With a timeshare you purchase rights to use the property, typically on an annual basis. There is a recurring, and predictable, cost associated with timeshares in the form of maintenance fees. The fees are paid to either the developer or an HOA that manages the property. Timeshares offer ownership without the worry and effort of managing typical burdens of owning a property.
Fractional ownership is used for houses, boats, airplanes, and other big-ticket items. It is also used for vacation property as well. Some think of the fractional ownership concept as the grandfather to timeshares. The main difference is a group owns a property together. The number of owners and terms of the agreement determines who gets to use what and when. Some would say the fractional concept is a better option than timeshares. The main problem with the fractional concept is: What do you do when owners stop paying their fair share? When owners stop paying it can put an unfair burden on the other owners in the group to keep up with maintenance and upgrade bills. If there is not enough being paid in then things can get neglected fast.
Like everything else however, I think you need to look at your own circumstances. Do you really want to commit a large amount of money to the same vacations for several years? Does having access for the time offered work with your desires and time off? Are you able to deal with terms at the contract end? These are some of the things you need to consider in making this decision. Read the agreement and all other documentation very carefully, and then review with your attorney!
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