Timeshare Glossary

In the world of timeshares, there are a lot of terms you need to learn and understand to enjoy your ownership to the fullest. We've come up with a thorough glossary of the most common and most need-to-know terms in the industry.


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Accelerated Use

Accelerated Use is a benefit of Right To Use timeshare programs, which provide owners with access to a resort for a specific number of years. Accelerated Use allows owners to use their weeks more frequently than their original plan stipulates. For example, if ...

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Accrued Weeks

The term "Accrued Weeks" is just another way of describing Banked Weeks. These are weeks that have been allotted to timeshare owners based on their programs, but, for whatever reason, were never used. These unused weeks accrue and can be used later. For example, if...

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Ad Valorem

Ad Valorem, Latin for, "according to value," is a tax placed on the assessed value of real-estate or personal property. These taxes often come in the form of property tax, which is the primary source of revenue for state and municipal governments. Unlike transactional taxes, like a sales tax, Ad Valorem taxes are in...

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Anniversary Date

As it applies to timeshares, the term "Anniversary Date" can have multiple meanings. In traditional timeshare programs, the "Anniversary Date" marks the starting point of the usage period. Some resorts define a "use year," within which owners must use their timeshare or risk losing their week for that calender year....

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When dealing with timeshares, appraising the market value of a property can be difficult. Timeshares depreciate over time, so the appraisal process is far from an exact science. Because of this, timeshare appraisals are viewed as lacking credibility, especially because many appraisers will charge potential buyers or...

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When applied to real-estate, the term "appreciation" means that the property has accrued value over time. Traditional property does generally appreciate over time. However, because timeshares are divided among multiple owners, even if the value of the particular resort itself appreciates, rarely is any net-increase ...

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ARDA is the American Resort Development Association. Headquartered in Washington D.C., ARDA was established in 1969 to represent the vacation-ownership and resort-development industries. Today it has more than 1,000 corporate members ranging from privately held firms to publicly traded companies.

ARDA seek...

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Banking is most often done in conjunction with an exchange company such as Resort Condominiums International (RCI) or Interval International (II). When an owner isn't going to use his or her week one year, or if they'd like to exchange their week at their home resort for a week elsewhere in the network, they can cho...

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Biennial usage refers to a timeshare arrangement which allows owners access to their resort every other year. Biennial usage is also often referred to as EOY (every other year.) In cases of right-to-use properties, the value of a biennial agreement is half as valuable as that of an agreement allowing for annual usag...

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Bonus Time

Bonus time is a benefit offered to owners by many timeshare resorts. For owners, it is time spent at a resort that does not fall within the allocated week. These Developer Bonus Weeks (DBW) can come in the form of reduced rates for daily-rentals (sometimes as much as 50% off), or can come in the form of free weeks i...

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Bonus Weeks

Bonus Weeks are generally low-demand weeks which are often offered by timeshare developers or exchange companies as incentives to buyers or current owners. Bonus Weeks are generally the lowest-value, off-season resort weeks. In addition to being offered as incentives, they can also be purchased from the resort as un...

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Bulk Banking/Block Banking

Bulk or Block Banking is the depositing of a large number of inventory units into an exchange company like Resort Condominiums International (RCI) or Interval International (II). It is generally done by resorts, who will often "space-bank" a number of consecutive weeks or months, thereby increasing their trade power...

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Closing Costs

When a timeshare is sold or resold, certain fees are associated with the closing of the sale. These Closing Costs pay for such services as: holding and transferring escrow, recording fees and timeshare deed recording expenses, payment of funds to seller, providing resorts with notice of change of ownership, preparat...

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Club Membership/Trust Membership

With a Club/Trust Membership, members of a resort or vacation club have the privilege of using a resort's facilities year-round; not just during their allocated week. This arrangement often comes with the purchase of timeshare, and is regulated on a space-available basis. This is currently the most popular form or v...

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When referring to timeshares, a constitution is legal documentation which describes and regulates the relationships between the management company, trustee, resort developer and timeshare owner. This legally-binding collection of inter-related documents acts as a set of rules and guidelines by which the resort is ru...

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Cooling-Off Period

The Cooling-Off Period, also commonly referred to as Rescission, refers to the period of time following the purchase of a timeshare property during which a buyer may cancel the agreement without incurring monetary or legal penalties. This period of time is put i...

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Because they are divided among multiple individuals, timeshare owners rarely see an appreciation in property value. Therefore, timeshares are often thought to lose value over time. However, timeshare properties are not necessarily more prone to depreciation than other forms of property; but they are likely to cost m...

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End-User Finance

When a loan is provided to enable a buyer to purchase timeshare property.

