A new crop of home-swapping companies is here. Sites like Love Home Swap, Knok, and CasaHop are quickly shaking up the home-swapping scene, providing new alternatives to established exchange sites like HomeLink, HomeExchange, and Intervac, and employing advances like social-media vetting and recommendations based on personalization algorithms. So while the decades-old method of vacationing in someone else's abode while they (sometimes) stay in yours is nothing new, innovations in the space have put home swapping back on the map.
Curious about joining the movement? We spoke with expert Katie Costabel, Representative for HomeLink USA, to get the skinny on arranging a drama-free exchange. Before you enter into a swap—or even sign up for one of the more than 20 home-exchange groups available—there are a few things you should know. Here are 10 facts that every prospective home swapper needs to learn before handing over that key.