Accelerated Use: A right-to-use program that allows the member to accelerate usage of the time purchased. For instance: you have a 10-year right to use one week per year at a resort offering accelerated use. Instead of using one week every year, you may choose to use 2 weeks every year for 5 years or 5 weeks per year for 2 years. (Based on availability.)
Amenities: Features that add to the value of the property such as swimming pools, tennis courts, golf courses, spas, boating, fitness room, laundry facilities, etc. Generally speaking, the more amenities a resort offers the greater the increase in value and desirability of the property.
ARDA (The American Resort Development Association): The main trade association in the United States for the timeshare industry. Provides lobbying and other services in support of the industry.
Banking: Depositing a week of timeshare into an exchange company’s “bank”. If you do not use a week in a particular year, you are generally allowed to bank it and use it at a later time. See Accrued Weeks, Block Banking and Space Banking.
Biennial: Use of a fixed week every other year (‘EOY’). Owners are referred to as ‘Odd’ or ‘Even’ year owners. See Odd or Even Year Usage.
Block (or Bulk) Banking: The depositing, usually by the resort management, of a large number of weeks into the exchange company “bank” at the earliest time possible.
Bonus Time: Use of your resort in addition to your regular allocated time on a space available basis. A Developer Bonus Week (DBW) is available to members who own at participating resort. These bonus weeks are issued directly from the resort, often issued as a signing bonus upon the purchase of a timeshare interval. Sometimes owners can purchase bonus weeks from the resort as unsold developer-owned weeks.
A second type of bonus week is one issued by an exchange company. Owners of high-demand resort weeks receive them as incentives to deposit their timeshare week.
Camping Membership: A membership to a resort or resort community catering to campers, some of which are affiliated with national organizations providing camping locations for members in many states and other countries.
Check-In Date: The assigned date and day of week the interval week begins; usually Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. The check-in day begins the seven-day interval week. For example, if the interval week begins on Friday, the week ends on the following Friday. The interval owner (or renter) need not always check in on the specific check-in day; however, late check-in does not extend the interval week beyond the scheduled checkout day.
Check-In Time: The assigned hour an interval week begins; usually 3:00 PM, 4:00 PM, or occasionally 5:00 PM prevailing time. The interval owner need not check in at the precise time; however, late check in does not extend the interval week beyond the assigned check out time. Check-out time is normally 10:00 AM or 11:00 AM prevailing time on the seventh day following check-in. [Example: check-in on Saturday at 4:00 PM and check-out on the following Saturday at 10:00 AM].
Closing Costs: Those costs associated with the closing process, usually including: deed preparation or transfer of equity for right-to-use properties, recording costs, escrow fee, and administrative fees.
Club/Trust Membership: Year-round usage of resort facilities with purchase, on a space available basis. This is the most generally used system of timeshare ‘ownership’ in the United Kingdom and is growing in popularity everywhere else. Owners belong to a Club; their accommodation unit (and sometimes the leisure facilities) are held by Trustees who license a ‘Right-to-Use’ to ‘Owners’. Sometimes club membership is backed by a deed of ownership, sometimes it is not.
Constitution: The collection of inter-related legal documents establishing the relationship between timeshare owner, developer, trustee and management company. Effectively the rules by which the resort is run.
Deed: A legal document providing title to your property; gives you your ownership rights. See Fee Simple.
Deeded Property: True property ownership with deed recorded in the county where the property exists. This type of property has the same rights of ownership accorded to it as other deeded real estate. The owner may sell, rent, bequeath, or give away the property.
Developer’s Price: The developer’s current or market price for a timeshare interval. Full retail price. Includes the developer’s marketing costs, etc.
Escrow: A special secured account used to hold funds from the buyer and the seller related to closing of purchase and/or sale of a property.
Exchange: The process of trading an interval week at one resort for an interval week at another resort or trading a specific week at the home resort for another week at the same resort. The exchange system allows an interval owner to trade their week with other interval owners thereby allowing each owner to travel and vacation throughout the world. Some resorts have internal exchanges with other resorts which are usually owned by the same company.
Exchange Company: A company or organization that accepts timeshare weeks on deposit from its interval owners/members to establish a pool of weeks from which other members may select the resort and vacation times of their choice. When a member deposits their week with an exchange company, the company compares the week the depositor is asking for with weeks deposited by other members and provides a suitable match based on availability and value. Factors affecting the exchange value are: the resorts’ rating, the time division; i.e., prime time versus low time, the size of the unit desired, etc.
Fee Simple: The preferred type of real estate ownership. This type of interval ownership is the opposite of Right-to-Use or lease ownership and continues forever. The owner holds a deed in his/her name and the ownership of the property can be bequeathed to heirs.
