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Home Page > Sample Letters

We've put together some sample letters below to help you get started. Use one of these as a template, or put together your own:

Sample Letter of Introduction:

12 January 2001
Brussels

Daan Heers, Mic Schneider
77, rue Montreaux
Brussels, BELGIUM
Phone: 33 14 02 88
mi casa su casa Membership Number: 2233

Greetings Home Exchange Friends,

Our names are Daan and Mic and we are very interested in visiting California this summer. We are experienced travelers and usually take 2-3 trips a year, including one overseas. Our favorite spots are Paris, Greece and New York City, but we've also visited Mexico, Brazil, and most of Europe including Portugal. Our dates are somewhat flexible but we were hoping to visit in June for your "Gay Pride" festivals. We are only interested in home exchange now.

We have lived together for six years now, and live in a condo that we own jointly. It's a very spacious, modern condo with 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a living room, dining room and kitchen with breakfast area. It is on the top floor of the building, the second floor (or what you would call the third floor) and faces the south so it's very sunny. We have lots of new, comfortable furniture as well as some nice antiques. You will have every convenience from TV and VCR, stereo/CD player, dishwasher, to washer, dryer and a balcony.

Our building is located just a few minutes from Brussels' main square, the Grand Place (see photos on back of letter). It is about a twenty minute walk, but there is also frequent public transportation that will take you to see many interesting buildings, restaurants, gay discos, shops, and lots of delicious Belgian chocolates.

As you know, Belgium is also very centrally located in Europe. We are just 2-1/2 hours by train to Amsterdam, 3 hours to Paris, 2-1/2 hours to London and about an hour to the Germany border. So you see, you can easily use our comfortable home as a base from which you discover all of Europe. Belgium also has many historical cities such as Antwerp, Liege, Bruges and Ghent.

Daan is 32 years old and works as a psychologist for the Brussels school system. Mic, the blonde of the family, is 30 years old and manages the securities investment division of a local bank.

Please note that we have a cat, named Crispy. He is 5 years old and very sleepy most of the time. He is clean and does not go outside. Crispy is affectionate but keeps to himself, and sleeps in his basket in the hallway in the front of the apartment. He will not disturb you, I promise.

Hope to hear from you soon!

DAAN AND MIC


Sample Response Letter:

January 21st, 2001

Jennifer Stevens, Sue Blum
1128 Town Drive
San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: (619) 268-9036
mi casa su casa Membership Number: 1111

Dear Daan and Mic,

Thank you for your letter! Your home sounds very nice, and the photos of Belgium got our imaginations going.

Our names are Jennifer and Sue, and we have lived openly lesbian here in San Diego for eight years now. Between us, we have traveled to Europe three times before, but in Southern France, Italy and Spain. It's time to venture north! Traveling with me will be my girlfriend of two years, Sue. Sue is a freelance photographer specializing in black-and-white portraits as well as commercial nature landscapes—you may have seen some of her photos in the September 2000 issue of Sailing magazine.

Rather than repeating everything about myself, I have attached my Letter of Introduction so you will know more about me and my home. I have also included some photos of my house and of my neighborhood. There is a~so one of Sue and I.

We are both fluent in Spanish, Sue speaks French and I can read French, especially menus.

June is actually a perfect month for us to travel to Belgium. We would be interested in swapping with you from June 14th to June 30th so you will be here during the Gay Pride festivities. While San Diego does have its own celebration, it is on the Saturday before the Sunday parade and rally in Los Angeles, so you could actually attend both.

Sue has a cat named Ishtar, who is the coolest, mellowest cat I've ever known. He's also very independent and knows his way around my house well enough that it would be perfect if he could stay with you during your trip. And we'll of course watch out for Crispy.

Let us know if the dates and situation works for you and we'll go from there.

Best regards,

JENNIFER AND SUE


Sample Letter of Agreement:

The sample Letter of Agreement goes into a lot of detail. In actuality, many of your agreements will be verbal. Our sample is meant to get you to consider all possible details, even though you do not need to put every item into your Letter, if you do a Letter of Agreement at all.

