About 20 million households own vacation timeshares. You probably get calls and mailers inviting you to sit through a presentation for a timeshare.
Before you accept that offer and show up, you should know how timeshares work. It’s much different than buying a second home to use as a vacation home.
It can get confusing, especially if you’re sitting through a sales presentation with incentives and pressure to sign on right away.
If you want to be armed with information, you’ll want to keep reading. We’re going to show you what timeshare ownership is all about before you buy a timeshare.
What Is a Vacation Timeshare?
Let’s start with the basics. A vacation timeshare is a way to buy time at a vacation resort. It’s like prepaying for a hotel room in advance.
You share the property costs with the other owners. This includes maintenance and administration fees.
Since you’re a part owner of a vacation property, you’d think that it’s an investment that will increase in value.
That’s not always the case with timeshares. Instead of approaching it as a real estate investment opportunity, you should approach it as a guaranteed vacation spot every year.
How Do Vacation Timeshares Work?
It largely depends on your contract and timeshare developer. The two main types of vacation timeshare are deeded and non-deeded.
Deeded timeshares give you a percentage of ownership of the property. This is based on the amount of time you plan to use the timeshare.
Non-deeded timeshares are similar to a lease. You don’t have an ownership stake in the property, but you do have the right to use the property.
You’ll have the right to resell the timeshare through sites like sellingtimeshares.net, eBay, and travel magazine sites.
You’ll find that non-deeded timeshares seem like a good deal because they cost quite a bit less. Keep in mind that you might have problems reselling the timeshare and there are limits on what you can do with the lease.
How to Use Timeshare Ownership
If you decide to buy a timeshare, you’ll need to know how to use it. Timeshares have different models.
For example, a fixed-week timeshare gives you access to a resort property for the same week each year. A floating timeshare lets you visit the property when you want, as long as there’s availability.
A points system offers more flexibility. You can cash in points to use at different properties when you want. This is a great option if you want to travel around the world.
Finally, fractional ownership lets you stay at a property for extended periods of time.
Become a Vacation Timeshare Owner
There are a lot of vacation timeshare benefits, but you have to make sure you get the agreement that works best for you.
Vacation timeshares vary in how you use them and what you really own. Be sure to read the fine print of any timeshare contract before you sign on.
Are you ready for more travel ideas? Click on the Travel tab at the top of the page.