To timeshare, or not to timeshare?
Have you had an unforgettable holiday in an idyllic location, and now you can’t wait to go back, again and again? If so, you’re not alone – the timeshare market continues to grow with people wanting to guarantee their perfect annual holiday.
Here we answer some of the most pressing questions about timeshare. At the same time, we consider how co-ownership, which allows you to own a share of your dream second home in your perfect getaway destination, offers something different.
Timeshare and co-ownership: in brief
The timeshare concept, which originated in the 1960s, allows you to buy the use of a holiday property – normally through a timeshare company – for a specific amount of time every year, usually one to two weeks. This means you’ll share the property with between 26 and 52 other timeshare owners. Timeshares usually apply to resort properties, and sometimes even hotel rooms in popular holiday destinations.
You can purchase a timeshare based on whether you’d like a fixed or a floating week at the same property every year, or a points system that allows you to choose from a selection of resort properties (and sometimes even activities) at a time that works for you. Typically, timeshares are permanently controlled by a developer or hotel operator, and timeshare buyers are often viewed more like repeat hotel guests than property owners.
With timeshare, you typically receive the right to use a property – in contrast, co-ownership is real property ownership.
Co-ownership, which is also known as shared homeownership, is also not a new concept – for many years, people have entered into ‘DIY arrangements’ with each other to share the costs of owning a stand-alone, unique holiday home.
However, co-ownership with Lazazu is slightly different: we look after finding like-minded co-owners and the purchasing and management of the property for you. But don’t worry, together with the other owners, you jointly own 100% of the home. It is real, deeded property ownership. And, because there are never more than seven other co-owners, you’re able to enjoy your second home for at least 45 days every year.
Timeshare and co-ownership: your questions answered
Are timeshares a good investment?
Timeshares aren’t generally a good financial investment. Due to the number of timeshares available on the resale market and that they are typically standardised similar properties, they often depreciate in value. In addition, a timeshare is unlikely to generate any income for you.
While they can offer you a lifetime of guaranteed holidays, you could liken buying a timeshare to buying a new sports car: great to have if it fits with your lifestyle, but there is a real risk that you won’t get back what you paid for it.
The combination of real homeownership, the reduced number of owners, and the types of homes with their more unique characteristics makes co-ownership quite different to timeshare. With co-ownership, the value of your share should increase in line with any increase in the market value of your home.
How much does a timeshare cost per year?
The cost of a timeshare is determined by a number of factors including location, size, season, flexibility options, and whether it is a direct or resale purchase. After paying an upfront purchase cost, as a timeshare owner, you will also be contracted to pay ongoing yearly maintenance and management fees. It is important to check what if any say you have in the annual fee increases or how the property is run.
The cost of co-ownership will of course depend on where you buy, the type of home you buy, and how big a share you choose to purchase. Beyond the purchase price, co-owners usually share the annual running costs in proportion to the number of shares they own. At Lazazu we like to be completely transparent about fees. All cleaning and maintenance costs are tightly managed, and we pass these on to you and the other owners without any markup. We only charge a monthly flat fee to cover the cost of managing the limited company that we’ll set up exclusively for your home, and to provide you with the support and technology you need to enjoy it.
Can you live in your timeshare?
You can’t live in your timeshare. As you’ll share your timeshare property with somewhere between typically 25 and 51 other timeshare owners, there are strict limits on the amount of time you can spend there. Most timeshares can only be used for a maximum of one to two weeks per year.
As there are a lot fewer owners in a co-ownership arrangement (often just two to eight), you can have greater use of your home. For instance, if you choose to purchase half of the home, you could live in your holiday home for half the year.
How do you schedule your stays?
Scheduling your timeshare stay will depend on the type of timeshare you have. That said, irrespective of whether you opt for a fixed week, floating week, or points-based timeshare, scheduling issues are always a risk. The fixed week option requires no scheduling – you’ll have the same week of the year, every year. Which is great, provided that week will always (and we mean always) work for you. A floating week provides a bit more flexibility, although you’ll most likely be restricted to a specific season…and hopefully, the other 51 owners won’t want the same week you do. Finally, while a points-based timeshare offers the most flexibility, you still face the risk that all the weeks you want might already be taken.
Scheduling stays for your shared home could also be tricky. To overcome potential scheduling challenges, we’ve created an easy-to-use, intuitive and fair online scheduling system. It also ensures guaranteed access to your home during the most in-demand times of the year. And if another owner doesn’t use their allocated time, you’re welcome to enjoy additional time at your home.
How long do timeshares last?
This depends on whether you choose a deeded or leased timeshare. A deeded timeshare lasts forever, so if you no longer want it you have to sell or pass on your share to someone else. Leased timeshare ownership is usually for the long-term: on average between 20 and 99 years.
As co-ownership is deeded property ownership, it lasts forever. Or at least, until you decide you’d like to sell some or all of your shares.
How to stop a timeshare contract?
Unfortunately, it can be very difficult to stop or get out of a timeshare contract and the cancellation process can be quite complex and expensive. It all depends on the type of timeshare you choose, and the specific contract you sign. There are various third-party companies that are specifically dedicated to helping you exit a timeshare.
If you’d like to stop co-owning your home, you can choose to sell your shares at any point after the first 12 months of owning them. You can sell your shares on the open market yourself or via an agent just like any other home, and we’ll support you throughout the process.
Should I choose timeshare or co-ownership?
This last question is one we, unfortunately, can’t answer for you. You’re the only one who can decide which option is right for you, and your choice will depend, to a degree, on your personal circumstances and lifestyle requirements.
That said, more and more people appear to be opting for shared homeownership if they can. After all, you get real equity in your dream property, shared with a maximum of seven other people.
Finally, if you choose to co-own with the help of a company like us – Lazazu – we’ll take all the hassle out of co-owning for you. All you have to do is schedule your stays using our intuitive technology, unlock the door and enjoy your beautiful home (in a breathtaking location). Unlike timeshare, this really is true homeownership.
Discover more about Lazazu:
How Lazazu co-ownership works | Frequently asked questions about shared holiday homes | The benefits of fractional ownership | Browse Lazazu’s selection of second homes | The difference between timeshare and co-ownership