The Anna Maria Island Sun Newspaper

Vol. 9 No. 39 - June 17, 2009


House swapping – with a deed

Humans are nothing if not creative, especially Americans who have been infused with entrepreneurial ideals and an independent spirit. So what do humans with those qualities do when they can’t find a buyer for their home through conventional avenues? They turn the corner to see if there’s a better way.

The concept of trading or swapping homes for vacation has been around for a long time with many vacation house swapping Web sites available. Now the same model being used to swap vacation properties is being adapted to the slumping real estate market, as homeowners scout for ways to separate themselves from their properties and move on.

The only reason this is even possible is because of expanded Internet capabilities and everyone’s comfort level with the Internet. There may have been house bartering during other real estate downturns between individuals, but it has now been taken to a whole new level, with technology enabling computerized matching of a large number of properties and owners’ swap criteria.

For example, the Web sites I checked are all organized by state and by just clicking on the desired state, you will get a laundry list of properties, sometimes with a thumbnail picture. If you are interested in the location, you can bring up the entire listing which will give a detailed description, pictures, value and locations where the owner is willing to move.

The properties being swapped do not even have to be for the exact same value, since once an agreement is reached, the individual parties arrange for their own financing, much like a conventional sale. The only difference is they found each other on line attracted by similar needs, with a deed. In addition, the transaction will be smoother if both parties are using the same title company and lender.

Swapping could work especially well for people who really want or need to move on because of jobs, illness or other challenges in life, as well as vacation properties. Although it does give you the peace of mind that comes from closing on both homes the same day, it is definitely not for everyone. Generally, neither party gets exactly what it wants in either amenities or locale. You have to be willing and able to compromise to even consider a swap. Also, verification of the homeowner’s ability to get financing in this tight credit market is essential.

Even developers who have found themselves with high numbers of inventory are offering to buy peoples’ homes, especially if they are older and less expensive, essentially like trading in an older car for a new one. The developers are less worried about selling the trade-in home than getting stuck with a subdivision of empty homes that could drain their wallets and become a public relations problem.

Two of the Web sites I checked out are and The swapping Web sites charge nominal fees to list your property, much like the vacation home swapping sites. You can also find house swapping listings on Some real estate companies are also getting in on the act utilizing swapping as another marketing option, and there will inevitability be more to come.

Trading your home with someone is just another creative way to move your life along when all else fails. We’re told practically every day that we’re living in the worst economy since the Great Depression. Although things may be bad, sometimes turning the corner is all you have to do to find your way home.

Real Estate Transactions
Closed sales between March 2 and April 18, 2009

Anna Maria

523 Villa Rosa Way Single family $850,000
114 Tern Drive Single Family 750,000
160 Crescent Drive Single family 600,000
115 Maple Ave. Single family 550,000
111 Gull Drive Single family 525,000
304 Hardin Ave. Single family 515,000
801 Fern St. Duplex 326,000
9907 Gulf Drive Lot 315,000

Bradenton Beach

506 Bay Drive S. Condo $650,00
2418 Ave. C #500 Condo 375,000
2414 Ave. C Duplex 336,700
1801 Gulf Drive #207 Condo 225,000


12618 Safe Harbor Dr. Lot $475,000
4011 Osprey Harbor Lp. Townhouse 257,000
11900 Cortez Rd. W. #37 RV Resort 190,000
11900 Cortez Rd. W. #21 RV Resort 130,000
11900 Cortez Rd. W. #50 RV Resort 124,000
Address Type Price
11900 Cortez Rd. W. #8 RV Resort 121,500
11900 Cortez Rd. W. #68 RV Resort 110,000
11900 Cortez Rd. W. #77 RV Resort 86,000

Holmes Beach

520 58th St. 2 or more $1,775,000
105 49th St. Single family 750,000
6006 Gulf Drive #210 Condo 690,000
209 65th St. Single family 600,000
103 81st St. Single family 565,000
621 Emerald Lane Single family 550,000
519 75th St. Single family 416,000
104 55th St. Condo 400,000
203 70th St. Half Duplex 335,000
5200 Gulf Drive #108 Condo 315,000
313 62nd St. Duplex 300,000
2701 Ave. C Single family 225,000
3801 Fourth Ave. #3 Condo 220,000
6500 Flotilla Drive #214Condo 215,000
6804 Marina Drive Condo 215,000
6300 Flotilla Drive #99 Condo 180,000

Source: Manatee County Property Appraiser’s Office

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