Previously a private club for the owners of multi-million pound properties, luxury home swapping service Third Home has recently launched a rental offering and ‘travel adventures’ concierge service to the public.
This means anyone can now rent one of the club’s 10,000 luxury properties without the commitment of joining or need to own a second property.
Could you snap up an ostentatious home worth millions for a trip at a reasonable cost? This is Money reveals all below…
Previously a members only club, Third Home properties are now available to rent for anyone
How does it work?
The club is still available to those lucky enough to own second properties.
To be accepted into, the group says your second home must be in a desirable location, ‘with quality furnishings, appointments and amenities’.
It works on a points system – called keys – which are earned through depositing time in your own second home for others to use.
Deposits can be made in both weekly increments and two or four night increments.
Once you become a member, you have to pay exchange fees to the company when you make a booking to use another property – but no rent is charged.
With an average second home on the website valued at £1.7million plus a joining fee of £1,900, this isn’t an option for many.
So is the renting option affordable?
Average property values come in at around £1.7m – with locations in over 90 countries
Before you start, you’ll need to be verified and approved by Third Home. After that, if you have a big enough group, the rental costs can be less than you might expect.
In order to be approved, guests have to provide a form of ID, such as passport or a driving licence, which is then checked against various international criminal databases.
This means that should worrisome information be found, the host will be informed and asked whether they want to proceed with the rental.
Once the rental is in place, guests and hosts are then covered by an insurance arrangement through Third Home’s partner Safely.
The cost of renting any of the 10k properties varies, and depends on the size of the home
The cost to rent any of the 10,000 properties varies, and depends on the destination and size of the home.
The property pictured at the top, Chateau de Vezins in the Loire Valley, France, is an 18th century nine-bedroom mansion complete with a pool, hot tub, and yoga room.
It costs £6,219 for seven days in the spring, or £7,107 during peak season.
Split between nine people, that’s £122 a night, roughly the same as a four star London hotel.
A larger group, say 15 people, could stay for under £60 each a night during off season – but there are also cheaper homes out there in various locations.
What kind of properties are on offer?
This 7 bedroom home in Turkey is available for as little as £30 a night, less than a Travel Lodge
This property, in Kalkan in Turkey, would cost £2,975 a week to rent during peak season.
Split between the maximum 14 guests, this comes out at £212 per guest – or £30 per guest per night, less than the average cost of a Travelodge.
For fewer guests seeking properties in a similar price range, the below property in Torreguadiaro, Spain, is available for £2,519 per week.
Split between 10 guests, this amounts to around £251, or £35 per night.
This house in Torreguadiaro, Spain, is available for £2,519 a week, or £35 per person per night
For something in a slightly higher price range, the below property in Impruneta, Italy, is available for €1,000 a night and houses up to 14 guests.
For a week, split between all 14 people, this would cost around £65 a night.
This property in Impruneta, Italy, is available for £907 per night and houses up to 14 people
Is anyone else offering a similar service?
There are other companies out there offering similar services, but with limited range.
Marriott Hotels is launching into the home sharing market for the first time – now offering 200 homes in London as a pilot project – and Wyndham Hotel Group has bought Love Home Swap, a service which allows both home swapping and rentals.
At the luxury end of the market, in 2016 Accor Hotels bought Onefinestay, which offers over 2,500 in 180 destinations.
There is of course also Airbnb, which recently announced its ‘Beyond’ service, following its acquisition of high-end vacation rental company Luxury Retreats, which offers around 4,000 homes in 100 destinations.