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A timeshare (sometimes called vacation ownership) is a property with a particular 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 sharer is allotted a period of time (typically one week and almost always the same time every year) in which they may use the property. Units may be on a partial ownership, lease, or “right to use” basis, in which the sharer holds no claim to ownership of the property.

There are many different types of Timeshare vacation ownership products available on the market today, but these can be divided into three main categories:

  • Traditional timeshare ownership
  • Fractional ownership
  • Points-based ownership

Traditional timeshare ownership refers to the purchase of an interval of usage at a single resort. Ownership is usually tied to a particular unit or unit type (one, two, three bedroom) and falls within a set week or within a season (a specific time of year or range of weeks when the owner can use his/her timeshare).

Fractional ownership refers to the purchase of a much larger increment of time (usually a set block of weeks) and is a good for travelers who are able to vacation for more than one or two weeks a year. Some top brands features on our website such as Ritz-Carlton offer fractional ownership. Fractional properties tend to be even more luxurious than traditional timeshares.

Points-based ownership (also often called vacation club memberships) refer to a system in which owners are allotted a specific number of points per year which can then be exchanged for accommodations at a variety of in-network resorts. Points function much like traditional timeshares in that they are often tied to a specific usage season, however they offer the added flexibility of being able to book shorter stays in larger units (or vice versa).

Each of these types of ownership products can be either fee-simple or right-to-use. Fee simple refers to a deeded purchase in which you own the timeshare perpetually, whereas right-to-use refers to a lease-like agreement in which your ownership expires after a set number of years. If you would like to learn more about timeshares and the types of ownership available, please visit our timeshare resale FAQ page.