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Trading Spaces!

May 24th, 2006

The Real Costa Rica has a Guestbook, and one reader just added a VERY interesting entry! She must have actually read my constant rantings, either here, in the RCR, or maybe in the ARCR Forums, as she wants to visit Costa Rica in August (considering a move permanently) and asked me if I knew anyone interested in trading homes for that period. I had two immediate thoughts:

  1. Whoa! I never heard of such a thing… followed instantly by
  2. WOW… what a GREAT idea!

We rant that before buying property or making the life changing decision to move here, that you should take time to visit and learn the country.

With this person’s idea, those US (or other) expats now living in CR could return to the US, live in a location other than with family or friends, more or less for the cost of airfare and food.

People wanting to visit Costa Rica could do so in a non touristy, non commercial manner. I cannot over stress how important it is that people not only visit Costa Rica for several months before making any decisions, but they do so while NOT living like tourists. The tourist Costa Rica is most definitely is NOT the REAL Costa Rica.

Obviously the timing is important for both parties, there is the risk of having weirdos in your house either in the USA or here. Maybe there are security deposit issues.

I am olde and jaded, so I find it hard to believe that anything this simple will work, but if the details could be worked out, this could be pretty cool! I would certainly consider doing it (depending on what part of the country of course). No ugly states for ME. I prefer almost ANY western state or maybe New England in the Fall!

Not sure if anyone could make money being a matchmaker, but this could also be a nice little home business or service.

Thoughts anyone? Anybody doing this?


5 Responses to “Trading Spaces!”

  1. Erin on May 24, 2006 6:39 pm

    There are websites and subcultures devoted to housing exchange/swap. I would stick links into this comment, but a simple Google search for “house exchange” or “house swap” will come up with a ton of results. I’d say they make plenty of $$$. 😉

    When you go with a company, I think there’s some security because there’s an application process and all that good stuff. Anyhow, it’s a great idea. Anyone want to swap San Jose for a lakeview home in Virginia?? 😀

  2. Jamison Kelly on June 10, 2006 12:16 am

    I totally agree with you Tim on making sure that the time spent in CR be away from the tourist traps. Really getting in with the populace and getting a feel for the way life runs is key to making the transition.

    I’ve met some expatriates who felt that a move to CR would mean they’d take everything they like in their home country and just transfer it to their little tropical paradise. They end up being the types that sit at the bar and drink their retirement away in said “paradise”. Alone.

    That’s sad. But I think in addition to what you said, if one thinks of their possible move to CR like that of an immigrant coming to the U.S. (or Europe or what have you), they may “get it” a little more quickly. Integrate, bend over backwards to adjust, make connections with real Costa Ricans. And learn how to do things like a real Tico does. And master Spanish.

  3. Alison Erickson on June 24, 2006 10:37 pm

    We are members of http://www.homeexchange.com and absolutely love the idea of home exchanges. We live in Seattle and did a month-long exchange to Costa Rica. Have also done exchanges to Colorado, San Diego, and the Oregon Coast, and are looking forward to many more. People who are up for doing home exchanges are wonderful, adventurous, and open-minded – as well as thoughtful and generous, we have found.

  4. Michelle on September 1, 2007 8:05 pm

    Alison, Where did you do your house exchange in Cost Rica? Can you share the person’s name or can you recommend the town? We have a home and cabin in Yukon, Canada (next door to Alaska) and are looking for an exchange in Costa Rica. Thanks. Michelle mioakley@hotmail.com

  5. Kim Anders on January 30, 2010 11:20 pm

    Does anyone know if a permanent house swap is possible (not just a vacation swap)? We have a beautiful 1 bedroom condo in Viera, Florida (only one hour from Disney Theme Parks) and minutes to beautiful beaches we’d like to permanently swap for a condo or home in Costa Rica. Thanks for any input.
    Kim

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