How About Swapping Your Home?

I saw this article this week by Frank Nelson in the LA Times and thought given the current economic conditions this might not be a bad idea. Read on:

Several Web sites have sprung up to connect owners interested in house swapping, not just for a vacation, but for good.

The concept is similar to a conventional sale. Both parties need to agree on the value of their properties and secure new mortgages. Any difference in value is paid either in cash or by wrapping it into the new mortgage.

Some of the Web sites charge a small fee. Others are free to users. “It’s like a dating service for home sellers,” says Greg Holt, CEO and co-owner of Pad4Pad. “We’re bringing people together.”

Site managers urge swappers to use an appraiser, home inspector, and either an attorney or a real estate professional to shepherd them through the closing process. Some real estate professionals are charging flat fees to manage swaps, Holt says.

Other swapping sites include OnlineHouse Trading and DaytonaHomeTrader.

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