Fidelity Resales Blog

What is a Timeshare and How Does It Work?

Posted by Hannah O'Brien on Nov 4, 2019, 9:00:00 AM

What started as owning one week at one unit at the same resort for years has evolved into an expansive network of clubs, memberships and resorts all over the world. Timeshares have come a long way since their inception, and are still a great option for vacations. Vacation ownership, or timeshare, allows families and owners to save on vacations for a lifetime, while staying in top-rated resorts with exceptional amenities.

Timeshare Definition

What is a timeshare and how does it work

A timeshare is a property that has divided ownership or rights of usage. There are different types of timeshare, also known as vacation ownership. Big name hospitality brands like Wyndham, Hilton, Marriott and Disney are all associated with the concept of timeshare, catering to the leisure vacation needs of their owners.

As times are changing, most brands are moving to a points-based model of timeshare as opposed to the traditional same week/same resort ownership. This allows for owners to have the most flexibility in their vacation options. Below we'll describe the different types of timeshare, points-based included. There are so many different brands, programs, units and locations that it's totally possible to find one that fits the needs of you and the ones you love to travel with!

How to: List Your Timeshare For Sale

Types Of Timeshare

What is a timeshare week?

A timeshare week is the most widely known type of timeshare. As with all timeshares, owners have paid for their share of time at the resort, and generally that time equates to one full week. Each resort has a different calendar system for its owners. The first week of January is typically week one, however, and the last week of December is generally called week 52.

Deeded Timeshare

A deeded timeshare property has the same ownership rights as actual real estate (however, unlike real estate, timeshare is not an investment and does not appreciate). A deeded timeshare means that the owner has the right to sell it, bequeath it, rent it or even give it away.

how does timeshare work

Right to Use Timeshare

Right to use timeshare grants owners the right to use their timeshare for a specified amount of time through a lease. Generally, the lease is for 30-99 years. Once the period of specified time is up, the timeshare goes back to the resort or the lease is terminated. 

Points-Based Timeshare

The most common type of timeshare nowadays is points-based. How does a points-based timeshare work?  Typically, the timeshare week is converted into points. So based on the week or caliber of ownership, owners will have a certain number of points at their disposal. These points can be used to stay at different resorts in the brands network or to stay at their unit. When you check out timeshares for sale in our marketplace, there are points charts available for participating brands. You can see that depending on the type of ownership, the point value varies.

Learn more: Should you buy a timeshare on the resale market?

Floating Week

A floating week timeshare means that you can reserve your stay for any week of the year on a first-come, first-served basis. In some cases, floating weeks may be restricted to a certain season. For example, an owner can own a week of the winter season, so they can stay at their resort any week available within that season. Some seasons are valued higher than others depending on demand and location.

Biennial vs. Annual

Biennial timeshare just means that owners can use their timeshare every other year. Annual is, well, annually! Meaning owners can use their timeshare every year, given they pay their timeshare maintenance fees.

Vacation Exchange

vacation exchange

If you value traveling far and wide, you'll be pleased to know that timeshares allow a lot of options when it comes to visiting new places. Vacation exchange networks allow members to go to different resorts with their timeshare points. Club Wyndham, Disney Vacation Club and Marriott Vacation Club are all examples of internal exchange networks. You can travel within the brands networks to their other resorts. So, if you own a timeshare in Florida, you may have the chance to exchange your Orlando week for a week in Las Vegas.

RCI vs. II

Resort Condominiums International and Interval International are the most recognizable vacation exchange networks. These networks are referred to as external, meaning with ownership (of a timeshare) AND membership (in one of these networks), you can travel outside of your brand as long as where you want to go is within the external network.

Timeshare Resales

timeshare resale

As a leader in the resale industry, Fidelity Resales has a team qualified and ready to help you buy or sell a timeshare.

If you're looking to buy a timeshare, the resale market has ownership available at costs way lower than retail. The great thing about timeshare resale is that you timeshare may be on the secondary market, but it is not second rate. Brands work hard to keep their units looking luxurious, so you can purchase the same great ownership for less.

And, if you're looking to sell your timeshare, we can help with that too, all the way to close. Since we are real estate agents and timeshare experts, you can trust we'll take care of you!

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Topics: Hyatt Residence Club, Marriott Vacation Club, Wyndham Vacation Ownership, RCI, Bluegreen Vacations, Interval International, Hilton Grand Vacations