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Couple and family permanently swap houses in ‘UK first’

HouseSimple said the two families had made UK house purchasing history.

A couple and a family have swapped their houses permanently in what is said to be a UK first.

David West and his wife Margaret were thinking of down-sizing and have swapped houses with a young family who were looking for a bigger home.

Mr West, a duty manager at a student residence, listed his three-bedroom, detached family home in Kinross on the HouseSimple website in May of this year.

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John and Kelly Davie and their daughter Lucy, two, in their new home (Sandy Young/PA)

John Davie found Mr West’s house online and put in a home viewing request to visit the property, as he was looking for a larger house for his wife, Kelly, and their two-year-old daughter, Lucy, to live in.

While he was looking round the house Mr West mentioned that he and his wife Margaret were thinking of down-sizing as their two adult daughters were leaving the family nest.

When Mr Davie, a data analyst, mentioned he had a two-bedroom semi-detached house they had not put on the market yet, Mr West suggested the idea of a home swap.

He and his wife then viewed Mr Davie’s house in Kinross and both parties confirmed a home swap and put in offers on each other’s properties.

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David and Margaret West in the Davies' former home (Sandy Young/PA)

They swapped homes on October 12.

Mr West said: “We put our house up on HouseSimple as it was the cheapest way to list our home, and had used the site previously for renting so knew the interface well.

“The house swap allowed us flexibility on the move date and enabled us to solve moving-in issues such as finding the stop cock when I needed to isolate the water in the bathroom, and the knack to locking the patio door.”

Mr Davie added: “The house swap made perfect sense as both our properties had what the other wanted.

“The process of finding David’s house online made it convenient to find the property we wanted.”

HouseSimple said the two families had made UK house purchasing history.

Sophie Gosling, co-founder of HouseSimple, said: “David and John have provided a glimpse into the future of home buying.

“Our service has meant that John could easily find David online, and we’re really happy for them and their families that they have found their dream homes in time for Christmas.”

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