Timeshare Glossary

A Glossary of Commonly-Encountered Timeshare Terms

This glossary of terms is designed to help individuals interested in buying or selling their timeshare better understand timeshare language. Just as with any other industry, certain words get thrown around. These timeshare terms can be confusing. Read through or look up any timeshare word to help you better understand.

Accrued Weeks : Weeks that have accumulated from the prior year and are available for use in the current calendar year.

Biennial Ownership (alternate year ownership): Allows use of a resort ownership product every other year and costs less than annual ownership at comparable resorts.

Bonus Time: Use of your resort in addition to your regular allocated time on a space available basis.

Club Membership: Year-round usage of resort facilities with purchase, on a space available basis.

Deed : Ownership interest providing title to your property. Fee simple.

Developers Price: Estimated developer’s current or market price. Full retail price.

Exchange Plans: Program that allows you to trade your timeshare unit for another unit at a different resort in a different place. Through the international vacation exchange network, you can trade timeshare intervals for vacation time at comparable resorts around the world. Most resorts are affiliated with an exchange company that administers this service for members. After an owner has elected to become a member of the affiliated exchange company, the owner places their interval into the exchange pool of resorts and weeks available for exchange. The owner then chooses a resort and week from that pool. These organizations do charge an exchange fee as well as an annual membership fee for this service.

Exchange Company: An organization which, for a fee, provides vacation exchange services and will assist timeshare and camping membership owners in exchanging for other resorts worldwide.

Fixed Unit: When the unit or unit type is purchased for a specific week of the year. That week is reserved for the owner every year, subject to cancellation if the vacation owner doesn’t plan to use it that year. Floating time refers to the use of a facility within a certain season of the year such as spring or summer. Advanced reservations are required for the desired time slot reservations are usually on a first come, first serve basis. Purchasers may receive a deed under a floating time arrangement.

With Fixed Unit: The fixed-week deeded agreement the purchaser receives a deed allowing the use of a specific condominium at a specific time every year, similar to purchasing a house. This may provide the owner with a tax advantage and a voice in resort’s management. With this form, the owner may rent, sell, exchange, or bequeath the vacation interval.

Floating: Your time-period is defined by a season and your week period is not fixed. You reserve your time-period within the appropriate season annually. Most resorts have a High, Medium, and Fractional: multiple-week ownership at the same resort for 2 or more weeks of timeshare ownership for use in one calendar year.

Fractional Ownership: purchasers can own a larger share of a timeshare unit, usually from five to 26 weeks. This type of ownership is popular for beach, ski, and island resorts.

Lockoff or Lockout Units: provide vacation owners the ability to occupy half or part of a unit locking the joining entrance door, while offering the remaining room for rental or exchange. This choice is typically available for two-bedroom, two-bath units and above.

Maintenance Fees: Fees paid annually to support the maintenance of the resort. These are established and collected by the Homeowners Association or Resort Management Company to maintain the property, pay insurance, utilities, refurbishing and taxes.

Odd and Even Years: Timeshare ownership usage every other year, some odd-numbered, some even.

Points Based System: Program which provide flexible use of multiple resort locations. Club members purchase points representing a travel and use membership or a deeded real estate product. Points are used like currency to access the various size accommodations, seasons and number of days at the participating resorts. The number of points needed to access a particular resort accommodation will vary depending on club member demand for units, unit size, season, resort location, and amenities. Vacation clubs may have a specific term of ownership or may even be deeded in perpetuity.

Quartershare: 3-month interval ownership with rotating schedule.

Right-to-Use Plan: Ownership that operates for a limited number of years. Under this plan, the purchaser is purchasing time and the rights of usage for a prescribed number of years (usually 10 to 50 years). At the conclusion of that time frame, the purchaser loses any future rights of this lease form but, if desired, can repurchase an extension of time from the developer. During the leased interval the developer retains full ownership of the real estate and personal effects of the apartment and has his overhead (maintenance costs) paid by the purchaser. Generally, no equity is accumulated by the owner and the resale possibilities may be seriously hampered by clauses in the lease contract as well as being only capable of selling the remaining number of years in the contract. The developer maintains ownership of the property. The purchaser only reserves the right to use one or more resort accommodations for a that specified number of years after which all use rights again return to the developer. These plans come in a variety of forms, most commonly called club membership.

Seasons: Designated season of the year denoting period of ownership for exchange or usage value.

Split Weeks: Allow owners to split interval time use into two separate visits, like one two night stay and one five night stay at different times of the year. Reservations are usually required.

Red Time: Vacation time that is most highly demanded.

Timeshare or Vacation Ownership: The right to use a week or weeks of time at either your home resort (where you purchased) or by trading (exchanging) your time for another destination resort. Exchanging time requires your resort to have an affiliation with an exchange company. Timeshare describes a method of use and ownership. It intends exclusive use of facilities for a designated number of days each year. Usually purchased for a specific number of weeks, it is also called interval or vacation ownership.

Trading Power: The value of deposited vacation time based on supply and demand your home resort, your unit type, and the designation of your vacation time.

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