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In Spanish, the registration and deeding process for a Deed of Title.

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Escrow is a legal arrangement in which an asset (in this case, cash for the sale of a timeshare) is deposited into safe-keeping under the trust of a neutral third-party (an escrow agent) pending satisfaction of contractual contingency. An Escrow account is a third-party account which can guarantee a level of securit...

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One of the biggest benefits of timeshares is their inherent flexibility. One of the ways this flexibility manifests itself is in the option to exchange. Owners can choose to trade their time at one resort for time at another resort within a particular network, or for time at the same resort during a different season...

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Exchange Company

Exchange Companies are NOT timeshares. Rather, they are third-party companies in place to enhance your timesharing experience. These companies allow owners to trade their time at their "home resort" (the resort which is deeded or contracted to them) for time at any resort within the company's extensive, internationa...

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Fee Simple

Essentially, Fee Simple is just another way of saying that a timeshare property is "deeded." A deed is a legal document which provides the title to a timeshare property and grants official ownership rights. Fee Simple is generally regarded as the preferred type of vacation ownership.

Fee Simple is essentia...

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Fixed Unit

Many timeshare owners find that having a Fixed Unit at the same resort every year is preferable to having a floating week so that they may ensure a certain room, view or living arrangement. For example, if you've paid for an ocean-view suite with a large balcony, you'll want to ensure that you'll be given the same r...

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Fixed Week

Ownership of a Fixed Week affords owners use of the unit for that specific week every year or every other year for the life of their contract or deed. On a traditional timeshare calendar, each week in the year is given a number starting with the first week of the year and continuing through the end of December. Most...

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Floating Week

With a Floating Week, an owner's usage is determined by season, and the week usage is not fixed.

Most resorts have high, medium and low seasons, though some are qualified by color (such as platinum, gold and red). Rather than a Fixed Week, which assigns owners to a particularly numbered week every year, ow...

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Fractional Ownership

Fractionals are a quickly growing segment of the timeshare industry, however they differ from traditional timeshares. There are many ways in which Fractional Ownership and timeshare ownership overlap (in that they both afford shared ownership and several options for flexibility and usage benefits), however the funda...

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Gold Crown Resort

A Gold Crown Resort is the highest rated resort category that Resort Condominiums International (RCI) designates. It is similar to Interval International's "five-star resort" category. Gold Crown Resorts have the highest trade power within the RCI network, which means that owners of Gold Crown Resorts will have more...

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Guest Certificate

Guest Certificates allow owners to send a friend or family member on vacation and to lodge at their timeshare unit. The Guest Certificate documentation is provided by the exchange company and is usually affiliated with a resort. Guest Certificates are just another way that timeshares are more flexible than other vac...

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Holiday Club/Vacation Club

Rather than offering a unit of usage time at a particular resort or property, Holiday Clubs and Vacation Clubs are programs that offer timeshare weeks at a number of (oftentimes international) resorts within a particular network.

Many vacation clubs utilize a points program, which, rather than assigning ow...

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Holiday Ownership

Synonymous with vacation ownership, another term for timeshare.

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Instant Exchange

Instant Exchange refers to a program offered by Resort Condominiums International (RCI), the world's largest exchange company, that allows owners to exchange their timeshare week on short notice. The program is also often referred to as "RCI Last Call." Typically, to meet the criteria for Instant Exchange, owners mu...

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Internal Exchange

Many resort families, such as Hilton Grand Vacations Club, Wyndham, Marriott, and Silverleaf allow for Internal Exchange of owners' timeshare weeks. What this means is that ownership at one resort will allow owners to trade for time at other resorts in the resort family. Internal Exchange is just one of the ways tim...

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An Interval simply means a unit of time. In this case, as timeshares are generally sold in one-week shares, Intervals generally refer to a period of 7 days. For example, one week of timeshare ownership is an interval week. An interval week will usually be assigned a week number, based on a timeshare calender, depend...

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In localities where the deeded ownership of vacation properties is not permitted by law, it is standard practice for a resort developer or management company to lease timeshare properties. Lease arrangements are also known as Right-to-Use agreements. The resort developer or Management Company holds ownership of the ...

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A Levy acts like a maintenance fee for points-club members. Because points members do not own rights to an actual property at which annual or biennial maintenance will be done, a Levy helps ensure that all properties in the points program are well maintained. It a...

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Linked Agreement

When purchasing from the resort, timeshare buyers are often duped into certain arrangements by a Linked Agreement. For example, in areas where laws prohibit the taking of deposits on timeshare property, buyers may be presented with both a Timeshare Purchase Agreement and another, seemingly separate agreement. The fi...

