Appraisal
For real estate, an estimation of the worth of a given property, expressed as market value. Determining the market value of timeshare properties is not an exact science. Because of this, timeshare appraisals are viewed as lacking credibility, especially when an appraiser charges a fee to assess the value of a timeshare property. Many timeshare resale companies offer a market value survey as an alternative to appraisal.. This survey will compare the price of the property in question with current listings for similar properties, enabling the seller to price his or her property aggressively yet still receive adequate compensation.
 
Appreciation
When real estate appreciates, it has accrued value. Rarely, however, do timeshare properties appreciate. Since the value of a vacation property fluctuates depending on the time of year, it is hard for someone to appraise such a property (see Appraisal, above). Even if a particular resort itself appreciates, the resultant increase in value is divided among all the people who use the timeshares, so any net increase in value is rarely, if ever, apparent.
 
ARDA (American Resort Development Association)
Based in Washington, D.C., this is the foremost trade association representing the timeshare ownership and property development industries. ARDA advocates on behalf of resort owners and developers and also lobbies for the industry. ARDA was first known as the American Land Development Association, originally founded in 1969. Today, ARDA is comprised of nearly one thousand small companies and large conglomerates from all over the world.
 
Banking
Generally, when dealing with an exchange company, a timeshare owner has the option to reserve unused weeks for use at a later time. These may also be exchanged for different weeks at other locations.
 
Biennial
Usage of a timeshare week occurring every other year. Also referred to as EOY (every other year). See "odd or even year usage".
 
Bonus Weeks
Weeks that have been deposited that are made available to club members, and their family and friends for "last minute" rental at very low cost. (£99 to upwards per property per week dependent on season and size) These bonus weeks become available no more than 6 weeks prior to departure. You do not need to deposit a week to take advantage of these bonus weeks. However you do need to be a club member. For those members who can get away at short notice, these bonus week rentals offer some of the very best value for money on the holiday market.
 
Closing Costs
Expenses incurred during the sale closing process, or "back end" of a transaction. These normally include preparation of the deed, equity transfer for right-to-use timeshare properties, recording fees, escrow costs, and administrative fees.
 
Club/trust membership
Becoming more popular, this system of timeshare ownership is most common in the UK. Members of a club have the privilege of using a resort's facilities year-round. Their right-to-use agreement is licensed by trustees, and membership is sometimes backed by a deed of ownership. The legality of deeded timeshare varies from country to country - for example it is legal in Spain, but illegal in the UK.
 
Constitution
Legal documentation which describes and regulates the relationships between the management company, trustee, developer, and owner. The constitution essentially establishes guidelines as to how the resort is run.
 
Cooling-off period
Also know as rescission, this term refers to the time period following the purchase of a timeshare property during which a buyer may cancel the agreement without incurring penalties. In the United States, this time differs depending on each state but is generally 3 business days. In Mexico it is five days. In the UK, the cooling-off period is 14 days.
 
Depreciation
Reduction of the value of real estate or other property. Vacation properties are not necessarily prone to depreciation, though they are likely to cost much less on the resale market than what the developer was able to charge for them initially.
 
Escritura
In Spanish, the registration and deeding process for a Deed of Title.
 
Escrow
An account specifically for the purpose of holding funds from a timeshare buyer and a seller. A third-party presence overseeing transfer of funds can guarantee a degree of security during the sale closing process.
 
Exchange
Exchange allows a timeshare owner to exchange his/her week at a particular resort for a different week at a different resort, or a different week at the same resort. Exchange policies vary according to resort. Larger companies owning several resorts may offer an internal exchange, or an exchange between the resorts owned by the same company.
 
Exchange company
An organization which exists to facilitate the exchange of banked timeshare weeks. The largest of these is RCI (Resort Condominiums International) followed by II (Interval International). Interval owners deposit weeks into an exchange company's bank. This establishes a selection of weeks from which members can choose. Exchange value of timeshare weeks is established based on the demand of each week, the rating of the resort, amenities, size of the unit, and other factors.
 
Fixed Unit
The owner of a fixed unit timeshare property will always have the same physical unit each year, at the same location. However if this time period is fixed by week number (1-52), the actual start date of the week may vary from year to year.
 
Fixed Week
A fixed week is a specific week during the calendar year usually identified by a number. Most fixed weeks begin on a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. Each week is given a number starting with the first week of the year and continuing through the end of December. Ownership of a fixed week allows you the use of the unit for that specific week annually for as long as you own it.
 
Floating Week
A floating week may be used any time during the calendar year based on a resort's availability. Typically, resorts will accept requests for specific weeks by the interval owner as soon as the annual maintenance fees are paid. Therefore, the earlier the maintenance fees are paid the better the chance that the owner can pick a specific interval week.
 
Fractional Ownership
Timeshare ownership of two or more weeks at the same resort during a calendar year. Generally defined as ownership in intervals of more than one week and less than whole ownership.
 
Gold Crown Resort
RCI's highest rating for a resort. Similar to I.I.'s criteria for "five-star resort".
 
