Feeling cramped in your Gotham digs? Whether you live in an 18-room sprawling Park Avenue duplex, or in a McMansion in the suburbs, you'll want to learn more about the pioneering company, 3RD HOME. This firm is taking second-home ownership to a new level. Created to fill a need expressed by second-home owners, Nashville-based 3RD HOME provides its members the unique opportunity to exchange time in their homes for stays at other premier luxury destinations around the world. Many second-home owners are eager to tap into a reliable and trustworthy way to "expand" the use of their second-homes without the hassle or expense of renting it to strangers, and still generate "psychic income," if not actual cash.
The Ocean House, in Jaco, Costa Rica
By depositing weeks into the club's inventory bank, members can reserve a different home in an enviable location at any given time—and they can do it right up to the virtual eleventh hour. The interactive 3RD HOME Web site allows members to simply browse, click, and instantly reserve their vacation destination-home at someone else's second home! Members will find homes in bustling metropolises, tropical paradises, and at snowy slopes. Average second-home value in 3RD HOME’s collection of properties is $2.5 million, with some valued in excess of $30 million. There are hundreds of desirable destinations to choose from – over 1,330 homes spread throughout 67 countries. The scale and quality are unprecedented, with many homes under the proprietary aegis of top-branded destination clubs and real estate developments, such as The Ritz-Carlton Residences in Vail and Singer Island (Palm Beach) to TRUMP International Hotel & Tower in New York City.
Edgartown, Martha's Vineyard
To gain membership into 3RD HOME, individuals have to own a second home (worth at least $500,000) in a desirable location, worthy of a five-star experience. Based upon a stringent set of guidelines, a home is awarded "value," a function of the location allure, beauty, upkeep, architecture, and décor. Based on the determined property value, members are awarded virtual 3RD HOME keys, which are, in turn, used as currency. One-key homes range from $500,000 to $1 million, two-key homes up to $2 million, and so on. The majority of properties within the roster are in the two-key range of $1 million to $2 million. 3RD HOME’s two year membership fee is $495; additionally, each time a member books a stay at a 3RD HOME property, the member pays a transaction fee of $495.
“Second homes are costly assets, requiring 12 months of expenses without 12 months of use,” says Wade Shealy, CEO and founder of 3RD HOME. "The 3RD HOME community provides members with a safe and easy platform for anytime access to the world’s finest destinations." Shealy believes that within the next ten years, all second-home owners will be members of a club similar to this one, as potential owners of vacation properties will more closely examine the costs and benefits of buying a $2-3 million-dollar home that gets used sporadically. Shealy feels that they will want to "get something more out of it."
La Fortuna, Argentina
When booking a property on the 3RD HOME Web site, members can toggle over a map of the world to choose a destination and then they can sign into the 3RD HOME site to search for properties--whether partnered properties and residence club destinations or individually owned homes--and then check available dates; additionally, they can read members' testimonials. If members have a certain date in mind, they can enter the date to see which properties are available at a specific time.
On each individual page for each property, members can see how many keys a home is listed for, as well as dates currently available, and what times of year the home is most likely to be occupied. If there are no current dates available for booking, members can sign up for alerts providing notification when the property does become available. If a member deposits weeks during an opportune time (Christmas, Fourth of July, spring break, etc.), they’re offered "First 2 Know" or "F2K" permission, which enables them to view and book the most recently added properties prior to other members' ability to do so.
A 24-hour concierge and help desk are available for all members via email or phone. Have immediate questions or trouble navigating the website? 3RD HOME even provides a live-chat window enabling members to talk to a representative throughout the booking process.
"We are by no means a conventional exchange program," notes Giles Adams, partner and president of 3RD HOME. “With other programs that require a direct, simultaneous exchange, finding a willing trader with a desired property on the exact dates required is a challenge. With 3RD HOME, every property listed is available to you."
3RD HOME prides itself on its exclusivity, appealing to the super-affluent market which expects a superior level of service. The club is far different from other home exchange programs for many reasons, among them, the quality of 3RD HOME’S membership base, the, the pre-screening of members' properties, and the reviewing process. "We're changing the game for second-home owners by providing the ability to travel to new locales with family and friends,” observes Shealy. “By leveraging scale, trust, and accessibility, we offer our members benefits above and beyond traditional home exchange programs."
To apply for membership within 3RD HOME, or to learn more about the luxury club, visit www.3RDHOME.com.