Homes Swapping

In living, luxury, musing on April 11, 2011 at 11:43 am

Image courtesy of Great interior design

About a week ago, I left London (UK) because 1) my finances were starting to look ugly and 2) I needed somewhere to stay. I was initially hopping across the pond (yes, my life is that grande – sike) because of a potential – life changing – opportunity. I had a week. But while I was there, the vibe, seemingly more positive now than three years ago , drew me in. I wanted to stay. Check out opportunities. Go places. Meet people.

However, I was staying with a friend. A dear one, mind you, but a week is a week, right. So an extension beyond your initial stay can cause a chemical imbalance. Not only that, the status updates from my meetings were lingering. So there was no point in staying on a whim. Been there already. And came back to Toronto feeling pretty crushed.

But like I said, it’s different times. I’m going back. And I’ve noticed that companies both established and new, are coming up with cost-effective ways to drive consumer business, literally. For example, in two years, registering as a British Citizen – under strict guidelines – went from £450 to £80 (knowing this, I have to post my application before things change, again). And if I’m looking for a place to stay over there, or anywhere in the world, for a minimal fee, I can join Luxe Home Swap, a legit service allowing me to trade my abode with someone else’s of matching caliber. I did a search and came across my dream life: a one-bedroom apartment in Notting Hill equipped with cable TV and Wifi. The only problem: it’s a place where “rich people who have 10,000 square foot homes, trade with other rich people with 10,000 square foot homes.” Quoted by concierge extraordinaire Michael Fazio on The View. I mean, come on. I gave up my less than stellar King West bachelor for an even worse one – on the more accessible Queen Street West no less – in order to pay cheaper rent. But how could I possibly swap my dump for my dream home?

They receiver would be in for a surprise I can tell you that.

Well, it trumps surfing dodgy ads placed on community sites. But for the next couple of years, luxe home swapping will have to wait.

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