What is Timeshare? Well, let’s break it down for ease. The basic principle of a timeshare ownership is a contractual agreement whereby several people have purchased a certain period of time in a specific unit at a particular holiday destination or resort. Yearly this gives you the right to use the property as a holiday home under your time share contract. It can also be known as a Holiday or Vacation ownership.

There are multiple categories of timeshare available, which include:

• The points programme, this is where you the consumer purchase a number of points which are then used toward your holiday. The points purchased are then exchanged yearly allowing you to enjoy your timeshare.

• Fixed weeks are where the owner purchases a set week each year, this option limits owner to the same specific week each year.

• Flexible or floating weeks offer the consumer flexibility by purchasing a 1 or 2 week holiday within a certain seasonal period, this could be during summer months, which is classed as peak season or winter months, classed as the off-peak season.

• Fractional ownership is slightly different to other timeshares. You purchase the period of time like with all of the above options, but the fundamental difference between a fractional ownership and timeshare is that with fractional ownership the purchaser also owns part of the title ownership rather than just the period of time. This allowing them to own a share of the asset, in turn allowing you to sell that asset if desired. Please do bear in mind that as you are only 1 of up to 52 other purchasers, you must all agree on when/if to sell which could be difficult in the long run.

Why are people still purchasing timeshares?

• Timeshares are still extremely desirable and upon purchasing a timeshare this gives the owner a slice of their own paradise, enjoying their time year after year at resorts which can be extremely exclusive and highly sought after.

• Holidaying at a timeshare resort offers the owners a home from home experience with a touch of luxury going above and beyond what many hotels have to offer, owning a timeshare offers home from home amenities such as fully fitted kitchens, dish washer, washer/drier facilities along with onsite facilities including Spa´s, Gym, beauty salons etc.

• In the long run, timeshare owners do make substantial savings by owning the yearly entitlement of accommodation, versus staying at hotels every time they travel.

• Owning a timeshare permits large extended families to holiday together and build long lasting memories to cherish in the future.

• For those who have purchased a timeshare they will find that they will be more encouraged to plan a family annual holiday, ensuring they don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy their new purchase.

How do Timeshares Work?

• Firstly, the consumer purchases of a share within a holiday property, this can be utilised in multiple ways, either holiday points, fixed, floating weeks or a fractional ownership of the said property. This property is then theirs to use during the agreed period on an annual basis. In addition to the original purchase price consumers need to be aware of the additional maintenance fees which will be applied on an annual basis, failure to pay these fees will exclude the owner from using their week.

• In most cases owners can change their resort and or destinations somewhere else if they feel like a change from their chosen resort, this can be actioned by using the many exchange programmes available. These schemes allow owners to use their yearly entitlement enabling them to choose from a varied range of alternative destinations. Please note fees may apply.

Advice on Purchasing Timeshare

• Always research the resort or company before purchasing your timeshare. The information you gather will allow you to then make an informed decision on which resort or destination best suits you, your family and their needs.

• When signing any contract regarding your purchase, please be cautious and read every page thoroughly. Be aware of what you are signing up for, ask to take the contract away and digest in your own time without any pressure, if it’s legal and above board there will be no issuing in you requesting to do this.

• Be smart, knowledge is key so read up on all the regulations and rules to allow you to use your timeshare to your advantage.

Overall timeshare is a fabulous product that works perfectly for many families all over the world. Take your time to weigh up the benefits and shortcomings of owning a timeshare. Be sure in exactly what you are purchasing.

It can be complicated understanding timeshare, research and read customer reviews, being informed is key to becoming a successful timeshare owner.