Timeshare is about purchasing 'time' in a holiday resort. Normally you purchase a particular week or weeks of the year, i.e. week 43 and this is yours to use each year. Some leases are in perpetuity and some are over a certain number of years. At some resorts it is possible to purchase a 'floating' week and you choose each year which particular week you wish to stay and arrange this with the resort.
You may decide that you do not wish to go to the same resort each year, in which case you can join one of the Exchange Companies and exchange your week for a week in someone else's apartment.
The year is divided into Red, Blue and White time and the dates for these 'bands' depend on the resort and country where it is situated. In some places i.e. Tenerife and Florida they are classed as Red time all year round as the resorts are in demand any month of the year. At others, say in England during the winter, the weeks will be classed as White time. If you own a White week then you would not normally be able to exchange into a Blue or Red time week, although this is sometimes possible, especially with a late exchange, and there are apartments available in a Red time week.
The resorts are put into a category according to the quality of the resort. For example with RCI , one of the main Exchange Companies, the resorts would be classed as Gold Crown, Resort of International Distinction (RID) or Quality Resort. If you own at a Quality Resort you would not normally be able to exchange to an RID or Gold Crown Resort, although again, this is sometimes possible, especially with a late exchange, and there are apartments available in a Gold Crown Resort.
In order for the resorts to be able to pay for decorating and refurnishing the apartments, and also for the general running of the resort, i.e. swimming pool, staff wages, cleaning etc., there is a maintenance charge to be paid each year and this amount is set by the particular resort. There will normally be an Owners Association and the amount to be paid each year will be agreed with the Committee.
You can normally sell your timeshare week, gift it or leave it to your children.
The points system is another popular way of purchasing the right to stay in high quality resorts. You pay a sum of money according to the amount of points you wish to purchase, or you can often exchange an existing timeshare apartment into the points system. A maintenance fee is also payable based on the amount of points you own.
There are advantages and disadvantages with both systems.
If you purchase a two-bedroom timeshare apartment then you will always have to exchange into a two-bedroom apartment or less. Under the points system you could decide you would like to stay just in a studio one year and could have two or three weeks for the same number of points. You could also use your points for short stay holidays as well.
There could be a disadvantage in owning points if the company goes out of business as your points could very likely go with them, although I understand some points clubs members do have protection. With some points clubs it is possible to cede a week for points and still keep your ownership of the apartment. With a timeshare week you have a deed to show you own at the resort. There have been cases where people have exchanged their timeshare apartment for points and then found that the amount of points needed to stay at their resort has been raised so they do not then have enough. If you own an apartment you would always be able to stay in a two-bedroom or exchange a two-bedroom apartment if that is what you own.
Holiday Property Bond
Holiday Property Bond - With a Property Bond members buy shares which, in time, you are able to trade and have the prospect of a financial return after a certain number of years.
Although not strictly timeshare, Holiday Clubs are sometimes used as a means of getting round the Timeshare Act laws, as the right to use the apartment is for less than a period of 3 years.