Since its inception, timeshare has allowed families, as well as single's, a way to vacation for less money. By providing five-star timeshare resorts for the price of three-star quality, it offers a better standard of living. It accomplishes this by breaking a condominium into 52 equal periods of time.
Each amount of time equals one week a year. Week one would be the first week of January, while week 52 would be the last week of December. Families are given an opportunity to purchase weeks for their holiday needs.
This concept divides the cost of maintenance and up keep as well. This allows staying in five-star resorts for a fraction of the cost of purchasing a second home in the same area. Of course, these resorts are located in different countries around the world. A fixed week, floating week, internal points or RCI points can be purchased. Different Resorts can belong to different exchange companies as well.
A fixed week allows the purchase of a specific week of the year. If every year a snow skier skied Aspen, Colorado during week 52; purchasing that week would not only save the hassles of looking for a hotel room every year, it would also "freeze" the cost of the room.
Many people don't have a fixed time to vacation every year. A floating week allows them to pick a season of the year (high season, mid-season or low season) they normally vacation in. Consequently, this lets them vacation during any week of that season.
Uneven exchange was one of the problems timeshare owners complained about. If they choose to purchase the best week in a resort and used a lesser week somewhere else, their week was evenly exchanged. As a result, they felt there was no value for their money.
What is Timeshare?
This changed when RCI offered a points system. In a points system, the size of the room, the time of year, and the location are classified into points values. As a result, owning a two bedroom in high season could allow the owner to exchange for two or more weeks in a one bedroom during low season.
Internal points is an individual points system used by some of the larger timeshare companies that own 10 or more resorts in the world today. These points are used to exchange time to any of their resorts. It can also be used for a major exchange company. Internal exchanges normally have no exchange fee or a smaller exchange fee than that of a major exchange company.
RCI uses an exchange power method of calculating points. Likewise, they use the same method for determining exchanges. A Christmas week in a major ski area might cost two or three times more points than a week on Lake of the Ozark's in Missouri during February.
Interval International has stayed away from exchange power and gives its owners a Travel Demand Index. The Travel Demand Index helps determine when a resort will likely be available. Most companies will have some form of high, mid and low season with an extra premium being charged if you purchase a holiday week.
There's a onetime purchase price, yearly maintenance/management fees, Exchange Fees and a yearly membership fee to the exchange company. Maintenance fees can vary from 200usd to 1000usd a year, per week, depending on the resort. Exchange fees will run approximately 200usd a week.
A family or person can purchase a timeshare through a timeshare broker, timeshare resale company, timeshare resale by owner or by attending a timeshare presentation. Attending a presentation will help you fully understand the type of timeshare you acquire. It will also be much more expensive purchasing from a presentation than from an owner.
The period of time purchased can vary from 20 years to a deeded property. Deeded property can mainly be found in America and the UK. A deeded property states that you own "in perpetuity" a specific week in a specific room of the resort you purchased. "in perpetuity" means you can own it forever, sell it, or will it. Time intervals can be from 20 years - 50 years and holds the same rights without the ownership papers.
There are approximately 6 million timeshare owners in the world today. 90% are married. 80% purchase for the exchange opportunities and cost savings.
**Authors note: Timeshare is known by many names including but not limited to timeshare, timesharing, vacation ownership, holiday ownership, interval ownership, vacation insurance.