Fixed Unit: A time period that is fixed for each calendar year, either by date or by calendar weeks; most in numerical sequence 1-52. With a week number, your actual start date may vary slightly from year to year. Unlike a floating unit, a timeshare owner who owns a fixed unit at a resort will always vacation in the same physical unit each year he/she vacations at that resort. This type of ownership is particularly important if you have purchased, for example, an oceanfront property with the ocean at your door step and are not willing to vacation in an ocean-view unit. A fixed unit property assures the owner that he/she will always have the exact location and the exact unit they have purchased.
Fixed Week: Referring to the interval calendar, the purchase of a fixed week property assures the owners that they will always have the same week each year; i.e., week 52 or week 35, etc. Alternatively, an owner of a floating week may choose another week within their season allocation. A floating week owner may also elect to upgrade or downgrade to another season allocation to meet their annual vacation schedule. Upgrading to a higher time division usually incurs an additional cost.
Floating: Your time period is defined by a season and your week period is not fixed. You reserve your time period within the appropriate season annually. Most resorts have a High, Medium, and Low Season. Owners of a floating unit at a resort might not vacation in the same physical unit each year. Interval owners may request a specific unit and if it’s available for that particular week the resort normally will honor the request.
Floating week based on fixed rotation – a type of timeshare ownership in which specific weeks rotate among owners from year to year on a fixed schedule. Common with fractional ownership interests/private residence clubs. Floating week based on ownership rotation – a type of ownership in which the owner purchases week(s) and works out the appropriate vacation time with the other owners on a rotating basis each year.
Floating Week/Time (also called “flex” time): The purchaser of a floating week has the flexibility of scheduling their vacation interval with yearly variations in accordance with the resort’s guidelines. Typically, resorts will accept requests for specific weeks by the interval owner as soon as the annual maintenance fees are paid. Therefore, the earlier the maintenance fees are paid the better the chance that the owner can pick a specific interval week.
Fractional: Multiple week ownership at the same resort–2 or more weeks of timeshare ownership for use in one calendar year.
Guest Certificate: A certificate issued by the resort’s affiliated exchange company authorizing a nominated guest to use an exchange instead of the owners.
HOA/POA (Homeowners Association/Property Owners Association): When a resort is sold out or approaching sell out its ownership is generally turned over to an HOA or POA consisting of the timeshare owners of the resort, with an elected board to administer the rules and regulations. Sometimes a sold out resort will hire an outside management company to operate the resort, collect maintenance fees, etc.; sometimes the developer maintains management rights.
Holiday Ownership: Another term for Timeshare.
II (Interval International): The second largest exchange company in the world.
Interval: An assigned period of time. Based on the interval calendar wherein the fifty-two weeks of the year are numbered sequentially: Week 01 through Week 52 or Week 53. A specific interval week is a seven-day period encompassing one of those fifty-two weeks.
Interval Calendar: An annual calendar depicting the fifty-two or fifty-three weeks of each calendar year showing starting days of Friday to Friday, Saturday to Saturday, and Sunday to Sunday, check in dates.
Lease/Leasehold: Some states and some foreign countries do not allow deeded ownership of timeshares. Alternatively, a lease ownership or Right-To-Use (RTU) ownership grants the lessor the right to use the property for a specified period of time; usually from 20 to 99 years. Ownership of the physical property is held by the resort developer or management company. Most properties in Hawaii, for instance, are leasehold properties. The same is true in Mexico.
Levy: In a points club, the annual charge to members to pay for administration of the club in addition to any management charge or supplementary management charge made for actual use of a week. Also a one-time charge made to owners by an Owners Club or Management Company to pay for major or unexpected costs. See Special Assessment.
Lockout/Lock-off Unit: Typically, a unit which has the capability of being divided to create two separate but complete sections. If an owner buys a lockout unit, he can divide the unit and either stay in one half of the unit and rent the other half or rent both halves to different parties.
Maintenance Fee: Maintenance fees are established and collected by the Homeowners Association or Resort Management Company to maintain the property, pay insurance, utilities, refurbishing and taxes. These fees vary from resort to resort and with the type and size of the unit purchased. The cost of resort operation is spread among owners. This fee must also build up reserves to pay for non-recurring costs like furniture, appliances etc. that need periodic replacement and other capital costs as normal physical deterioration occurs. Note: During the active sales period, maintenance fees may be temporarily subsidized by the developer as a marketing tool. When the HOA takes over, fees may rise to un-subsidized levels.
