Timeshares provide vacationers with an ownership share in a vacation property, at a fraction of the cost of total ownership. Over 300,000 UK residents own timeshares in the Europe, the U.S. and other countries. Timeshares are located in resort areas and draw buyers with their amenities and proximity to beaches, ski slopes, and other attractions.

Function

A timeshare purchase gives the owner a share in a property, rather than complete ownership of the property. Instead of owning one condominium at a resort; you share the right to use the unit with all other owners. Timeshare ownership reduces the amount of money that owners must invest for a vacation property, in exchange for limiting the time that they can spend in the timeshare each year.

History

Timesharing is a European concept, begun in the 1960s when several Swiss families realized that they could afford an Alps chalet by sharing the costs. Eventually European resort owners took note of the plan and started offering a week or two at their resorts to buyers. Timeshares didn’t become popular in the United States until the 1970s, when southern developers bought motels and hotels, and converted them to efficiency and one-bedroom timeshare units.

Types of Timeshare

Timeshares vary depending on the company offering them: Fixed unit, fixed week, deeded timeshares; lock owners into vacationing during a certain week each year, in the same size unit each year. In a floating time agreement, you can use your timeshare whenever you want, if there is availability.

If you choose a timeshare that offers a points-based program, commonly called a vacation club, your purchase will include a set number of points to be used each year. Points required to stay at the resort during peak times will be higher, but you can choose the time of the year and the size of the unit you will occupy.

If you buy a deeded timeshare, you will be able to pass the timeshare on to your heirs when you die. Some timeshares are classified as right-to-use timeshares, which means that the property is not deeded to you; You hold a lease that will eventually expire, and cannot be passed on to heirs.

Considerations

Timeshares can usually be bought more cheaply from a timeshare reseller than from the developer. Companies such as tug2.net and sellmytimesharenow.com offer units for sale, at resorts throughout the United States and around the world. It is rare for a timeshare bought from a developer to increase in value: If you buy from a reseller and the resort is in a popular location, you might see an increase in value over time. Choose a vacation location that you are confident you will enjoy for years to come. While most timeshares offer you the option to trade your week for a week at another resort, it can be difficult to actually find a trade.

Warning

Don’t forget about annual maintenance fees when you make your purchase: Annual fees pay for the real estate taxes, and maintenance on common areas, such as elevators and pools. Maintenance fees can range from several hundred dollars to over $1,000; depending on the value of your timeshare.

If you want advice on buying a timeshare, contact http://www.bestmanchestersolicitors.co.uk for legal advice.

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