What is a Timeshare? – The What, Why, and How
Over recent years, the idea of the timeshare in the traditional sense has evolved and shifted quite a deal. These days, it’s not uncommon to hear of a person, couple, or family being offered an ‘interval ownership’ deal, a ‘vacation ownership’ property or all manners of different deals. However, in any and all cases, what you’re looking at is the modern take on the classic timeshare deal, which in terms of principle mechanics is in fact pretty much the same as it has always been.
In terms of what a timeshare is, the idea is one whereby a group of individuals of any given size all buy into a property to be used for vacation purposes. The appeal of which being that by pooling resources, it becomes possible to part-own a holiday property that would otherwise be totally unaffordable. Once the deal is sealed, each part-buyer is allocated or gets to choose a certain time of the year during which they are free to use the property, which usually goes on for several decades or for life. From simple apartments to gigantic mansions, it’s an appealing way of guaranteeing quality holiday accommodation each year for the long term.
Most timeshares are offered by way of 52 units, which allow those making an investment to choose as many weeks as they’d like. The more weeks chosen, the more the investor has to pay, but the more time they get to use the timeshare for each year. What’s more, there may also be differences in price in accordance with peak travel times and the more agreeable seasons of the year. In addition to the cost of the accommodation itself, those investing in it will also be liable for maintenance and a cleaning charge.
More often than not, the amount an investor pays for the timeshare will be reflected in the number of ‘points’ they are allocated. For the days and weeks around special holidays like Christmas and New Years, stays will cost far more points than those in the quieter seasons. Investors are free to spend their points on stays throughout the year, which in turn means that those investing more have greater choice and flexibility. Also common with most timeshares is the membership of a larger timeshare organization like RCI, which pulls together the properties of timeshare owners from all over the world and allows for swapping and trading. So, if after a few years you’d prefer to try out somewhere new, you can swap or bid on the timeshares of others.