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Will House Swapping Take Off?


Could house swapping be the answer for people to find a new home in the recession? At the moment it seems more expensive to rent and with banks in no rush to give out second mortgages it looks like a good alternative. In the last budget stamp duties were reduced which would make the idea easier. Stamp duty is at 1% per person swapping. The swap could mean there is no renting property while you are waiting to buy another house.

House SwappingHowever getting true evaluations before the swap may come as a problem, the property register does not give exact details of the sizes and nature of deals. The register may show different valuations of houses that have been purchased by parents or come with land as part of them.

One person who is actively looking to swap is Ian Hickey with his property in Bray. Ian is looking to move to a larger house and is willing to put €80,000 plus his house in order to find his dream home for him and his family. Ian has start marketing the house himself building a brochure of the property and giving it to possible houses that he and his family may like to swap with. Ian bought the house in 1999 and has made plenty of improvements. Ian said “It was a labour of love and I am willing to do the same with a larger house.” Now Ian is married with a child he is looking for somewhere bigger. Ian estimates the house is worth around €280,000 and would be looking to add his €80,000 to that.

At 4pm we think it is a great idea with the price of rent and the bank being tight with mortgages. A house swap may be the perfect solution for a couple with the kids who have moved out, it would give them the opportunity to move to a smaller more manageable house and give them a lump sum to live a few fantasies they may have dreamed while the kids were younger!

What do we think of the idea of swapping houses? 4pm think it is a great idea but is there a hub to facilitate people coming together with the same idea. A house swapping website could really help this idea take off. A website where people could meet online, view properties, match properties to requirements and arrange viewings. The website would facilitate a niche market and really help the idea take off. Why not call one of the 4pm team for more details on the idea!


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