A vacation timeshare is a form of vacation property ownership. With timeshare the use and costs of running the resort are shared among the owners. While the majority of Timeshare resorts are condominium vacation resorts, developers have applied the timeshare model to houseboats, yachts, campgrounds and motor homes.
The notion of a timeshare was originally created in Europe in the 1960s. A ski resort developer in the French Alps innovatively marketed his resort by encouraging guests to "stop renting a room" and instead "buy the hotel". The developer was successful in increasing occupancy and the idea spread worldwide.
Timeshare owners can elect to stay at their resort during the prescribed period, which varies depending on the nature of their ownership. They can rent out their week or give it as a gift to friends and family.Timeshare offers owners the possibility to exchange their week, either independently or through several exchange agencies, to stay at one of the thousands of other resorts worldwide.
Ownership is often sold as weeks. There are some types of the basic timeshare week.
The most basic timeshare week is a fixed week; the resort will have a calendar enumerating the weeks roughly starting with the first calendar week of the year. As an owner you may own a deed to use a unit for a single specified week. For example week 26 normally includes the Fourth of July Holiday. If you owned Week 26 at a resort you could use your week every year.
Sometimes a basic timeshare week is sold as a floating week. The ownership will be specific on how many weeks you own and from which weeks you may select for your stay. An example of this, a timeshare may be a floating summer week where the owner may request any week during the summer season generally weeks 22 through 36. In this example there would be competition for prime holidays such as the weeks of Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day. The weeks when schools may still be in session would not be so high in demand. Some floating contracts exclude major holidays so they may be sold as fixed weeks.
Sometimes basic timeshare week is sold as a rotating week. In an attempt to give all owners a chance for the best weeks the weeks are rotated forward or backward through the calendar so one year the owner may have use of week 25, then week 26 the next year and then week 27 the year after that. This method does give each owner a fair opportunity for prime weeks but it is not flexi Deeded vs. Right to Use
A major difference in types of timeshare ownership is that between deeded and right to use contracts. With deeded contracts the use of the timeshare resort is usually divided into weeklong increments and these are sold as fractional ownership and are real property. As with any other piece of real estate you may use your week, rent your week, give it away, or leave it to your heirs.
With right to use, the timeshare purchaser has the right to use the property in accordance with the contract but at some point the contract ends and all rights revert to the property owner. In other words, the right to use contract grants the right to use the resort for a specific number of years. In many countries there are severe limits on foreign property ownership so this is a common method for developing timeshare resorts in countries such as Mexico. Disney Vacation Club is also sold as a right to use.