Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons and one novel. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.com.
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Timeshares are a kind of real estate that offers a permanent vacation location for the duration of the timeshare. They are somewhat like the cross between buying a vacation home and renting the same condo or cottage every year. The difference is that timeshares are owned vacation units, without the investment potential of a vacation home or second property.
One unit or home is used as the timeshare location, and multiple parties rent or timeshare it out annually. It's a successful vacation model that is making 9.9 million families content with timeshare living every year.
What Are Timeshares?
Team building is a cooperative notion that has been in American since the 1920s, and it's this spirit that comes to time-sharing. Timeshares are like team-building vacations in a sense, where everyone cooperates to have the same vacation. Yet, you might never even meet the people that you timeshare with.
There are different kinds of timeshares. The nutshell is that you buy a certain unit, and it's somewhat like having the same hotel room every year. It's glorified vacation ownership without the appreciation of the property going into your pocket. People do it for convenience, and it is often lower in cost than purchasing and maintaining your own vacation home.
The fixed week timeshare is one where you buy the same week at the same property every year. You are put on a contract, and you go when you have to go, or you don't take a vacation that year. In this timeshare, you can choose a block of time, or trade it with another owner of another property. This is an example of a cooperative member in timesharing and is part of the fun of timesharing as you will still get to vacation elsewhere on occasion.
A floating timeshare is one where the buyer can get their own time that they choose during a given year. This is similar to the fixed week kind of timeshare, but with a little more freedom. You'll get to pick your time, but you may not always wind up getting the kind that you want.
A right-to-use timeshare is one where the buyer leases but does not own the timeshare. You might get a certain amount of time every year for a set time, such as five years. You do not own the timeshare, a developer or homeowner does. It's not much different from renting a hotel, but with a contract.
Points clubs are the new trend in timeshares, where high-end resorts allow you to accumulate points to spend on your vacations. They are called timeshares, but they really are more about spending with points than a traditional timeshare with a fixed week.
How To Be A Cooperative Timeshare Member
Although a timeshare is an ownership, you still have to follow the rules and share with others. That is how you can be a cooperative timeshare member.
Timely payment is the easiest way to be cooperative when it comes to being a timeshare member. Some banks will finance a timeshare, but you will usually do that at a high rate. Developer financing is also possible, with likely the same caveat of a high-interest rate.
In addition to your timeshare costs, you will have to pay maintenance. This differs from a cooperative unit where you might live all year. There you pay a lower rent or mortgage but pitch in with cleaning and maintenance. You will have to pay this whether you use the timeshare or not. Some members have a problem with this. If you want a timeshare, pay them, or the fee will escalate. Today, data transmission and cloud storage solutions make it easy to manage all of your modern timeshare responsibilities.
If you are having problems paying for your timeshare at any time, you often have the option to rent it out to someone else. Before you buy a timeshare, look into services that offer that option.
Consider A Timeshare
If you are looking for a vacation option that gives you both a fixed solution and some freedom, a timeshare is the answer. It is not an investment that will grow. However, it gives you the peace of mind of having your vacations in place without you having to think much about them.