If you are thinking about purchasing a timeshare or are just curious about what they are, you’re in luck. We’ve put together all the information you need to know about what a timeshare is, how you use it, and any other useful facts you need to know.

What is a Timeshare?

A timeshare is “a property with a divided form of ownership or use rights. These properties are typically resort condominium units, in which multiple parties hold rights to use the property, and each owner of the same accommodation is allotted their period of time.”

Purchasing this type of vacation ownership essentially means that you and other individuals share the ownership and rights to use a certain property. Each owner has their own allotted time frame to use the property; usually a week, although the allotted time can vary.

This type of ownership isn’t for everyone, but it can be a great option for some individuals and families. Usually, you are allotted a certain time of year that the property is yours to use as a vacation spot. Those allotted times can usually be exchanged for different weeks with other owners or locations through the resort you’ve purchased the ownership through.

There are different types of timeshares; some offer little flexibility, while others offer more flexibility. Other types allow you to reserve certain times, some let you rent out your property, and others even offer you rewards-type programs.

Advantages of Owning a Timeshare

With this type of vacation ownership, you only pay for what you use. Instead of spending a lot of money on an expensive vacation home, you can purchase partial ownership for using it only when you need it. By purchasing a timeshare, “the use of a very expensive property could be more affordable.”

If your business or family takes annual vacation trips, like winter holidays at a ski resort or summer holidays on the beach, purchasing this type of ownership provides you with a certain predictability you wouldn’t be afforded otherwise. Instead of worrying every year about finding the perfect location or booking your time slot, you would already have a guaranteed vacation destination.

With most timeshares, you can trade times and/or locations with other owners, allowing you a change of pace and the opportunity to travel to new places. You may also be able to rent out your allotted time if you are unable to make the trip on your specified time. Many timeshares can be shared by friends and family for free if you are unable to keep your spot as well.

Disadvantages of Owning a Timeshare

Even though you don’t really have to worry about the upkeep of your property with this type of vacation ownership, you are responsible for the annual fees for maintenance, which average close to $700 per year.

Used timeshares are typically sold at a heavy discount because there are so many available, which means they can be hard to sell when it comes time. You can minimize possible losses when selling time comes around by purchasing a used timeshare instead of a new one.

Purchasing this type of vacation ownership can have a lot of benefits for many different types of people. While it could be a great idea for some, it’s important to understand all the facts about owning a timeshare and make the best financial and lifestyle choices for you and your family.