Benefits of Owning a Timeshare
1. CUTS THE COSTS OF VACATIONING: Stay in a luxurious resort condominium instead of a hotel or motel and pay nothing extra for the whole family. Also rent additional time at your resort or other resorts for less than the price of a hotel room.
2. ACCESS TO MULTIPLE RESORT LOCATIONS: Through the Timeshare exchange, you can trade your week for another available week in up to 4,000 resorts worldwide.
3. GUARANTEES VACATIONS EVERY YEAR: No more taking a vacation only if you can find a reservation. Schedule your vacation, plan for it, go for it!
4. PRIDE OF OWNERSHIP: Own your own vacation home in a luxurious resort condominium with deed, title and in most cases realized real-estate equity. Timeshares can be sold or rented out like any asset. You can also utilize all the tax benefits of owning a second vacation home.
5. SHARE MAINTENANCE EXPENSES: The basic concept of a timeshare is to make owning a second home or vacation home affordable to the average person. You only own and pay for what you use and share maintenance expenses with owners of other weeks of the year.
Season colors are classified by how popular a particular season is. We classify seasons generally as red, white or blue. (Following RCI format.) They are as follows:
- Red: Greater demand / high season. A red week means that the time is used during the most popular time at a resort during that season. This does not necessarily mean that summer is the most popular time at every resort. For example, Utah ski resorts will have a red time during their ski season in the winter because it is their most popular season.
- White: Average demand / mid season. A white week is a time in which a resort is not as popular as its red time. For example, this would include the spring and fall at a summer resort in Massachusetts because the weather is colder and fewer people are vacationing than they normally would in the warmer summer season.
- Blue: Lesser demand / low season. This is usually the off-season at a resort which is their least popular season. An example is Bear Lake, while very popular in the summer, during the winter Bear Lake is very cold and in low demand.
Timeshares vary in size, from the amount of square footage to how many people a particular timeshare sleeps. The basic types are as follows:
- Efficiency: Studio unit generally sleeps two to four people. (*Every efficiency unit has some kitchen facilities such as a microwave, refrigerator, coffee pot and dishes.)
- One bedroom: Generally sleeps between four and six people with full kitchen.
- Two bedroom: Generally sleeps between six and eight people with full kitchen.
- Three bedroom: Generally sleeps between eight and ten people with full kitchen.
- Lock-out: A two bedroom unit consisting of a one bedroom and a studio that are connected by a door. This can be used as a two bedroom, or separated and used one week in the one bedroom, and a second week in the studio.
Timeshare usage is the seven days you own and will use each year at the resort you are purchasing. While some resorts only allow an owner to schedule seven consecutive days at their resort, others are more flexible and will allow an owner to split their week and use four days at one time, three at another (or vice versa).
- Annually: Timeshare usage is every year.
- EEY: Timeshare usage is every even year. (Example: 2008, 2010, etc.)
- EOY: Timeshare usage is every odd year. (Example: 2007, 2009, etc.)
SET WEEK VS. FLOATING:
Each timeshare has a certain time when a week is used or can be scheduled. Some are the same every year and some can be scheduled for different weeks each year. These are as follows:
- Set Week: This designates that ownership will be the same week each year. For example, someone owning a week four would expect to use their timeshare the fourth week of every year (approx. Jan 22-29). Some set weeks have floating options based upon availability.
- Float All: This means you could schedule your unit at any time during the year, based upon availability. Those who schedule early have the advantage in obtaining a desired week over those who wait until the last minute to schedule their week.
- Floating Season: Some timeshares will have no set schedule but can be scheduled during a particular season or seasons designated by the resort. Timeshares can float summer, fall, winter or spring. Some are combined and float during spring and fall or various other combinations.
These are the yearly costs which an owner pays to the resort in exchange for administrative costs, upkeep of common areas, insurance, cleaning fees, emergencies, renovations, taxes, etc. These costs may be paid on a yearly, semi-yearly, quarterly or monthly schedule, depending on the particular resort.
An exchange company is a service which allows owners to exchange their week at one particular resort for a week at another resort. This allows you to bank (deposit) your week in a large "pool" and trade it for another week that someone else has put into the pool. More popular weeks will, of course, trade more easily than less popular times. This is why a red week (which is in greater demand) has a higher trading power. This is also why a blue week (in low demand) is difficult to trade for a more popular red week time in the exchange. There is usually a membership cost as well as an exchange fee to utilize their services. An exchange fee is the cost you pay to the exchange company when you exchange your week for another in their pool. The two largest exchange companies are as follows:
- RCI: $89 one year membership fee. Exchange fee in U.S. and Canada is $164 and $199 for international exchange. Nearly 4,000 member resorts in more than 90 countries are under contract.
- Interval International: $84 one year membership fee. Exchange fees in U.S. and Canada are $139 and $159 for international exchange. Nearly 3,500 member resorts under contract.
Some resorts belong to a management company. This is one entity that manages anywhere from five to fifty different "sister" resorts. Owners can exchange their weeks within a management company (much like an exchange company on a smaller scale) for another resort within the management system for much smaller fees, and in some cases no fees. Examples are Trading Places, RCIM, VRI, Sunterra and Fairfield.
Bonus time allows an owner to schedule extra time in addition to their regular year's usage, often at prices lower than those of a hotel. Prices are based on the size of unit scheduled and scheduling is based upon availability at the given resort.
Bonus time within a management company often will allow an owner to schedule time not only at their own resort but also at any of the other sister resorts within their management company. (Example: An owner of a Park City ORE could schedule bonus time at a Jackson Hole ORE for no more than bonus time would cost at his home resort.)