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From the begining, timeshare has allowed families, as well as single's, a way to vacation for less money. It provides five-star timeshare resorts for the price of three-star quality hotels. It also offers a better standard of living. Timeshare accomplishes this by breaking a condominium into 52 equal periods of time.

Each amount of time equals one week out of the year. A week is defined as 8 days 7 nights. They end the same day they begin: Friday-Friday, Saturday-Saturday, etc.Week one is the first week of January, while week 52 is 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 on the condominium as well. This allows staying in five-star resorts for a fraction of the cost of purchasing a second home in the same area. 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. As an example, 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.
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Consequently, if you own a Christmas week in a major ski area, it's easier to exchange than if you own a week in a less desirable or less popular area.

Interval International also uses exchange power and gives its owners a Travel Demand Index.  This travel index combines the popularity of the resort and the time of year to give owners an idea of the easiest time to exchange. 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. Ther may be other fee's as well.

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 to fully understand the type of timeshare you acquire. It will also be 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  forever. You can rent it, sell it,  will it, or gift it to another. Time intervals can be from 20 years - 50 years and hold the same rights without the ownership.

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, alternate ownership..
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Many people don't have a fixed time they vacation every year. A floating week allows them to pick a season of the year (high season, mid-season or low season) they normally go on vacation. This allows them to 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.

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. Usually they own 10 or more resorts. These points are used to exchange to any of their resorts. It can also be used to exchange with a major exchange company. Internal exchanges normally have no exchange fee or a smaller exchange fee than 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.





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