What is a Timeshare?
A timeshare is simply a property – often used for vacation – that has several owners instead of just one. The owners reach an agreement as to how to use the property and share it so that each can experience a previously agreed upon amount of time using the property each year. The time of use varies, based on the timeshare itself, but one to three weeks per year is the norm.
What is the Difference Between Deeded, Leased and RTU Timeshare Rentals?
A deeded timeshare is similar to a traditional real estate property in which you own the timeshare indefinitely. The deeded property can be sold, rented, or given away as you deem fit with no real complications from the other owners.
Leased and RTU (right to use) properties are similar to deeded timeshares with the exception of the length of time the property is leased. A leased or RTU property enables you to use the timeshare for your agreed upon time each year, and expires within a set number of years. When the lease expires, your right to use the property terminates unless you decide to renew the lease prior to the expiration.
What is the Difference Between Fixed, Floating and Flex Weeks?
Fixed, floating and flex refer to the three types of timeshare weeks you can utilize.
A fixed week allows you to use the timeshare during a specific “fixed” week annually so long as you retain an ownership interest in the property. The fixed week is essentially your time in which the agreement specifies that you can use the property.
Floating week ownership allows for a little more flexibility. Depending on availability, you and the other owners of your timeshare, or the resort in which you purchased the timeshare can select dates based on availability rather than previously adhering to previously assigned usage allocations.
Flex week ownership is similar to floating week ownership in the sense that there are no assigned dates for use. Instead, you can choose from a predetermined set of days or weeks within a particular season and claim them as they become available.
All three types of weeks typically have restrictions (max number of days usable at any one time, max reservations per season, priority order for selecting the same date, etc.) based on your ownership agreement.
Is Timeshare Financing Available?
Yes, but most financing for timeshares isn’t obtained through a traditional bank, save for those who have exemplary credit or financial means. Instead, most timeshare companies have brokers in which they can refer you to in order to obtain financing for their timeshares, or an in-house financing option.
What are Maintenance Fees?
Maintenance fees vary based on the property and the number of owners, but in essence it’s a periodic fee (monthly, quarterly, yearly, etc.) paid to ensure the property remains well kept and problem free. The exact details of your maintenance fee are going to vary based on your specific property and the agreement, but common inclusions are grounds keeping, front desk and/or service personnel (elevator operators, baggage handlers, concierge, etc.), furniture, and service issues such as a leaky roof, broken window, ripped furniture, or electrical problems.
Do I Need to Hire a Lawyer for Closing?
This is dependent on your trust level with the seller, but it’s generally advisable to have someone assist you with the closing. A licensed and bonded timeshare title company will often complete the closing and deed preparation paperwork, escrow of funds, closing statements and recording fees for one flat rate.