29 January 2001
Brussels

Daan Heers, Mic Schneider
77, rue Montreaux
Brussels, BELGIUM
Phone: 33 14 02 88

Dear Jennifer and Sue,

As we discussed on the phone yesterday after we received your letter and photos, we are very excited about exchanging with you. We would like to accept your offer for home exchange. Thank you for offering to exchange at the end of June, so we can take part in the festivals.

We're relieved that you are willing to watch out for Crispy. And it will be nice to have Ishtar around as well. We're used to having a furry friend, other than each other, to cuddle with.

Here are the details as we understand them:

1. Our exchange will last for about 2 weeks from 13 June to 31 June.

2. We will arrive on 13 June at San Diego Airport, and you will meet us there (time of flight to be determined) and take us to your home.

3. The two of you will depart from San Diego Airport on 14 June in the afternoon. Either we will drive you to the airport or some friends of yours will. We will give you the keys to my flat at that time.

4. Your friend Janice will also meet us at the airport so we will be familiar with her and can call her if we have any problems in your home. We in return will have our friend Marti meet you in her car at Brussels airport at the time of your arrival. She will take you to our flat.

5. We each agree to sweeping and vacuuming the living room, bedroom, kitchen and bathroom once a week, or more if needed. Upon departure, we will do the above plus scrub sinks, shower, tub and toilets, mop kitchen and bathroom, wash and dry bed sheets (including the waterbed if we try that out!), wash and put away all dishes. Also wipe off stove and oven, and clean out refrigerator of leftovers.

6. We will replace all firewood that we use; you will provide the name of someplace where we can purchase a small amount.

7. You agree to feed Crispy twice a day, in the morning with dry food, in the evening with canned food. You won't let Crispy out of the flat. You will clean out litter box at least once a week. We will do the same for Ishtar.

8. We will water your indoor plants as needed. Your friend Janice will water the outside garden every couple of days.

9. Since we'll need to make telephone calls to Los Angeles, after our trips we will compare one another's phone bills, provide copies to one another, and determine who spent the most on phone calls, both local and long distance. Whoever spent the most will reimburse the other the amount over and above the amount spent by the other party, but only if it's $20 or more.

10. If we decide to take side trips, we will notify Janice as to how long we will be gone so she can feed Ishtar. You will also notify Marti in Copenhagen, if you take side trips, so she can tend to Crispy. We all agree not to have any overnight guests.

11. We will provide you with a closet in the front hallway for your clothes as well as 3 drawers in the bedroom dresser. You will provide us with space in the master bedroom closet as well as drawer space (4 drawers) in two night stands. Except for getting out cleaning materials and cookware, we agree not to go into any other closets or drawers.

12. We will be allowed to use your hot tub—you will provide typewritten instructions on how to operate it.

13. You can use our bicycles. You both agree to lock the bicycles whenever they are unattended in a public place.

14. We all agree to pay for any dishes, cups, windows that accidentally get broken during the stay.

15. We agree to provide one another with an Information Kit as outlined in the Member Journal.

16. If Mic takes up smoking again, he agrees not to smoke in your home or in your yard.

17. We agree to replace one another's household staple items including toilet paper, coffee, soap, and paper towels.

18. At the end of our stay, we will give the house keys to Janice when she drives us to the airport on 31 June. You will do the same with Marti.

19. We will wave to one another from our planes!

I hope I have included everything. Mark any changes before signing it. You can then fax it to my office at 34 22 15 05 so we can go ahead with getting plane reservations. But also send us a signed hard copy in the mail.

Thanks, friends. We look forward to meeting you on a sunny day!

DAAN HEERS ___________________________________ DATE _____________________

MIC SCHNEIDER DATE ___________________________________ DATE _____________________

JENNIFER STEVENS ___________________________________ DATE _____________________

SUE BLUM ___________________________________ DATE _____________________

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