Q: What is a timeshare?
Think of it as vacation insurance. Timeshare is a form of vacation which gives you the right to vacation a week or two every year. Some timeshares are deeded and some are vacation clubs which offer memberships.
Q: Why buy a timeshare?
A timeshare gives you the ability to vacation and spend quality time with your family and friends each year. Unlike a hotel room, timeshares provide condo type accommodations (with separate living and dining areas and full or partial kitchens) which are generally located in resort areas. Owning a timeshare ensures that you will have the opportunity to vacation and have fun with your family every year.
Buying a timeshare makes financial sense, too. Aside from an annual maintenance fee which takes care of the upkeep of the property, maintenance of common areas, insurance and other related items, your vacation property can be used each year without paying extra costs.
Q: What is the difference between buying a timeshare resale and buying a new timeshare?
You can literally save thousands of dollars when purchasing a timeshare resale versus purchasing a timeshare directly from the developer. While in some instances not all the benefits of buying retail timeshares are transferable, the dollar savings of purchasing a timeshare resale is significant. Some programs may have minor restrictions. Please inquire with one of our licensed real estate professionals regarding any restrictions related to the property of your choice.
Q: Why are timeshare prices so low on the resale market?
The developer incurs marketing costs to advertise their resort in order to attract buyers and those costs are then passed on to the consumer. It is the developer who sets the price on the retail market. On the secondary timeshare resale market, prices are determined by individuals and current market conditions.
Q: What are maintenance fees?
The annual maintenance fee covers the upkeep of the property, replacement of furniture and appliances, on site management staff, maintenance of common areas, insurance, capital improvements and taxes.
Q: How much are maintenance fees?
Maintenance fees range from as little as $200 to over $3,000 annually. The fees vary based on resort location, size of unit, and amenities provided.
Q: What is a “home resort”?
A home resort is where you own your timeshare. Normally this is the resort where you are able to reserve your week before submitting it for an exchange to another resort property.
Q: How do I exchange my week?
There are several timeshare exchange companies. The two largest and most popular are Resort Condominiums International (RCI) and Interval International (II). It’s best to plan in advance and be flexible with your travel dates and locations when exchanging.
Q: What is the difference between deeded and leased timeshares?
Deeded timeshare is like any other real estate purchase. After you buy a timeshare, you own it outright forever. It may be sold, rented or even willed to your heirs.
Leased timeshare gives you the “right to use” (RTU) a specific week or weeks at the property for a set number of years. The “right to use” the property normally returns to the selling resort at the end of the lease period. This type of ownership is popular in Mexico, but Hawaii also has some leasehold timeshares which can expire, be renewed or the interested owner may have the option to buy the land interest in order to get fee interest ownership.
Q: What is the difference between a fixed week and a floating week?
A fixed week means you will have the use of the type unit you own for that specific week each year for as long as you own the property.
A floating week of timeshare allows you to use the type of unit you own during anytime of the year based upon the resort’s availability in the season in which you own.
Q: What is a points program?
When you own a timeshare with a points program, generally, you purchase a specific amount or number of points. You are then able to use your points to reserve your stay at different resorts and locations. Points give you the ability to customize your vacation each year.
Q: What is the difference between red, platinum, gold and silver time?
These are used as seasonal designations at each resort. Seasons vary from resort to resort.
Q: What is a lock-out or lock-off unit?
Some units, typically two or more bedroom units have a door in between that can be locked on both sides that separate the unit into two units – similar to connecting hotel rooms. Timeshare owners are given the option of using the entire unit for one week or using the lock-off feature to split the unit into two and use it for two weeks. In some instances there may be a “lock-out” fee.
Q: Who should I buy a timeshare resale from?
You should always work with an experienced, licensed timeshare resale professional who is knowledgeable about the timeshare you may be considering and is familiar with the area. It is recommended that you also check with the Better Business Bureau prior to doing business with any timeshare resale company. It’s important to remember that timeshare is real estate and using a licensed real estate professional will ensure that the entire transaction (whether buying or selling) is handled correctly.
Q: What is an upfront fee?
An upfront fee is what some companies charge as advertising fees when you wish to list your timeshare for sale. The problem with upfront fees is that these companies are taking your money with no guarantee that your timeshare will sell at all or sell at the price you are asking. It is not necessary to pay an upfront fee to get your timeshare sold.
Q: Do I have to attend the closing in person?
No, you do not have to travel to the resort city or county for timeshare closings. The closing transactions can be done via e-mail, fax, or expedited mail.
Q: Will there be anyone to help me with my timeshare?
Yes. Whether you are buying or selling, you can be assured that Advantage Vacation’s licensed real estate professionals will be with you every step of the way to ensure a pleasant experience and to make sure you are an educated consumer. You will benefit from our experience and knowledge in the secondary market of timeshare resale and you will not experience any gimmicks or high pressure sales tactics. We guarantee you will receive prompt and professional service throughout every transaction. Note: All resorts have either an owner service, customer service or reservation agent to assist you in the use of your timeshare ownership.