Timeshare allows you to buy the use of a holiday home for the same week or weeks every year. This concept is a fraction of the price of owning it all year-round. It also takes away the costs and worries of year-round maintenance. In effect, you are buying holiday time. You can use this yourself, rent it out, give it away, sell or bequeath it as you wish. Timeshare has many different variations with the same basic concept. Other names include vacation ownership, holiday ownership, and club time. This is just the beginning in understanding timeshare.
It is one of the fastest growing sectors of the holiday industry. Furthermore, big brands such as Marriott, Diamond Resorts, and Hilton (to name but a few), the image of timeshare has changed.
How Did Timeshare Start?
The genuinely earliest known timeshare in Europe was London’s Albert Hall. It was built in the late 19th century, and those who subscribed to the building fund received a right to a specific seat and tickets at specific intervals.
The French reinvented timeshare in 1966. Some say it was ski resorts, others say it was luxury villas in the South of France. Timeshare was quickly seen to be a way of providing holiday homes in areas of beauty where housing was in short supply and at exorbitant prices.
During the recession, luxury homes were not selling. However, when sold in shares, they become affordable to many. The concept was simple, economic, and soon spread to Switzerland, Japan, and the United States. The Americans are firm believers in timeshare and many are multi-week owners. 1973 saw Britain’s first project. There are now about 550,000 British timeshare owners in the UK and abroad.
Is It a Good Investment?
You should not view timeshare as a form of property investment. However, it is an excellent investment in leisure, as it assures you of the highest standards of holiday accommodation and amenities for many years to come.
What Are Maintenance Fees and Why Should I Pay Them?
The resort developer and management company will charge you maintenance fees every year. These fees maintain the property, pay insurance, utilities, refurbishing, and taxes. They vary from resort to resort and with the type and size of the unit purchased. They typically range from £200 to £350 for a one-bedroom unit.
If you fail to pay your maintenance fees, you risk losing your timeshare and possibly having the debt count against your credit records. In the worst case scenario, the matter will go to debt collectors and you may risk being taken to court.
What Can I Do With My Timeshare? Can I Bequeath it to My Next of Kin or a Friend?
Your timeshare is part of your estate so you can bequeath it to whomever you wish. You can use it yourself, lend it to friends and family, rent it, save it, or borrow from future years. You can sell it and of course you can exchange it for other luxury resorts around the world through RCI, Interval International, or DialAnExchange.
What is an Exchange Company and How Does it Work?
There are several timeshare exchange companies. The most well-known are RCI and Interval International (II).
These exchange companies have over 5,000 affiliate resorts across the globe. The concept is really quite simple. Timeshare exchanging means to trade your week at your resort with another timeshare owner’s week at another resort. Between R.C.I. and I.I., over 3 million exchanges take place every year.
Joining is easy and affordable! DialAnExchange, a smaller exchange company, also offers efficient and friendly service and the exchange fee is much lower. See timeshare exchange companies for more information.
What is the Difference Between Freehold, Leased, and Licensed Timeshare?
Most timeshare ownerships are either freehold or leased for a specific number of years.
A freehold timeshare is like any house purchase in that you own the timeshare outright forever. The freehold property can be sold, rented or even willed to your heirs.
A leased timeshare property gives you the right to use a week at the property for a specific number of years. This typically ranges from 20 to 80 years. When the lease expires, the right to use the property terminates and normally returns to the resort.
Although gaining in popularity, probably the least common form of timeshare ownership is licensing. The licensing arrangement normally involves membership in a vacation club. As a member in good standing, you have the right to use the club and all of its amenities.
What is a Fixed Timeshare Week?
A fixed week is a specific week during the calendar year usually identified by a number. Different resorts use different calendars. Ownership of a fixed week allows you the use of the unit for that specific week annually for as long as you own it.
What is a Floating Timeshare Week?
A floating week is a week that may be used anytime during the year (subject to availability). It is usually related to seasons: high, medium, and low. Every year you will book your desired holiday period within the season you own. Due to competition among existing owners for prime weeks, availability may vary. High and low seasons vary from resort to resort. Be sure to investigate this before purchasing to avoid disappointment.
Understanding Timeshare Points
The points system is a relatively new form of timeshare ownership. This system allows the owner to purchase timeshare or holiday points they can use for travel during specific seasons of the year. The more points purchased, the more flexibility offered when wishing to travel during high season. More points will entitle you to larger units or a higher standard resort.
Another advantage of the timeshare points system is that it provides you with flexibility. You can use a certain number of your points towards a one-night stay or up to the maximum number of points purchased. Flexibility is a major advantage to the point system, although everything is subject upon availability. Nowadays points are a very popular system. However, if you need school holiday time, you cannot beat owning your own week in August: guaranteed occupancy for you year after year.
What Does it Mean to “Spacebank” a Week?
Spacebanking means to deposit your timeshare week with an exchange company. Consequently, you can save it for use at a later time in a different resort.
What is the Difference Between Red, White, Yellow, Blue, and Green Time?
Each colour serves as a rating of the overall desirability of a particular week at a timeshare resort. Super Red is peak season and the most desirable time of year to own. Red is high season, and white and yellow follow this. Off-season weeks fall under blue and green.
What is an Even Years or Odd Years Timeshare?
Alternate years ownership allows the owner use of their week every other year.
What is a Gold Crown or Five Star resort?
A Gold Crown Resort is the equivalent of a Five Star rating in the RCI system. II uses Five Star to identify the most prestigious resorts, just like the rating for hotels.
What if I Need to Sell My Timeshare in the Future?
Some resorts will handle the resale of your timeshare. Others will not as they need to sell their own stock.
It is imperative to keep up with the payment of your maintenance fees to avoid repossession of your timeshare through arrears.
Call Travel & Leisure Group FREE on 0800 071 1372 for a realistic valuation. You can also discuss the different forms of advertising available to help you promote the sale of your timeshare. Alternatively, click here to complete an enquiry form, or simply email us with your request.
Why Are Prices So Low on the Timeshare Resale Market?
It is no secret that upwards of 50% of the resort developer costs are sales and marketing. When you purchase directly from the resort, you pay an extortionate price to absorb all of that.
When buying on the resale market, you only pay the true and fair market value of the property! You not only benefit from the use of the property, but you also enjoy savings of 30-50% or more! The resale market is mature and the inventory available nowadays is very attractive to buyers.
Call Travel & Leisure Group FREE on 0800 071 4674 now to see what we have on offer!