NEWS

Fractions Gain Traction

Date: Nov. 23rd, 2006

Timesharing goes upscale with deeded ownership of vacation homes

Kathy Filgo
November 23, 2006

Fractional ownership – it’s hip, it’s hot, it’s not your grandma’s timeshare. In resort communities all over the country fractional ownership is proving itself to be not only a viable but an attractive option of owning a vacation home.

Unlike the timeshare properties of the 1970s and 1980s, today’s fractional offerings have been changed and refined since the late 1990s. Today fractional ownership is the partial ownership in what is usually a high-end, sophisticated, and elegant property that offers an environment with the utmost of luxurious and grand surroundings, and the amenities are there to match. Typically the properties are the reflection of the height of exquisite taste with beautiful finishes, exquisite furnishings, and the ultimate in pampering.

Plus, unlike the earlier versions of timeshare, today’s fractional ownership properties offer deeded ownership complete with title policies. Ownership can be resold or passed down through the generations.

There are industry surveys that reveal 80 percent of buyers saying their reason for purchasing a vacation home is service and amenities, and fractional ownership can certainly fit the bill.

In fractional ownership there is an emphasis on fulfilling the wishes of any owner’s dreams of a lavish lifestyle. Often attached to or associated with a five-star hotel, there are extravagant amenities at an owner’s beck and call. Amenities can include such essentials as a sumptuous spa, fitness center with access to personal trainers, gourmet restaurants on the premises, daily housekeeping, meeting facilities, and a concierge service that stands ready to put the entire town at an owner’s disposal.

Some fractional ownership includes such customized arrangements as year-round storage for an owner’s vacation clothing, sports equipment, and personal accessories. All of these possessions can then be installed in the unit prior to arrival so the owner walks into their “home” complete with their personal items already in the closet and their individual photographs, accessories, and other prized possessions placed throughout the home. Sports equipment can be newly tuned and ready for owners to begin their vacation play immediately.

Other customized elements can include a refrigerator stocked with precisely the food items the owner desires to have on hand during their vacation stay. Many appointments can be pre-arranged so not one valuable minute is wasted.

Along with its many extravagant appeals there is also a practical side. Recent Vail Valley surveys reveal that a large number of second-home owners occupy their homes for less than four weeks a year. If an owner is spending only two or three weeks a year in the Vail Valley yet wants value, equity, and other benefits of second-home ownership, fractional ownership can be an appealing alternative.

Fractional owners are also looking for a better vacation experience — one that a maintenance-free, worry-free vacation can offer. With time being the precious commodity that it is, people with limited time for relaxation do not want that time filled with the maintenance requirements of traditional home ownership.

Fractional ownership is turn-key and can usually offer a wide range of time intervals available from a week to a month, or increasing to several months.
It also offers the flexibility of not being tied down to one single destination. In most cases fractional ownership properties are part of a larger network that allows the trading of time from the “home” resort with other properties around the world.

The financial element of fractional ownership has advantages as well. Many buyers are in a position to purchase any type of vacation home they desire, but they don’t want the headaches or expense of maintaining a home year-round, especially if it is used infrequently. With fractional ownership, owners are purchasing only the time they need, in a place they love, for a fraction of the price. This also increases the number of buyers able to purchase a luxury home in an exclusive area that they might not otherwise be able to consider.

There are some very prestigious names in the Vail Valley fractional ownership market; such companies as Ritz-Carlton, Hyatt, Marriott, Four Seasons, and Westin are offering ownership opportunities. Add to the list One Willow Bridge Road, Vail Plaza Club, and Vail Mountain Lodge, to name just a few more available in the Vail Valley. There seems to be a fit for everyone.

Fractional ownership is one of the hottest segments of the resort real estate market, dramatically broadening the options for resort vacation home ownership. The real estate adage of location, location, location remains the same in fractional ownership – the Vail Valley is once again at the top of every list.

Vail, Colorado