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Fractional Ownership vs Timeshare: What’s the Difference?

Inscription "Timeshare" in the sand on a tropical island, Maldives.

Did you know 35% of Americans wished they had invested more in the past year?

Part of the reason Americans aren’t investing is that they don’t know what to invest in. Real estate is always a good option, but what properties are worth the money? That’s where the debate of fractional ownership vs timeshare comes in.

Let’s explore the differences between timeshares and fractional ownerships and determine which is the better investment for you.

What Is a Timeshare?

A timeshare is a property in which ownership is based on time periods. Multiple people own the property, which often is located in a vacation hotspot, and each owner gets a designated period with the property.

The amount of money you invest and your contract determine how much time you spend at the timeshare. When your time comes, you have complete ownership over the property.

As an owner, you can rent or sell your time slots to others. And, of course, you can also enjoy the luxurious property.

What Is Fractional Ownership?

Fractional ownership describes the shared ownership of a property by a group of people. Most fractional ownerships include written agreements or contracts that outline each owner’s rights.

These types of arrangements are often applied to vacation homes or resort properties. They can belong to single homes or multi-unit buildings. For multi-unit properties, an owner may have access to all or some of the units based on the agreement.

Fractional Ownership vs Timeshare

When it comes to timeshares vs fractional ownership, the key difference comes down to ownership and equity. Determining which agreement is right for you depends on whether you want to own a property or a period of time.


For timeshares, each owner has control over an amount of time. The time varies from one week to several months. During your allotted time, you are the property owner. But when it’s not your time, you do not have access to the building.

If you need a simple vacation property with minimal maintenance, a timeshare may be more your style. Timeshares have property managers that keep the space intact. All you have to do is keep up with fees and enjoy the property during your allotted period.

But timeshares do not hold their resale values well. They are not a good idea if you’re looking for something to make money from. The good news is timeshares are more transferable, and contracts can be canceled.

Fractional Ownership

Fractional ownership agreements give each purchaser a piece of equity. Ownership is based on how much of a property each participant has invested in. If the property value increases, so does the owner’s equity.

If you’re looking for a valuable investment, fractional ownership pays off better in the long run. Think of fractional ownership as buying stock in a company. If the stock (or property) increases in value, so does your capital gain.

Feed Your Curiosities

So, fractional ownership vs timeshare? The answer depends on what you’re looking for.

If you’re aiming for high resale value, go with fractional ownership. If you want a vacation property that you can rent out, choose a timeshare.

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