A timeshare comes in two types of categories:
(1) Real Property Timeshare Interest. A real property deeded interest is a right to use a certain piece of property at a certain time of the year every year or every other year during a certain time of the year. This was the historical method of timeshare sales. However, many timeshare companies are not selling these types of interests anymore. Many timeshare developers now only sell “points” which allows timeshare owners to utilize a number of different accommodations and resorts with their points.
(2) Timeshare Points. Points is a new method that timeshare developers use to sell timeshares. Instead of the traditional deeded real property timeshare interest, consumers purchase “points” that can be used toward accomodations and resorts. Each resort or accommodation has varying point costs. Generally, the more popular and nicer the resort, the more points it will cost. Unlike, a deeded timeshare interest where there is a certain guarantee that you will have a certain resort or accommodation at a certain time period, points only allow you to reserve resorts that are not sold out. This sometimes leads to higher demand than there is supply for certain resorts at certain times of the year.
A timeshare may also be called a “vacation ownership”, “vacation points”, and “timeshare points.”
This is the agreement between the consumer and the timeshare company or owner. In it, it sets forth the monetary payment structure, maintenance fees, and description of the timeshare (i.e., whether it is a deeded week or timeshare points). There may also be a financing arrangement for the timeshare. Many times, the timeshare developer will finance the credit for the timeshare through one of their subsidiary companies to ensure most individuals qualify for the purchase of the timeshare.
Every timeshare owner has an obligation to pay shared maintenance fees. Timeshare companies claim that the maintenance fees pay for upkeep of the timeshare premises. However, many times these maintenance fees increase yearly and seem to never end. The more timeshare points you own, the more you will pay in maintenance fees. Generally, maintenance fees or assessments are sent out at the beginning of the calendar year.
A timeshare developer, owner, or company is the company that developed timeshare projects, hotels, and condominiums. Some of the major U.S. based developers include: