How Shared Vacation Ownership Works
Shared vacation ownership takes the hassle out of second home ownership. You are purchasing future vacations at today’s prices and for just the period of time you need. Make a one-time purchase of furnished resort accommodation at a fraction of whole ownership costs and pay an annual levy, which is used to cover the costs of running the resort, including daily management, maintenance and improvements.
Each residential unit is divided into periods (time modules) usually weeks that are sold separately. Often the amount of time you purchase is expressed in terms of “points” – a popular trend that is aimed at increasing the range of options for the use of your shared vacation interest.
A shared vacation ownership interest is therefore the exclusive use of accommodation in property for a determined or determinable recurrent period of time (time modules) annually. Shared vacation units are priced according to the size of the unit, the amenities provided by the resort, the location of the resort and the season in which the week is sold. For example, in-season weeks will cost more than out of season weeks.
Shared vacation purchases come with the responsibility of paying an annual levy, which is paid to the Management Association – a non-profit body made up of all the owners of the resort. These annual levies also pay for on-site management, furnishing replacements, amenities and the general upkeep of common areas as well as amenities like swimming pools and tennis courts.
Shared vacation purchases are typically financed by either a loan from the developer or credit card finance. Terms depend upon the amount of the purchaser’s deposit and the cost of the particular transaction.
Range of Products
The wide range of shared vacation products available are designed to suit many lifestyles.
The traditional module week program offers owners the use of their resort for one week, either for a specific period or season. With a points-based program, you may purchase points that can be redeemed for all kinds of accommodations, resort locations, amenities and period of time. Many resort developers link their points program with other vacation or travel loyalty programs, allowing you to maximize your purchasing power and holiday choices.
Fractional Ownership is real estate sold in modules of more than one week, but less than whole ownership. This product is usually associated with a luxury vacation lifestyle.
Destination Clubs are shared vacation clubs that offer their affluent clientele the use of an array of executive vacation properties at exclusive resorts and leading hotels. Membership in these clubs can be around the 6 figure range.
And lastly, Private Residence Clubs offer an extravagant collection of five-star accommodation situated in opulent resort hotspots and are maintained by five-star hospitality giants. These larger properties offer unrivalled levels of service and a host of high-end amenities. Access isn’t limited to a couple weeks, and the level of comfort and pampering that comes with these properties is limited only by the imagination. Membership into these clubs can vary from fractional ownership, whole ownership and points. The cost can reach the 6 figure range.
Vacation Ownership Exchange
How does it work? You trade your module or week for new and different holiday experiences at comparable resorts across the country and around the world. Many resorts offer owners the opportunity to exchange their unit to another resort within their own portfolio of properties. Most resorts are also affiliated with an independent exchange company that processes exchanges to other resorts on behalf of members.
To exchange, the owner places his or her module into the exchange company’s pool of available resort weeks and chooses an available resort and week from the pool. The exchange companies do charge an exchange fee and some may also charge an annual membership fee. Most resorts and exchange companies offer their members the added benefit of saving (called “space banking”) holiday time for use in a subsequent year.