wish him and his family all the best in Nottingham!
We love to hear from swappers and by speaking to us, you’ll be compensated for your time. Peter decided to donate the £25 to PASIC charity, which we were more than happy to arrange for him!
(Note: Name has been changed for anonymity)
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.