Timeshare packages work on the concept of shared ownership of a property, with each share corresponding to an allotment of time for its use. Typically, owners buy week-long shares of time in a property, making real-estate in vacation destinations ideal for those wishing to share ownership and maintenance costs. Owners can opt to use the property for specific weeks each year or floating weeks within a set period. A third option allows owners to buy into a points-based timeshare system.
Timeshare property ownership is either deeded or nondeeded. A deeded timeshare confers ownership via a deed or title to the property for the time period allotted. Owners are able to participate in decisions regarding the property and to profit from any increases in property value. Nondeeded, or right-to-use, ownership confers ownership not of physical property but of a temporary right to use it. Upon expiration of the term of ownership, the rights to use the property revert to the original owner. Both deeded and nondeeded owners assume the legal rights and responsibilities of ownership, including maintenance and taxes.
As shares in the property are divided by time, choosing how to purchase that time is important. The most common ways to purchase are fixed week, floating week and points. Fixed week is, as the name implies, the purchase of a fixed period of time each year. Floating week is more flexible, as it allows the owner to choose to use the property within a window of time each year. Point systems allow for the use of different properties at different times, with the more popular times costing more points.