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The Benefits of Fractional Ownership in Private Residence Clubs
A new way to own a vacation home – for a select few: Fractional ownership of vacation homes, also known as private residence clubs, is a relatively new concept that allows you to enjoy four to 12 weeks of ownership privileges per year at a high-end luxury resort, but at a fraction of the cost. cost of the entire property.
If you want to own an impressive second home with personalized services and located in an expensive resort area but cannot quite justify the expense because you will only be using it for a few weeks or months of the year, this type real estate arrangement may appeal to you.
Most private residence clubs offer plenty of amenities. These can include an extravagant clubhouse and spa, as well as five-star hotel services, the kind you might not expect to have in a wholly-owned vacation home, upscale condo, or timeshare. .
Imagine this: you are going on vacation and you call the staff of your private residence in advance. At your request, the staff does your shopping, dry cleans your clothes, makes your restaurant reservations, heats your private splash pool, and places trinkets and favorite photos of family members around your residence. You are met at the airport by a member of staff who drives you to your home where a fair detailed Jaguar sits in your parking space for your use.
Get the picture? Private Residence Clubs are NOT your ordinary second home.
Fractions or residence clubs have sprung up in exclusive world-class resort destinations around the world. St. Thomas, the Virgin Islands, Puerta Vallarta and Mexico are popular locations.
In the United States, the first fractions were in the major western ski areas, particularly in Colorado, where real estate was so expensive that wholly-owned second homes were out of the question for most people. Eventually, they spread to ski areas in the northeast. Since then, fractions have started popping up in golf-focused communities like Hilton Head Island, South Carolina and popular beach states like Florida.
Some of the most popular fractions can be found in Jupiter, FL; Aspen Highlands, Bachelor Gulch and Aspen Snowmass, CO; Lake Tahoe, California; and Whistler, British Columbia. Fractions located in the United States generally offer good access to major airports, allowing for easy transportation arrangements.
Management by five-star companies
The key to the success of fractions is their professional management. Most are operated by well-respected hospitality companies known worldwide for their world-class resorts. Among them are Ritz Carlton, Four Seasons, Starwood, Intrawest and Millennium, brands known for their five-star services and amenities.
Part of the appeal of fractions is that they’re completely hassle-free. In addition to having staff available for personalized service, at a private residence club you never have to worry about repairs, maintenance or housekeeping. Everything is included in the price and annual fees and taken care of by the professional management company.
To date, there have been very few fractional resort developments. The demand is strong. As a result, it is likely that there will be substantial appreciation, rather than the depreciation that usually occurs with timeshares.
Real estate experts say the outlook for investment appreciation looks excellent. At the very least, you can expect parity in appreciation with other real estate in the resort area in which the fraction is located.
To buy a fraction, you pay a one-time purchase price and then an annual maintenance fee that covers all expenses associated with the property, its use and its services.
How much do fractions cost? Prices vary depending on the size, amenities and location of the individual property. But most are between $100,000 and $500,000. Keep in mind that these are really high-end homes that would cost you two to five times more if purchased outright than fully owned vacation homes.
Comparing fractions to timeshares
How do fractions compare to timeshares? They really don’t. Fractionals are much more exclusive and include many more luxury amenities and services than timeshares. These are usually larger homes, usually with three to five bedrooms. Timeshare generally only allows you to use one to two weeks per year. Fractionals offer anywhere from two to 13 weeks, and these do not have to be consecutive weeks. Choose the weeks you want.
When it comes to financing, getting a bank or building society loan on a timeshare is difficult. Rates are high, regardless of the quality of your credit. That’s because it’s a well-known fact that most timeshares depreciate over time. Conversely, banks and mortgage companies consider fractions to appreciate assets and often treat them like any other second home purchase.
Why do fractions tend to appreciate while timeshares generally depreciate? There are several reasons. With fractions, more of the buyer’s dollar goes to high quality finishes and “bricks and mortar” compared to sales commissions which can reach 40% to 50% with timeshares.
Additionally, timeshare values have historically been poor due to the large number of resales in the market, not to mention a steady stream of new developments. The thing is, the secondary timeshare market never really developed.
Conversely, there are a limited number of fractionals on the market. Most likely, this number will remain low because fractions are built only in the best, most sought-after places. Therefore, the demand exceeds the supply and causes the property to appreciate.
Comparison of fractions to condominium hotels
Fractionals (private residence clubs) differ from condominium hotels in that you have a set amount of time in which you can use your vacation home. Condo hotels are actually condos located in hotels. You can use your device whenever you want and put it in the rental program when you’re not using it. Fractionals do not offer participation in the rental program.
Fractions tend to be larger than most condo hotel units. Most fractions offer three to five bedrooms, while most condominium units are studios, one-bedroom, or two-bedroom. Currently, most condo hotels are located in Miami and other surrounding South Florida cities. Fractionals are most common on the West Coast, especially in ski areas. However, both types of real estate are rapidly growing in popularity and soon there will likely be more supply across the country to meet growing demand.
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