How Does a Timeshare Work?


Quick Answer

Timeshares are properties used for vacationing that have multiple owners who have signed an agreement as to how their designated time using the property is allotted. One type of timeshare requires that a buyer pays a lump sum upfront to use the property the same time each year, while another type uses a point system, like the Hilton Grand Vacation Club. This allows the timeshare owners to schedule visits using their points at any time at multiple properties throughout the year, according to U.S. News & World Report.

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Full Answer

There are two typical types of timeshares: traditional and vacation interval plans. Both require a lump sum and regular maintenance fees, but they differ in when and how owners are allowed to use them, according to the Federal Trade Commission.

Traditional timeshares use deeded timeshare ownership. Here, a person agrees to own the timeshare for a certain amount of time, signs a deed, pays the money and uses the timeshare property at a set time each year. The time is scheduled so that each owner of the timeshare can use the property without interference.

The vacation interval plans operate on a Right-to-Use basis. Here, a person purchases an interval of time from a participating set of property units, like condominiums, with the time labeled as a certain number of points. The scheduling for use is flexible, but the owner might be assigned to a different property unit every time he or she makes a trip.

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