Though many people dream of being able to afford a second home for their vacations and getaways we know the full ownership is not for everyone. When you only plan to be using the vacation property for a month or so a year it is a lot of responsibility and cost, even if you do rent it out. In practice full ownership for some people can be more stress than fun. This is why there are so many alternatives to full ownership which have gained considerable popularity in recent years. Below we sum up the benefits and costs of timeshares, vacation clubs, fractional ownership and condo hotels, all of which are valid alternatives to full ownership.
Alternatives to Full Ownership:
Timeshare ownership is perhaps the most common alternative to the full ownership purchase of a vacation home, and there are plenty of reputable companies offering this kind of service. The units sold by companies like this tend to be 2 bed, 2 bath affairs, but some companies offer larger or smaller accommodations for families of different sizes. Some of these companies still work on fixed time and unit systems, but very often they use more flexible points based systems. What this means in practice is that you own time or the right to use your property during certain times of the year, although you are not strictly speaking the owner of any real estate. Timeshare can be convenient alternative to full ownership for those who wish to have greater flexibility.
This kind of vacation ownership arrangement suits a lot of people very well. Timeshare is a one-time purchase which is based on the location, unit size and amenities on offer. Generally the price for a unit of average size can range between $15,000 and $50,000 USD per week depending upon the aforementioned factors. Timeshares are popular because they offer a nice halfway point between the independence of ownership and the luxury of a hotel stay; most timeshare clubs will give owners access to the resorts facilities and services while they stay, and they may even have specialized members services.
Fractional Ownership as alternative to full ownership
Fractional ownership is a unique chance to buy a fraction of a vacation home, usually a home that you would not necessarily be able to afford if you were to purchase the property completely. This gives you exactly the amount of time you would use for your yearly vacations, and means you are only responsible for your fraction of maintenance fees too. As you might imagine this is a much more economically sensible way to vacation. What’s really great, though, is the fact that you can rent out your time if you need to for any reason, so there’s no reason that fractional ownership should leave you out of pocket.
Such fractional interests can cost between $60,000 and $1,500,00 USD per interest, depending upon the size, location and quality of the home in question. You will have to factor in annual maintenance fees, however, but they shouldn’t be too heavy. All in all this is an arrangement with more pros than cons for those who want to hedge against vacation inflation.
When you join a vacation club or destination club, you are in the unique position of not buying a specific property of fixed time period, but access to a full portfolio of homes in different locations. Obviously you are restricted to the properties owned by the club, but a large club can offer a surprising amount of flexibility for you. A fair alternative to full ownership, these are generally non-equity based arrangements, but include the use of an array of facilities.
Costs for one to nine weeks stays generally range from $20,000 and $1,5000,000 USD and this fee is generally 80 – 100% refundable if you choose to exit the program. Annual dues may range from $1,000 to $30,000 USD with a nightly fee for guests.
Condo hotels are half residence club, half hotel in that they most often offer up portions of their inventory for sale. The owner of a unit may use it for corporate or vacation purposes as well as renting it out if and when they wish. The hotel might even have a rent program which takes the hassle out of it all for you. Condo hotel prices change according to market trends, but annual dues do apply.
There are so many options when it comes to vacation homes and alternatives to full ownership these days, and in really popular tourist hotspots it is possible to get exactly what you want and need. Just be sure to consider all your options before committing to something so financially intensive. A good choice in this way can set you up for a lifetime of great family vacations.