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What Are Time Shares

written by: Jason Cox•edited by: Rebecca Scudder•updated: 6/29/2011

What exactly is a Time Share and how do they work? You will get the answers to what a time share is exactly and how to use your timeshares. Included will even be a few things that you should look out for in when buying a Timeshare.

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    What are Time Shares?


    Article Image A timeshare is a join ownership or lease of a vacation properly by multiple people whom then take turns using the property for fixed periods of time. Timeshares are not deeded real estate, however depending on your contract can be handed down to your children. They are often condominiums or apartments in popular vacation areas.

    The cost of timeshares will vary tremendously depending on location, how luxurious of a vacation you are wanting among many other factors. An average timeshare will run you around $10,000 dollars, however a used timeshare could potentially be acquired for as little as $1,500 dollars. This is a one time fee that you pay for the use of that location and of which you'll get so much time that you can use each year on that vacation timeshare property. However many would think this is cheap but do not let them fool you in this as you will also be charged for maintenance, utilities and taxes. The typical timeshare will run around $300-500 dollars annually however for more peak season shares could run in a surplus of $1,000 dollars annually.

    Many timeshare companies now have begun working on a point system, where you are given so many points that you can use each year. One thing you want to make sure with these companies is that if you do not use your points that they will roll over the following year. This is becoming more and more favored among frequent travelers as it allows for greater flexibility. You may decide this year to take one really big extravagant vacation, yet next year perhaps you might go on three smaller ones in different locations. This has become preferred rather than always being tied down to the same location every year, where you get the same location and same amount of time every year ongoing.

    Also consider:

    • Some companies will not cover the property taxes and will divide it up among all their timeshare owners which will become an unexpected expense for you to maintain your timeshare.
    • Is there a clause in the contract touching on upkeep of the property? If there is no clause than they could let the place run down further decreasing the value of your timeshare and you would not have many legal rights that you could pursue at that point.
    • Is it transferable? Some companies allow others will not allow for you to transfer the timeshare to say one of your children after you have decided that you no longer wish to go there.
    • Do not forget the cost of travel as having access to that property will not do you a lot of good if you don't have the ability to travel there to use it.
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    Photo Credit: Buy a Time Share