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People frequently seek me out to explain the different types of vacation ownership options on the market. These inquiries have compelled me to compile a brief explanation of the different types of timeshare ownership models available so you can make a more informed decision when offered a timeshare package.

An Explanation of Vacation Ownership

Right-to-Use

The right to use vacation ownership option is probably the simplest type of timeshare option offered to those seeking to buy a vacation property or timeshare. This means you have the right to use the timeshare according to the time allotments agreed upon when you purchase your timeshare. Your vacation ownership membership will allow you to have access to a resort or condominium property that you can use until your membership expires. You won’t have to pay property taxes on your unit because you won’t have actual ownership of the property. You can sell your membership or rent out your time allotments to others for as long as you have your membership, which can last from 25-30 years. Once your membership is over, the vacation ownership goes back to the original deed holder. An annual membership fee and/or maintenance fee are often required for this timeshare model.

Deeded Ownership Timeshares

A deeded ownership timeshare is also known as a fractional ownership because you are given a deed to represent your ownership of a percentage of a specific property. The main difference between a deeded ownership timeshare and a right-to-use timeshare is the idea of actual property ownership. You only own a membership when it’s the right to use model, but you actually have a membership and you own your fraction of the property when it’s the deeded ownership model. This means you are also required to pay property taxes that are applicable to the country where you are investing in a property. In addition to the benefit of actually having a deed for your portion of the property,  you also have the option of renting out, selling, or willing your fraction of the timeshare.

Sometimes, land ownership also accompanies property ownership, but this is not usually the case in most deeded ownership offers. Nevertheless, you have ownership for life unless you choose to sell your deed. Also, you can stay for longer periods of time than one week (for example, a monthly or seasonal duration). However, you may have the option of using the property during shorter vacation seasons like Thanksgiving or Christmas. Although you are purchasing a percentage of the property, you will still be responsible for an annual membership fee (and sometimes a maintenance fee).

Points and Vacation Club Membership

The points and vacation club membership model utilizes the purchasing of points to gain access to a variety of resort or condominium properties. Because of the flexibility of using your points at a variety of resorts for a variety of services, the points and vacation club membership model has become very popular. Your time allotments are also very flexible because your length of stay relies on how many points you have available to use. Some vacation club packages also provide meal allowances that can be purchased with points. You may also be able to pay for accommodations using points at some resorts. An added bonus is being able to borrow points or bank your points for later use.