10 of the Most Popular Homes in 2015

It’s the list you’ve all been waiting for: 10 of the homes that most inspired you to dream of travel during 2015.

When you search through the 66,000 Listings on HomeExchange.com, it’s hard not to fantasize. A lot. What would it be like to live in that Swiss chalet with views of the Alps? Or that Australian beachfront house within earshot of Pacific surf? Or that chic Manhattan apartment just steps from Lincoln Center and Central Park?

The pictures and descriptions of so many of the homes make you ache to hit the road and embrace discovery. They bring to life the excitement of cities like New York, Paris, Florence and Prague, as well as the calming effect of village retreats in Brazil or islands sanctuaries in the Mediterranean or Caribbean.

Here, then, are some of the HomeExchange Listings that received the most exchange inquiries in 2015. And turned fantasies into realities for a bunch of lucky exchangers.

1. New York City, New York, USA


The NYC fantasy: You’re in your light-filled apartment, calmly sipping home-brewed coffee while gazing out at a tree-lined Manhattan street. One block away is Lincoln Center; you’ve got evening opera tickets there. A short walk in the other direction is Central Park, where your kids are romping with your spouse. The elegant interior of your serene, luxury, two-bedroom hideaway is designer-decorated and has all the modern conveniences. Yes, you’ll eventually head to the building’s gym too, but for now you’re content contemplating which flowers will best complement the soothing color scheme.

The reality: This place exists! It was the most-solicited Listing in 2015, having received nearly 3,000 inquiries. And given several happy exchangers a unique New York getaway.

Turn fantasy to reality with our 1,000+ Listings in NYC area.

2. Sint-Michiel, Curaçao


The Caribbean fantasy: Five minutes from your resort-based villa is a private white-sand beach with free sun beds and plenty of palm-tree shade. Just down the beach are restaurants and bars, and a dive center with which you’re planning more underwater adventures inspired by your first mind-blowing dive. You’re even contemplating a little golf on the course your terrace overlooks. Your kids are snoozing nearby on the sofas after exhausting themselves in the swimming pools and stalking iguanas in the tropical garden of your modern, Caribbean-style three-bedroom refuge.

The reality: This place is real, located on the hurricane-free island of Curaçao, which is accessible via direct flights from Europe, North America and South America.

Turn fantasy to reality with our 20 Listings in Curaçao.

3. Niedersimmental District, Switzerland


The Alpine fantasy: You lay another log in the fireplace of your 300-year-old, green-shuttered, three-bedroom farmhouse. The cozy wood-dominated decor is all you imagined a Swiss mountain chalet would be, especially after last night’s blizzard turned your neighbors’ homes into scattered dots on a hillside blanket of snow. You can still imagine the expansive green meadows when the weather’s warm, as perfectly suited to seasonal hiking as to winter skiing. In your quiet high-elevation idyll, the only distractions are the mountain views, the lure of nearby ski lifts and the huge cowbell by the front door.

The reality: It’s not too good to be true! This home is in the isolated but accessible hinterlands of the Niedersimmental District west of Interlaken.

Turn fantasy to reality with our 700+ Listings in Switzerland.

4. Palm Beach, New South Wales, Australia


The Sydney fantasy: Every morning, before your eyes completely adjust to the light, you’re never sure if you’re still dreaming. And then the 180-degree view of the Pacific Ocean makes you gasp. Again. But you’re (only!) a few hundred meters from the beach in Casa Bella, your architect-designed, four-bedroom, two-level home on a landmark peninsula an hour north of Sydney (where many of the rich and famous live). You know you’ll get to the city eventually, but what’s the hurry, right? You’re surrounded by spacious, agreeable, open-plan common areas, both inside and out, perfectly designed for relaxing alone and hosting friends.

The reality: Once you feast your eyes on this “house with the best view in the world,” the word “vista” will never mean the same thing again.

Turn fantasy to reality with our 2,400+ Listings in Australia.

