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Timeshare Ownership Explained

Most people who are not interested in buying a timeshare think that one timeshare is much like another and that all timeshare schemes must be a waste of money. The reality is pretty different from this skeptical point of view that sees timeshare ownership as a money pit.

Timeshare actually comes in all different shapes and sizes, from fixed week timeshares, right to use timeshare, fractional deeded ownership, vacation clubs, points systems and more. What they all have in common is guaranteed quality accommodation that you can call your own.

Fixed Week timeshare

This is timeshare in its traditional sense, you purchase a specified week and use the unit during the same time every year for the length of the timeshare contract, which can be anywhere between 20 and 30 years. Fixed week timeshares can be swapped using specific exchange networks, although you are often limited by the kinds of units you can swap.


This is the terms used to describe most timeshare schemes. You pay for the long term right to use a unit on a resort. That is, you do not “own” the property, but you do “own” a membership which allows you to use those units are though they were yours for the length of your timeshare contract.

Fractional Deeded Ownership

This term is used to describe the purchase of a fraction of a property. In this case, you do “own” a fraction of the property, albeit a month or a season depending on your contract. You receive the deed to your fraction and there is no end to your ownership unless you sell it.

Vacation Clubs

Most reputable timeshare resorts these days function like a vacation club. Vacation ownership through a vacation club means that you buy into a membership that will allow you to reserve accommodations at any of the club’s affiliated resorts throughout the world. Your type of membership will affect the choices that you have.

Timeshare Points

Timeshare resorts that function like a vacation club will generally sell points which can be exchanged for vacation accommodations at the resort where you purchased your timeshare. These points are flexible in terms of the kinds of units where you can stay and for how long. The way it works is that each timeshare unit is classified and worth X amount of points and you spend your points as you wish. It is also easy to transfer these points to international vacation clubs for straightforward exchanges.