Home & Design | September 20, 2016 9:00 am

A New Startup Lets You Play Musical Houses

Trade your digs for other homes around the world

The grass, as they say, is always greener.

But is it?

Most of us spend a good portion of each day musing about getting out of dodge, up and trading in our ho-hum lives for a whole new existence. Now, a new startup is allowing homeowners — not renters, sorry — to do just that, letting them swap their home for one in another locale, without giving up ownership.

Called Restate, the New York-based company is establishing a national network of homes across the U.S. that are owned by individuals who are interested in living somewhere else.

The members-only club connects people who are looking to move with empty properties in their destination city. Meanwhile, it finds individuals to move into their home when it becomes vacant. While the minimum exchange duration is one month, at a cost of $99 per month, there’s is no maximum. In theory, you could move for good, as long as the homeowner didn’t want to reclaim his place.

The platform will do its best to account for local market differences (a ranch-style home in Phoenix may be equivalent to a one-bedroom in New York) and members who “downgrade” to a cheaper home will earn a stipend. Conversely, homeowners who wish to upgrade will extra.

As for security concerns, Restate points to the example of another app that traffics in real estate.

“Airbnb already showed that people are okay with letting other people stay in their homes … and they’re not giving their own property as security,” Restate cofounder Petr Novikov told Fast Company. “If you’re a member and you [stay in another person’s home], you give your property as a security, so you already have this kind of collateral there.”

If that all sounds good to you, apply to join Restate before October 1st and your first exchange is free.

Happy house-hunting.