Join Now EN Unique home exchanges

5. Armação dos Búzios, Brazil


The village fantasy: It’s 1964 and Brigitte Bardot has escaped from Rio to the calm of your fishing village. OK, OK, it’s 2016 and Bardot’s no longer around; but there’s no denying the appeal of João Fernandes Beach, alive with cavorting locals and visitors, just 150 meters from your well-furnished, five-bedroom condominium. At your slight elevation, you have a clear sunset view of the bay over the roofs of town, whose shops are an easy amble away. Even closer are the shade of a brilliant Flame tree and the private pool belonging to the nine-house condo complex. Oh, and the long, comfortable couches in the living room.

The reality: No dream at all, Armação dos Búzios is two hours north of Rio de Janeiro, near the tip of the Búzios Peninsula, notable for its endless skies and noiseless nights.

Turn fantasy to reality with our 500+ Listings in Brazil.

6. Parikia, Paros Island, Greece


The island fantasy: Olive trees and an extensive stone terrace encircle your whitewashed villa. In their midst are the BBQ and bread/pizza oven, since this is a home built for the kind of outdoor living only possible with year-round temperate weather. When you must take shelter, the indoors of your three-bedroom, two-floor home — as sparkling white as the exterior — is fittingly comfortable and unpretentious. Wherever you sit, though, the view out to the town of Parikia, its bay and beaches (just 10 minutes away), and beyond that to the Aegean Sea is simply breathtaking.

The reality: Stop doubting! There really is a villa like this on the Greek island of Paros, an all-season jewel of the Cycladic archipelago.

Turn fantasy to reality with our 150 Listings in Greece.

7. Florence, Italy


The Florentine fantasy: Although the furnishings are antique and the decor includes original 18th-century ceiling frescoes, your very large (five-bedroom, 15-room!), light-filled, quiet and well-appointed house in the historic center of Florence comes fully equipped. Take, for example, the astounding walls of books in the living room and study. And the kid’s room stocked with toys. And the contemporary bathrooms. For a taste of the past, though, the view of the Palazzo Vecchio from the roof terrace takes you back in time. So, too, do your trips to the non-touristy daily market of Sant’Ambrogio and other nearby shops.

The reality: You can have your cake and eat it too. This fantastic home will put you in the heart of Florence, but in a uniquely Florentine part of town!

Turn fantasy to reality with our 2,800+ Listings in Italy.

8. Stockholm, Sweden


The fit-for-royalty fantasy: Prince Charles has visited your home, escorted by the King of Sweden, to visit an accomplished conversion of a 19th-century stone stable into a modern four-bedroom residence. Not that they’d ever stay in a stable, but you must be doing something right! You do love the care taken and the attention to detail — from the open-plan living area, exposed beams, wooden cabinets, comfy kids’ rooms and loft beds to the stone-walled basement study. And who could find fault with the small garden patio set on a small, car-free, public square right in the center of the city?!

The reality: This is hardly a fiction! The 1874 structure is located on east Kungsholmen, in the middle of Stockholm. That’s a mere five minutes on foot from the central train station.

Turn fantasy to reality with our 900+ Listings in Sweden

9. Prague, Czech Republic


The pied-à-terre fantasy: You think it’s time for a weekend trip to take in some street theater, gastronomy and striking architecture. Your Prague pied-à-terre is waiting for you, located within walking distance of the Old Town and all its incredible sights. The clean, modern, one-bedroom apartment is the perfect base of operations, all the more so given its huge roof terrace, which comes complete with a Jacuzzi. You may also need a vehicle for outings to more distant attractions. Fortunately, that too can be arranged!

The reality: An apartment and a convertible Peugeot 307 CC are there for you to use! The owner, who has worked as tour guide, can even point you in the right directions!

Turn fantasy to reality with our 150+ Listings in the Czech Republic.

10. Paris, France


The bohemian fantasy: It’s all about that romance with Paris. You’ve always had it bad. And now here you are in your quiet, two-bedroom loft — OK, you admit it, you called it your boudoir! — right on the slopes of Montmartre. The contemporary decor and chic feel of this spacious (especially for Paris), two-bedroom duplex only add to the sense of history that surrounds you. And the natural light, pouring through large ceiling windows, always buoys your mood. You can envision it as a former artist’s studio and can’t help but wonder what great works of art have been painted here.

