What is timeshare? First of all, it’s a very misunderstood term, one that has been unfairly tarnished over the years. Just read the horror stories about being locked in a room by a salesman who won’t let you leave until you’ve purchased. This is still an unfortunate reality of the industry. However, it has been able to reclaim its original good intentions: high quality holiday accommodation that will save you money. This is due in no small part to having major players such as Marriott and Diamond Resorts in the mix.
Timeshare as we know it has been around since the 1960s. Developers of a holiday resort split the properties at that resort into week-long periods for people to buy. This would give the owner of that week the right to stay in the property for that week every year. All of the property’s owners were responsible for the upkeep of their resort. This was paid for annually through their maintenance fees.
Over time, the industry grew. People wanted to be able to vary their holiday destinations, and exchanges therefore became very popular. Many people started to buy into timeshare! The ability to change their location and guarantee a week away somewhere abroad turned out to be better value than overpriced package holidays.
As the product took off, unscrupulous companies took advantage of a lack of legislation. Nowadays, industry governing bodies regulate timeshare sales. Thankfully, reports of high pressure sales and non-existent weeks have died down—though they still exist.
What is Timeshare? There Are Different Types
There are different types of timeshare on the market, and three main types include:
- Fixed Week – this is the most traditional type of timeshare. The owner receives every year when they can stay in their property (usually in the same unit). This really does feel like a home away from home.
- Floating Week – this option gives the owner more flexibility. They can stay in a unit of a specific size for one week every year. However, they can choose which week they would like (usually within ‘season’ brackets that cover different times of year). Sometimes, owners are even able to swap to a different resort. Be aware that this depends on the individual developer’s terms and conditions.
- Timeshare Points – this type of timeshare is very flexible. Members book their holiday using their yearly allocation of points. This removes restrictions to type and size of accommodation, and owners can use their points wherever they choose. Some developers even offer the option to ‘roll over’ points to or ‘borrow’ points from the following year. By doing so, you can often have an even better experience by using a bulk amount for the holiday of a lifetime.
What to Watch Out For
It is true that the timeshare industry has expanded to offer a lot more flexibility. But where genuine timeshare operators have embraced the regulation that’s come with it, some operators have tried to get around legislation. They do this by claiming they aren’t timeshare and are in fact a ‘Holiday Ownership Club’ or a ‘Destination Club’.
Always ensure that you’re dealing with a genuine and reputable timeshare operator. If you’re thinking of buying into a property this way and would like to purchase resale—which will often save you over 50% of the developers’ own prices—approach a company such as Travel and Leisure Group.
Established in 1992, we are affiliated with TATOC and RDO, two of the timeshare industry’s regulatory bodies. We’re also the longest-running timeshare broker in Europe! We protect our clients from the beginning to the end of the sales process. An independent solicitor holds all monies safely in escrow. This is a key factor in our success as a reseller.
Would you like more information about whether timeshare is the right holiday investment for you? Enquire with our friendly Buying team who will give you a no-obligation overview of our services and what we have on offer.
What is timeshare? If you need any more information, we can help. Travel and Leisure Group: safe hands in an uncertain world.