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Press Release - Don't sell your house, swap it! - By OWEN LEI/King 5 News

Written By: By OWEN LEI / KING 5 News
Mar 16, 2009
Article #45

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09:48 AM PDT on Monday, March 16, 2009


 It's a niche in the housing market that was popular in the early 20th century. And brokers say in the current economy, permanent house swapping is gaining momentum once again.

Don't sell your house, swap it!

 Gaelen Billingsley says she tried for months to sell her four bedroom, two bath Central Seattle house.

"For a while, I was really driving myself crazy with it," she said. "I did all the work myself."

She even found a potential buyer.

"When she went shopping for a loan for this house, she couldn't get a loan," said Billingsly.

So Billingsley took her house off the market.

"And then one night I was laying in bed and in the middle of the night I woke up and thought I have this great idea," she said.

Her idea? Swap houses. broker Larry Braden says the ailing economy seems to be boosting interest for more creative ways to unload real estate, often from one state to another.

"To get deals done when the credit markets are frozen, it's really becoming the way to do business," said Braden.

"It's not just a rental home for a rental home," said Richard Dance, a Certified Exchange Specialist. "You can go to a duplex, an apartment complex, a business building, a marina with land."

They say trading has benefits.

"It creates opportunities to get deals done. Secondly, you have an opportunity to preserve your market value," said Braden.

Billinsley says listing her home for trade has been successful - kind of.

"I had a guy who wanted to trade from Arizona, and someone from Portland, and that was sort of tempting," she said.

And that's the biggest drawback. Like online dating, you have to find the perfect match in a pool that isn't very large to begin with.

Braden says receives 200 new trading offers nationally each day.

But it's important to note that's still only a small cross-section of the U.S. real estate market.

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