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Is timeshare ownership right for you?

What is a timeshare?

A timeshare is a method of shared ownership typically used for vacation style properties. By purchasing a "share" or a piece of a resort you can schedule a fabulous vacation experience during specific time periods. This is a way for a number of people to share ownership of a property in either a deeded or non-deeded manner during fixed or floating weeks.

What is a timeshare?

Alternatively, some timeshare companies participate in a points-based system that operates much like currency. You can accumulate points to be used at different resort locations. Because there are varying options for timeshare ownership it's helpful to understand the differences and what will fit best for your vacation needs.

Timeshare Ownership Options

Shared Deeded

Most resorts are deeded and the owner has a deeded interest in the property. For example, if your timeshare is sold in one-week increments — then there will be 52 total deeds (one going to each partial owner) when fully sold.

Shared Non-deeded (lease, license or membership)

In this case, the developer retains the deeded title and each owner holds a leased interest. You use the property each year for a set or floating week during a specific time period for a set number of years. However, you never actually gain an ownership interest in the property. These options are typically less expensive but have more limitations on the transfer and have an expiration date (that may be extended).

Buying a timeshare vacation home

Timeshare Use Periods

Fixed Weeks

With fixed weeks, you have access to a specific unit or property during the same week or weeks each year (most typical). You essentially purchase the right to use a property during the exact dates you choose.

Flex or Floating

With flex or floating timeshares on the other hand, you have access to the property at any time according to the availability or during a specific season with reservation.

Exchange Programs

Some resorts participate in exchange programs where you can trade time in your own property for time in another using a points-based system (some deeded and some belong to a collective timeshare trust). This gives owners more options on timing and location for their vacation. With this option, you can own a shared deed to one location with the option of using it as points.

Each property within the timeshare network of resorts has assigned levels of value and desirability. This translates to varying costs (or points) to reserve based on location and time frame. Depending on availability you can use your points to book a reservation at any property that participates in the timeshare network.

Is timeshare ownership right for you?

Is a Timeshare Right for You?

Timeshares are not right for everyone. There is a substantial upfront cost along with annual maintenance fees to consider. Timeshares can be a challenging financial investment as most depreciate over time and can be difficult to sell. If you don’t want to be tied down to the same location during the same time period (unless you go to timeshare clubs or point systems) a timeshare may not be your best option.

Many people enjoy that a timeshare blocks time each year for a vacation regardless of a busy schedule. It’s especially nice if you prefer to vacation at the same place and within the same time frame each year. Owning a timeshare removes the stress and time spent booking a new vacation each year. You know what to expect and can become comfortable with the resort and surrounding areas. Plus it’s much cheaper than owning a vacation home. For large families, it can make sense to rotate which part of the family gets to use the timeshare each time it's reserved.

Every family has different vacation wants and needs. If you believe that timeshare ownership is the best option for your family, make sure to purchase based on how you will best use and enjoy the timeshare. Happy vacationing!

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