Timeshare Frequently Asked Questions
Have questions about timeshare and vacation ownership? Here you’ll find answers to our most frequently asked questions about timeshare resales & rentals. See below to learn more or call 855-849-2028 to ask a question of your own.
What are the different types of timeshare ownership?
A major difference in types of vacation ownership is that between deeded and right to use contracts. See below to learn the difference.
With deeded timeshare, you’ll receive a deed to your “share” of the resort, similar to purchasing real property. All timeshare deeds are recorded in the public records, similar to traditional real estate.
The owner holds the rights to use, sell, rent, or bestow the timeshare as they wish. The owner is also liable for his portion of taxes, which usually are collected with the annual maintenance fees. This form of ownership can offer additional security to the owner as a form of “physical” ownership.
Similar to a deeded timeshare, a leasehold timeshare provides the right to use the ownership for a fixed period of time. After the leasehold is complete, ownership returns to the developer or resort. Occasionally, leasehold deeds are offered in perpetuity or long-term commitments. Owners are liable for applicable fees and subject to the terms the timeshare contract.
Right To Use (RTU) Ownership
A right to use ownership entitles the buyer to use a timeshare for a certain length of time. Typically, these timeshare contract come with an expiration date from 25–99 years. Be aware when purchase a right to use ownership through a timeshare resale, you’ll only “own” the timeshare for the remaining years of the contract. However, many resorts will let you renew your lease when it expires.
In many countries there are limits on foreign property ownership, so this is a common method for developing resorts in countries such as Mexico. Disney Vacation Club is also sold as a right to use. Owners are liable for applicable fees and subject to the terms of the timeshare contract.
What are timeshare weeks and points?
Fixed Timeshare Week
A fixed week ownership guarantees the owners use of that same week each year. Fixed timeshare weeks are usually assigned a certain number depending on when that week occurs during the year. A fixed week ownership is great for those who can only vacation during specific seasons or specific week each year.
For example, most teachers are off during the summer season and prefer to own a fixed timeshare week during summer season. Therefore, a teacher who owns a fixed week 28 at the Sheraton Vistana Resort located in Orlando, FL will always be guaranteed the ability to use the first week in July (Week 28) at Sheraton Vistana Resort each year without the concern of availability.
Floating Timeshare Week
Unlike a fixed week ownership, a floating week ownership allows the buyer to choose which week they wish to travel each year. However, some floating weeks may still be restricted within a certain season.
For example, some floating week ownerships allow you to choose any one week per year, others only float weeks within a certain timeframe generally by season. Therefore, for those that enjoy skiing, snowboarding, and other winter activities, a winter floating week ownership at the Christie Lodge resort located in Avon, CO consisting of floating weeks 1-14 would be a better choice than owning a fixed week 28 in Orlando, FL as described above. This winter floating week ownership would allow you to travel one week each year at the Christie Lodge resort on a reservation basis that falls between Weeks 1-14.
Similar to floating week ownerships, a points-based timeshare allows the owner to choose which dates they wish to travel each year based on the number of points that they own. Points-based ownerships generally offer more flexibility than a traditional ownership.
Typically, you can use your timeshare points to book a single night or multiple weeks, depending on your yearly allowance. Points-based ownerships are usually attached to more than one resort which gives you even more flexibility. For example, if you own 300,000 points at one of the Wyndham Vacation Resorts, not only will you have the ability to use those points at your home resort, you will also be able to make a reservation with those points at any other Wyndham Vacation Resort that is part of the Wyndham points program.
What are timeshare seasons?
Timeshare resorts and exchange companies designate “timeshare seasons” as a way to differentiate the perceived value of a timeshare week. The most popular seasons were created by the timeshare exchange companies RCI and Interval International (II). These season range in popularity from the most popular (Red), to mid-level (White for RCI or Amber for II) and to off-peak (Blue for RCI or Green for II).
These seasons are used for the calculation of trading power in exchanges. Each resort has different seasons depending on the geographic location. To view the resort and season you may visit RCI or II at RCI.com and IntervalWorld.com respectively.
What are maintenance fees?
Timeshare maintenance fees are dues paid to the resort for upkeep and renovations. The cost of maintenance fees are outlined in your timeshare contract, but could increase or decrease at any time.
Maintenance fees are typically billed once a year but some are billed monthly or quarterly. Maintenance fees are primarily used to cover timeshare and resort maintenance, insurance, management company fees, utilities, and taxes. These fees vary with each resort and often vary based upon the size and type of timeshare unit.
Are timeshares taxed?
Taxes on most timeshares are already included in the maintenance fees. In some states, such as Florida and California, they may be billed separately.
What is timeshare exchange?
Timeshare exchange allows you to travel to different resort and locations. Exchanging your week also allows you to travel during a different time of year or split your week into multiple trips. Some developers allow internal timeshare exchange within a variety of resorts, but most use a third-party timeshare exchange company.
Timeshare Exchange Company
Exchange companies allow timeshare owners to swap weeks and points to increase their travel flexibility. Rather than be limited to just one timeshare resort, an exchange company opens your options to thousands of choices. Popular exchange companies include Interval International (II), Resort Condominiums International (RCI), and Dial an Exchange (DAE).
Typically, exchange companies charge a fee for membership, and another small fee for every transaction made through them.
Trading power is the perceived value of a timeshare week. Factors affecting the exchange value include the resort rating, the season, the week, the size of the unit, and the amenities of the unit.
Timeshare exchange usually provides the option to save your week—or a portion of your week—for future use. This is known as banking or banking a week. Each exchange source will specify time limits on the length of time you can bank a week. Verify this with your timeshare exchange program.
What is a timeshare usage?
Timeshare usage dictates how often an owner can use their timeshare. See below to learn the most common intervals of timeshare usage.
The right to use an owner’s fixed week, floating week, or points based ownership every year.
The right to use a timeshare ownership twice a year. Note this is different from biennial usage below.
A biennial usage allows you to use the timeshare every other year. There are odd and even year biennial timeshare contracts. Examples of a biennial even year usage would be 2014, 2016, 2018, etc.
Similar to a biennial, a triennial ownership allows you to travel every third year.