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Timeshare Guide

Are you curious about timeshare? Do you want to learn how timeshares work? Find out why timeshares are growing in popularity among vacationers by reading through the timeshare questions below and find out if timesharing is a good fit for you.

Types of Weeks

What is a fixed week?

A fixed week guarantees the owner use of the same week each year. This option is good for those than can only vacation at the same time each year, such as teachers.

What is a floating week?

A floating week allows the owner to choose a week each year, within a certain season. Some floating week ownerships allow you to choose one week per year; others allow only specific weeks during the year. For example, if you enjoy winter sports, you may buy a floating week during the winter. Then, each year you would call the resort to indicate which week you wanted to stay. This offers more flexibility to owners who are less sure exactly which days they will be able to take off each year.

What is Points Ownership?

A points-based ownership will allow the owner to choose which dates they wish to travel, based on how many points they have purchased. This allows a lot of flexibility for the owner. They are frequently able to choose when, where, and for how long they wish to vacation. An owner can often use your points one day at a time or one week at a time depending on your vacation needs.

Types of Timeshare Ownership

What is Deeded Ownership?

A deeded ownership allows the owner to use, rent, give away, or sell their timeshare week to another individual. It can even be given or passed down to future generations as a gift. Use of the resort is divided into week-long contracts, recorded in the public records. With this type of ownership, the owner is liable for their portion of real estate taxes and maintenance fees. This type of ownership offers additional security, but is also as complex as outright property ownership.

What is Leasehold Ownership?

Leasehold deeds offer ownership for a fixed period of time after which the ownership reverts back to the developer. Occasionally, leasehold deeds are offered in perpetuity, although many do not convey ownership of the land – only the ‘unit’ of accommodation.

What is Right to Use Ownership?

With a Right to Use ownership, the purchaser has the right to use the property according to the contract, but when the contract ends, all rights revert to the developer. These contracts typically dictate a certain number of years, such as 10, 30, or 100. Many countries place severe restrictions on foreign property ownership, so this strategy allows developers to build resorts in these countries. Mexico is a major example. Disney Vacation Club is also sold as right to use.

Timeshare Calendars and Seasons

What is a timeshare calendar?

In the timeshare world, the calendar is divided into weeks, usually ranging from Saturday to Saturday or Sunday to Sunday. Each week is given a number – 1 through 56 or 57. Week 1 is always the first full week in January, and week 56 is the last week in the year. Occasionally the year has one extra week – some resorts refer to this as week 57. To find out what dates fall into what week, you can look at a timeshare calendar.

What is a season?

A season is a division of the year by a resort or exchange company. This varies from resort to resort and location to location, but is typically determined by what weeks are most popular. The seasons are frequently named, although they are different for different companies. For example, the most popular seasons are typically referred to as the Red Season. Mid-level seasons are white for RCI and amber for II. Off-peak season is blue for RCI and green for II. This system allows the resorts to determine which ownerships are worth more, and plan better for different seasons.

Owning a Timeshare

Will I have to maintenance fees and taxes?

Yes. Because you share ownership with many other people, everyone takes a role in paying for the care of the resort. Maintenance fees go to cover payment of the management company and staff, insurance, refurbishing, utilities, care and upkeep of the property, and sometimes taxes. Some gets put away for unexpected expenses. These fees are typically billed once a year, monthly, or quarterly.

Taxes are usually included with maintenance fees, but in states such as Florida or California, they may be paid separately.

What is a special assessment?

Occasionally, additional charges are imposed upon owners to cover unexpected expenses not covered in the budget. For example, if your resort experiences flooding or storm damage, the costs to repair these will be split among owners and paid as a special assessment.

Can I exchange or bank my timeshare?

If the owner of a unit is in good financial standing, an exchange company will allow them to deposit their ‘unit’ and trade for one of equal or lesser value. Exchange companies arrange timeshare exchanges for timeshare owners and third-party renters for a fee. Interval International and Resort Condominiums International are two of the largest timeshare exchange companies. Depending on your contract and the value of your timeshare, it is likely you can exchange it.

The value of your timeshare depends on the quality of the resort, the size of the unit, the week, the season, the amenities available, and more.

If a member is in good financial standing with an exchange company, then they can sometimes ‘bank’ their timeshare, or save it for later. This way, if the owner is unable to use their timeshare that year, they can instead have extra time the next year.

When can I use my timeshare?

When you can use your timeshare depends on what type of contract you have, and whether you have a fixed or floating week. Most contacts are designed to be annual, biannual, biennial, or triennial.

  • Annual: right to use an owner’s fixed week, floating week, or points-based ownership every year.
  • Biannual: right to use an owner’s fixed week, floating week, or points-based ownership two times per year.
  • Biennial: right to use an owners’ fixed week, floating week, or points-based ownership every other year, either on an odd or an even year.
  • Triennial: right to use an owner’s fixed week, floating week, or points-based ownership every three years. For example: 2011, 2014, 2017, etc.

Additional Questions

What do I do if I have more questions?

If you have additional questions about buying or renting a discount timeshare, our timeshare specialists are only a phone call away. Call 1-855-825-1438 today.