Management Company: The company contracted, usually by the Owners Club/HOA, to carry out all the day-to-day management of the resort. Very often owned or controlled by the developer. See HOA/POA.
Management Fees: The fees, usually paid annually, by each owner or points club member to cover the costs of running the resort on a day-to-day basis.
Maximum Occupancy: The maximum number of persons an interval unit will accommodate; usually from 2 to 10 persons. Maximum occupancy is typically expressed in conjunction with “private occupancy” referring to the number of persons the unit will sleep privately and the number of bedrooms within the unit. Configurations of units vary from resort to resort.
Odd or Even Year Usage: Timeshare ownership usage every other year–some odd-numbered, some even. The ownership of this type of interval is valued at one-half the value of a full ownership property since the use is restricted to one-half of the annual usage.
Owner Referrals: Resorts that are in active sales often have special vacation promos that they offer through their current owners. The owners are encouraged to submit referrals and will receive various incentives from the resort for their leads.
Points: Programs offered to interval owners by resorts which allow the owners choice and control over when and where they vacation or for how long or short they stay. Points are a symbolic unit of measure having no intrinsic value separate and apart from interval ownership.
Points Clubs: A timeshare system where ‘owners’ hold points which entitle them to use a period (varying from a few days to a few weeks) every year from a choice of resorts. Sometimes points are backed by an actual deed, sometimes they are not.
Resort Ratings: A system of comparison of resort quality, amenities, and location. The two foremost rating systems are Resort Condominiums International (RCI), Interval International (II). RCI and II rate their affiliated resorts based upon predetermined criteria of exacting standards of quality and services provided by the resort as well as the availability of amenities at or near the resort. RCI uses the Gold Crown designation for their highest quality resorts and Resorts of International Distinction for second-level resorts. II designates their top resorts as Elite resorts.
Repossession:The removal of rights to use by a Club (or Management Company) for breach of the Constitution (usually non-payment of Management Fees) and the sale of those rights to recover any debt. Deeded property cannot normally be repossessed.
RCI (Resort Condominiums International): The largest exchange organisation in the world, owned by Cendant Corp.
Right To Use (RTU): Occupancy rights for a specified number of years, with no ownership interest in the property. Some states and some foreign countries do not allow deeded ownership of timeshares. Alternatively, a lease ownership or Right-To-Use ownership grants the lessor the right to use the property for a specified period of time; usually from 20 to 99 years. The resort developer or Management Company holds ownership of the physical property. However, during the right-to-use period, the owner may rent, transfer, or bequeath the remaining years of their right-to-use property.
Season: Exchange Company division of the weeks in a year into popular (Red), shoulder (White for RCI or Amber for II) and off peak (Blue for RCI or Green for II) for the calculation of trading power in exchanges. Each resort may have different seasons depending on the geographic position etc.
Space Banking: Depositing a week of owned timeshare with an exchange company. See Banking.
Special Assessment: A fee over and above the annual maintenance fee assessed by the resort pro rated to interval owners. This fee is, when assessed, is intended to defray expenses related to major repairs and refurbishing of resort equipment, facilities, and units.
Timeshare: A right, shared with others, to occupy a unit of accommodation for a period of time (usually a week) on a regular basis for a number of years. Sometimes referred to as ‘Holiday Ownership’, ‘Multi Ownership’ or ‘Group Ownership’ . Timeshares can be in a single building, an apartment block or a boat.
Trading Power: The assessed value of an interval week when trading or exchanging for another week within the same resort or at a different resort. In some situations, the owner of a red week at an RCI Gold Crown resort can trade that week for two or more weeks at a resort of lessor distinction or for weeks in a lower time division. Supply and demand rules prevail in this type of exchange and the owners can greatly enhance their trading power with high demand weeks and resorts.
Trustees: A bank, trust company or a group of individuals who hold timeshare accommodation (and sometimes leisure facilities) ‘in trust’ on behalf of the owners and grant owners a ‘right –to-use’ through a licence (‘Ownership Certificate’). Trustees provide security for owners in the event that a developer fails financially. Some trustees may have added responsibilities such as ensuring the continuity of the Owners Club.
Unit Size: Normally expressed as hotel unit, studio unit, and efficiency unit or by number of bedrooms. Hotel units, studio units, and efficiency units typically are a single room with sleeping accommodations and perhaps a small built in kitchen and sleep from two to four persons. One, two or three or more bedroom units are usually condominium style accommodations and feature a partial or full kitchen and other living areas.
Week 53: Almost all Calendars contain only 52 weeks of use in a year – but roughly every seven years there is an extra week, week 53.
Week Number: See Calendar.
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