The reality: Stop thinking it’s a dream! You don’t need a beret or easel to take in the best of Paris’ fabled 18th arrondissement, just minutes from the comfort of home.

Turn fantasy to reality with our 2,100+ Listings in Paris.

Join Now EN Unique home exchanges

21 Comments on “10 of the Most Popular Homes in 2015

  1. My townhouse is in New Jersey not far from Philadelphia. It is two hours from NYC. It is not popular but available quite often. Does your organization assist with non simultaneous swaps or a type of point exchange or low rental in order to make it more desirable for me. Also I will be going to Germany tis year and if I wanted to send a request out would it have to be individual or can I send to all of Germany? How would it work if I wanted to send out for just a city like Prague?

  2. I Have a beach house in front of the ocean, in Angra dos Reis , 150 km from Rio de Janeiro, 298 m2
    Would like to join, trade for a villa in Tuscani our Greece
    Kind regards
    Dr Zerbini, MD
    55 21 999755564

  3. I am so envious when I see these popular places. My apartment is located in the most visited city in the world, Paris, yet I never ever ever receive exchange offers. I can be on the Champs Elysees in only five minutes using the public transport which is only a short walking distance away, and though I’m not right next to it I have a spectacular view of the Eiffel Tower from my street. My place is modern, impeccably clean and in an elegant residential block. So why do I never get any offers? Well it’s because anyone who puts Paris into the search engine of an exchange website will never see my place or indeed any of the other thousands of places located in the suburbs of Paris even if (as is my case) that suburb is closer to the Champs Elysees than much of the rest of Paris proper. Paris proper is in fact only a tiny part of the entire city and those who live outside the portion of the city called Paris are never included in map searches. It’s as if people looking to exchange with NYC only wrote Manhattan in the search engine and therefore never got to see offers in Brooklyn or other boroughs. It’s like someone wanting to go to London would only ever see zones 1 and 2 and nothing beyond. To come across my place a potential exchanger would have to write in the name of my district ‘Courbevoie’ or the name given to the greater Paris region which is Ile de France, and let’s face it, not many people know that. Very frustrating but nobody’s fault obviously.

    • Hi Padraig,

      We have a very nice house in Amsterdam! We love Paris and would like to do an exchange at the end of February during our holidays for a long weekend or so. Please let us know if you are interested.

      Love form Amsterdam,

      Nathalie and Machiel

    • Hi there. We live in Florida full time, but have a home in mountains of North Carolina. Do you have any interest in visiting that part of the country?

    • Hi Padraig,

      Although we can’t change the issue of geography, we can recommend a few things. There are many members who, like you, are just outside the main part of a major city. We recommend that all of our members, regardless of their location, remember to send out lots of inquiries. By doing a reverse search (“Only show Listings wanting to go to:”), you can find your target exchange partners.

      Home Exchange is all about “living like a local”. Many members know that living in an area like yours often better provides that experience rather than being in the heart of the city. Make sure that you include details about the local experiences someone can enjoy. Share photos of some of the unique locations right around your home.

      Finally, don’t forget to share a link to your listing with us. We welcome you to post your link here and share it on our social media profiles!

    • Totally agree with this comment. We have the same problem with Sydney. If it’s not in the immediate City Centre, postcode 2000 it diesn’t Come up on a Sydney search. Problem with the web search design.

  4. Our exchange home is in the beautiful city of Düsseldorf which was ranked 6th best place to live in the world – and yet everyone seems to want to go to Berlin! Home Exchangers, don’t miss out on this lovely part of Germany – we are only two blocks from the Rhine River with miles of bike paths and small beaches, 5 minutes from city center with world-class stores such as Versace, Gucci and Prada. Plus top museums, numerous beer gardens and a long stretch of restaurants and bars along the sparkling river promenade.

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