Sometimes it may seem there are more types of timeshare than there are fish in the sea, and that's only slightly true. There are a few different types of timeshares and vacation ownership, so it can be a bit overwhelming trying to decipher it all. This is a quick list of the most common types of timeshare.
Different Types of Timeshares
This first list pertains to the general types of contracts and ownerships available with timeshares.
A deeded week timeshare means that the owner literally gets a deed for their week and they own it. It is commonly called fee simple in real estate terms. Since it is a deeded week, the owner has the option to sell there timeshare, rent it out and give it away if they wish to. Deeded week timeshares were the most common when timeshares originated. There are still timeshares like this available but many companies have moved away from deeded weeks in favor of flexibility.
Right To Use Timeshare
Right to use timeshares do not come with a deed, but they do come with a contract stating how long the owner has the right to use the timeshare. Most right to use leases are over after 30-99 years depending on what is specified in the original agreement. However, owners can still sell their ownership to somebody else on the resale market.
Leasehold timeshares are not owned in perpetuity and have a specific expiration date. They do however hold the same benefits and rights as other timeshares. Disney Vacation Club is the most prominent example of a leasehold timeshare.
Among the above types of timeshare, there can be different sub-types. So, the above categories are what you own, and the below sub-types are the types within those timeshares and some terms that relate to how often you can use them. For example, DVC is a lease hold but it is also a points based timeshare.
The most popular (and most common) type of timeshare today is the points based timeshare. An owner will purchase a timeshare in the form of points for their home resort. The points can then be used to stay at the owners home resort or exchanged to stay at other resorts in the brands network. Disney Vacation Club is a points based timeshare vacation club, along with most Wyndham and Marriott timeshares.
A biennial timeshare is a timeshare that has usage rights every other year. Biennial timeshares are differentiated by the year they can be used: odd-year and even-year! These can be great for travelers who only want to timeshare every other year.
A floating week is a term for timeshare use when an owner has the ability to choose the week they stay at a resort within a specified season. Usually, if an owner purchases a summer season floating week timeshare, they can visit their unit during any one available week as long as it is in the season they purchased.
The traditional timeshare usage -- fixed week timeshares mean you have the right to visit your property during the same week each year.
A fractional ownership is similar to timeshare but each owner purchases and has rights to a much larger portion of a resort. Instead of the unit and time being split by 52, it is divided by fourths, eights or even thirteenths. This is a rare occurrence, but worth mentioning.
Best Timeshare Brands
The best hospitality brands offer world-renowned timeshares that vacation owners love year after year. Check out some of the great brands below... not to mention, they're available resale, too!