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Lockouts or Lock-Offs can have between two and four bedrooms and at least two separate sections. Four bedroom lockouts can comfortably sleep 16 guests. The owner of a Lock-Off has several options when renting his or her unit resale. He or she can choose to rent out the entire unit to one party, to stay in one half o...

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Maintenance Fee

Maintenance fees are established and collected by the Home Owners Association or Resort Management Company to maintain the timeshare resort property, pay insurance, utilities, purchase appliances and furniture updates, account for refurbishing, and pay for annual taxes.

Maintenance fees will, of course, va...

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Management Company

This Management Company is usually contracted by the Home-Owners Association or the Property Owners Association, to carry out all the day-to-day management of the resort. Frequently the resort developer will have a controlling interest in the company contracted to manage the resort. Management fees usually take the ...

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Odd-/Even-Year Usage

Odd- or Even-Year Usage is simply a more specific way of referring to and describing Biennial Usage. Odd- or Even-Year Usage is termed as such based upon the years when the interval week or weeks are used. For example, and odd-year agreement could consist of a times...

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The Organization for Timeshare in Europe is similar to the United State's ARDA (American Resort Development Association), but OTC offers more of an emphasis on consumer affairs. According to its website the Organization for Timeshare in Europe "is the trade body dedic...

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Essentially, points act as a form of in-network "currency." Points are used in vacation clubs and exchange companies and offer the owner a variety of resorts from which to choose. Points are just another way that timeshares are becoming increasingly flexible.

With exchange companies like RCI or Interval Intern...

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Three-month interval ownership with a rotating schedule.

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Red Week

Different resorts will, of course, have different peak seasons. This system is resort and exchange company specific and not all rating systems follow the same color code. For example, what is "Red Season" at one resort may be "Platinum Season" at another. Red Weeks ...

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Resale timeshares are most often advertised by current owners who, for whatever reason, can no longer use or afford their timeshare. Timeshare resales are typically available for 50%-70% off of a resort's asking price. Resale timeshares are exactly the same property available directly from the resort, but because th...

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Rescission periods, also known as "cooling-off periods," vary from state to state, but standard policy is that, should the buyer choose to cancel their purchase agreement within the stated Rescission period, he or she is entitled to receive a full refund on the purchase deposit. It is recommended that before the Res...

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Right To Use

Right To Use timeshares are generally offered in localities where deeded ownership of vacation properties is not permitted, though RTU timeshare arrangements may also reflect an individual resort's preferences. Right To Use agreements are generally good for a period of twenty to ninety-nine years. With RTU arrangeme...

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Each resort will have different seasons. This will have a significant impact on the desirability and therefore the demand of any timeshare property. Because demand affects price and trading power within an exchange company, seasonal fluctuation is an important consideration to factor into your decision to buy, sell ...

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Sinking Fund

A fraction of a resort's management fee that is allocated specifically to ensure that the facilities and furnishings are kept in "like new" condition.

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Space Banking

Space Banking is synonymous with "banking," and is just another reason that timeshares are more flexible than other vacation properties. If timeshare owners can't use their week one year, or if they want to trade their time at their home resort for time at another resort within the exchange network, they may Space B...

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Special Assessment

A charge, in addition to yearly maintenance fees, that is occasionally expected to cover expenses related to major repairs or refurbishment endeavors.

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Time Division

Demand is generally based on season, and different seasons and locations will, of course, garner different levels of demand. For example, timeshares in tropical locations with a pleasant year-round climate can boast high-demand, and therefore higher rates, throughout the year. However, timeshares in seasonal locatio...

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Timeshare Condo

This is the easy way to buy timeshare resale while saving money and still getting unique property in an incredible location! With the help of a professional timeshare liquidator it has never been easier to find a condo resale that perfectly fits your needs. If you have been looking for a knowledgeable timeshare real...

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Trading Power

Trading Power is based on a number of factors such as: season, week type, usage type, unit type and resort quality (in terms of amenities, reputation and rating). A week's Trading Power is also based heavily on supply and demand. For example, a high-demand week at a...

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Where timeshares are concerned, Trustees are a financial institution (such as a bank or a trust company) or group of individuals who hold timeshare properties and leisure facilities in trust on behalf of the owners. A timeshare buyer's Right To Use agreement i...

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Vacation Ownership

You just got back from vacation, and you're already thinking about planning your next trip. You are not alone. Some of life's best moments are born on vacation, and with all the work you do the rest of the year, a little fun and rest is always deserved. But how can you build vacations into your lifestyle without dep...

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Week Fifty-Three

Approximately once every seven years, a calendar year will have fifty-three weeks, rather than the standard fifty two. Week Fifty-Three will often be set aside for use by the developer or other important member.

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