Tripologist: A home away from home in New York

We are considering an apartment swap or home exchange between Sydney and New York. Can you recommend reputable, tried-and-tested websites and provide general advice on the do's and don'ts? Are there agencies that manage house swaps?

- N. Gardner, Sydney.

There are several agencies that specialise in nothing but home exchanges and the internet makes it sweet and easy. HomeLink ( is the world's oldest home-exchange community. It's a non-profit organisation and they have co-ordinators in 27 countries to ensure things run smoothly. HomeLink has more than 2500 properties in the US, 258 of them in New York State, with a sizeable number in the New York City metropolitan area, and some of their owners have their hearts set on an Aussie escape.

Home for Exchange ( is another big player on the scene, also with homes and apartments in the New York City area. There are lots of issues to consider when you embark on a house swap, such as insurance, vehicles and pets, and you should be able to find information in the FAQ sections on these websites.