A Guide To Timeshare Seasons, Weeks, And Values
Timeshares can be confusing things. Often during those infamous timeshare presentation pitches, you might get bogged down with all the terminology and what it actually means. When buying a timeshare, there are many categories and types of ownership to consider, that can differ depending on the company you are with. One of our missions at timeshare compensation is to make sure consumers are fully informed. Here we are offering you a guide to help you understand the difference between timeshare weeks seasons and the impact on the value of the ownership
The Timeshare Calendar.
Before we look into weeks and seasons, we first must clarify how the timeshare calendar works as a whole. In the timeshare calendar, a year is split up into weeks, usually from Sunday to Sunday. Each week of the year is given a number ie 1- 52. Week 1 doesn’t start on the 1st of January like a traditional calendar, but it starts on the first full week in January, usually Sunday to Sunday. Some years have an extra week (week 53), see our article here for more information.
As always with timeshare, seasons aren’t as simple as spring, summer, autumn and winter. Seasons are a division of the year chosen by the timeshare resort, and it can differ from company to company. It is the industries way of classifying the popularity of the different times of the year. Seasons are usually named by colours, however again this changes according to the resort. The most popular seasons are typically referred to as ‘Red Seasons’. Here we will show you an example of the rating system used by RCI, one of the largest and, most common timeshare seasons.
- RCI Red: High Demand Seasons
- RCI White: Intermediate Demand Seasons
- RCI Blue: Low Demand Seasons
Resorts adjust their cost depending on the popularity of that particular season, having a higher desirability means the unit is worth more. You might assume that weeks at the peak of summer would be the ‘red season’, but other factors affect the season rating. For example, a ski resort in February might be categorised as a red season for that location, whilst for a beach resort, ‘red season’ would be May or June. The level of demand for the particular location and time of year affects the season rating.
With a higher season rating, comes a higher cost, so it is worth looking at your finances before choosing your timeshare season.
Types of Weeks
When you buy a timeshare, you are signing up for the usage of the timeshare property for a particular week or weeks (1-52), of the year. Depending on your contract, or resort, there are different types of timeshare ‘weeks’ which may affect the way in which you are allowed use your timeshare. Here we take you through the different types.
What is a fixed week?
A fixed week is the most common type found in timeshare contracts. This week guarantees the owner use of the timeshare unit for the same week each year. So if you have bought a timeshare for week 32 which lands in August, you will only have access to the property for that particular week of the year. This option is good for those who are limited to when they can go on holiday, for example, if you have children at school or teachers who have fixed holidays from work. This allows the owner to have a guaranteed holiday at their preferred time of the year.
If your timeshare contract is for a floating week, this means that you are allowed to choose any week per year, within a particular season. As we discussed before, the timeshare year is broken up into seasons representing the most in-demand time of year for the location. So if you have bought a timeshare within a red season, you can call up the resort and indicate which week throughout that whole red season, you wish to use the timeshare. This offers a more flexible approach to owners who are less sure when they can take holidays. However, without a week set in stone, often consumers can find that when they go to request a particular week, it may have already been booked up.
You may have bought into a points-based timeshare system. This is where each resort and location is valued by its points. Each year the owner pays for a certain amount of points, these can be spent or saved and it offers a lot of flexibility. For example, you may spend your points by taking a number of small weekend city breaks throughout the year or save them all up for a 3-week luxury break. A points-based ownership will allow the owner to choose which dates they wish to travel, based on how many points they have purchased. The owner is able to choose when, where, and for how long they wish to vacation.
This system may seem to be offering the best of both worlds, the stability of a guaranteed holiday, with the flexibility in time, length and location. However, many points owners come to find that they need to have saved an excessive amount of points before they have enough for a holiday and often end up spending more money to purchase extra points. There is also the issue that when it comes to booking the holiday, there is no availability at the requested resort.
If you are seriously considering purchasing a timeshare, please make sure you are buying into the system that suits your lifestyle, and bank balance, so to avoid disappointment.
If you are buying a timeshare, it is extremely important to consider the overall value of the timeshare you are buying into. Is the price you are paying, worth what you are getting out of the deal?
The value of a timeshare is often calculated by looking at the type of the unit, the size, the location, the season your week is in and the type of week you own. As certain times of year have higher demand than others, although they may be in a peak season or a better property, these ‘seasons’ will command much higher rates of pay. If you are flexible with the time of year you can go on holiday, it might be worth buying a week in a ‘low’ season, as the rate of pay will be cheaper due to the lower value of the timeshare.
The demand and value of a property not only impact the price but also has an effect on the trading power of the timeshare. Should you want to participate in a timeshare exchange, or if you use the points system, the higher the value of your timeshare, the better choice of properties to exchange with and the more points you will receive to spend on vacationing at other locations.
Timeshare resale value
One trap to be wary of is being told that the higher value of the timeshare you buy into, the easier it will be to sell. Consumers may be persuaded to pay more to purchase a timeshare week with a higher value, to give them the flexibility of being able to sell it quickly and easily in future. Although selling a timeshare might seem like a simple way out when you no longer want the use of the unit, however, they can be impossible to sell. No matter the value of the timeshare, no one wants to buy into the burden and financial strain that can come with a timeshare purchase and there are thousands of unwanted timeshares listed for sale online.
Seeking timeshare legal advice is the only way to get the correct advice on how to properly exit your timeshare contract.
If you need any advice or clarification of timeshare seasons, weeks and values, please contact us here at Timeshare Compensation. We will be happy to give you advice on your rights and your options, and how to proceed to put things right.