on the edge of a picturesque market town in the English countryside.
The home-swapping model has been gaining momentum -- much to the chagrin of time shares, fractional ownership and destination club industries, all of which try to fill the same need of getting away from your palace by staying in someone else's. But unlike those other industries, home swapping enjoys a less-tarnished reputation -- at least so far. Admit it, you rolled your eyes at hearing "time share" but you're still reading about "home swap."
The new kid on the block is RoofSwap.com, which donates 10% of its proceeds to Habitat for Humanity, a nice gesture and clearly a disciple of the "social-cause-is-good-for-business" school of thought.
RoofSwap has 14,000 listings of homes and apartments in 130 countries. The site doesn't get directly involved in the "is your chic Manhattan penthouse as good as my Malibu beach home?" discussion, leaving the parties to settle what's fair and equal themselves. Nicole Frank, advice columnist and industry blogger, moderates discussions on the member forums. A three-month membership costs $19.95 or a full year is $74.95.