Guest Certificate
Documentation provided by an exchange company usually affiliated with a resort. This document authorizes a guest to use a timeshare exchange in lieu of the owners.
 
Holiday Club/Vacation Club
An organization which claims to provide a number of timeshare weeks to members. Such organizations are not covered by the laws regulating the sale and purchase of timeshare properties. They are generally presumed to be dubious.
 
Holiday Ownership
Synonymous with vacation ownership, another term for timeshare.
 
I.I.
Interval International, the second largest exchange company in the world.
 
Instant exchange
An exchange of timeshare intervals on short notice, typically between two and forty-five days. Instant exchanges also circumvent the size and season requirements involved with the standard exchange process. This can allow members of a particular resort to enjoy larger, more luxurious accommodations.
 
Internal Exchange
An exchange of a week of vacation ownership within the same resort or a network of resorts owned by the same company.
 
Interval
This term refers to a unit of time. For instance, one week of timeshare ownership is an interval week. An interval week is usually assigned a number (1-52 or 53) depending on where in the year it falls. An interval calendar shows the 52 or 53 weeks in a year, emphasizing the check-in dates on which each interval week begins- (Friday-Friday, Saturday-Saturday, Sunday-Sunday).
 
Lease
In localities where the deeded ownership of vacation properties is not permitted by law, it is standard practice for a resort developer or a management company to lease timeshare properties. Also known as a right-to-use agreement, the lease is usually good for a period from twenty to ninety-nine years.Timeshare properties in Mexico and Hawaii are very likely to be leasehold properties.
 
Levy
Among members of a points club, the term levy refers to administrative fees incurred by individual members. Levies can also encompass any charges the resort management may impose for use of a particular week.
 
Lockout or lock-off unit
A timeshare property which can be divided into two complete sections so that two different parties may occupy either half at the same time.
 
Maintenance fee
A regular charge levied by the management company of a particular resort or the homeowners association responsible for the upkeep of the property. This fee generally also covers taxes, utilities, insurance, and any other costs such as appliances and furniture, as well as any needed refurbishment. Developers trying to promote new timeshare properties will often pay for part of these fees in order to make them seem lower to prospective buyers. When a homeowners association assumes responsibility for maintenance, fees can jump sharply.
 
Management company
A company responsible for running a resort on a day-to-day basis, often contracted to do so by the homeowners association. Frequently, the resort developer will have a controlling interest in the company contracted to manage the resort. Management fees usually take the form of a yearly charge.
 
Odd- or even-year usage
Biennial vacation property ownership where the owner can use his/her property every other year, termed either odd- or even-year depending upon the years when the interval week(s) are used. For instance, an odd-year usage agreement could consist of a timeshare owner occupying the same week in 2011, then 2013, then 2015 ...etc. Please note that the value of a biennial right-to-use agreement is half that of an agreement allowing for annual usage.
 
Points
Points are units of measurement used by exchange companies and timeshare owners to establish value for seasons, sizes of units, and resort locations. Points clubs offer the owner a variety of resorts from which to choose by exchanging points.
 
RCI
Resort Condominiums International. Owned by Cendant Corp., RCI is the largest timeshare exchange company in the world.
 
Red Week
The peak season at a resort during which time timeshare properties are at their most desirable. Different resorts naturally have different peak seasons.
 
Resale
A timeshare property being advertised for sale after it was originally purchased from a resort developer during the initial sales at that resort.
 
Rescission
A grace period allowed by law and/or company policy during which time a timeshare buyer has the right to cancel a purchase agreement without penalties. Though rescission periods vary from state to state, the buyer is entitled to receive a refund of his or her full deposit. Rescission is also known as a "cooling-off-period".
 
Right to use (RTU)
A lease agreement granting use of a timeshare property for a specific time period. The management company or the resort developer retains ownership of the actual physical property itself, though the remaining years of a lessor's right to use may be transferred, rented, or otherwise bequeathed by the lessor.
 
Season
Each resort will have different seasons, and this has a significant impact on the demand of any timeshare property. Since demand affects price and trading power, seasonal fluctuation of demand is an important factor to consider when buying, selling, or renting timeshare property. RCI and II have similar ways of measuring a timeshare's demand and trading power for exchange purposes. This is where the timeshare industry gets terms like "blue week", "red week" and the like.
 
RCI
Red High
White Mid
Blue Low
 
Interval International
Red High
Yellow/Amber Mid
Green Low
 
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.
 
Space Banking
Space banking occurs when a timeshare owner deposits a timeshare week into an exchange company's "bank". "Space banking" is synonymous with "banking".
 
Special Assessment
In addition to a yearly maintenance fee, sometimes this additional charge is billed to timeshare owners from a management company. This charge is intended to cover expenses related to major repairs and refurbishment endeavors.
 
Timeshare
The concept of purchasing an increment of time at a resort, condominium, apartment, or other facility, often with the option to exchange this time for time at a different location. What makes timeshare such a desirable alternative to traditional lodging is the value. Because the cost of a unit at a timeshare property is split between many owners, it is possible to vacation at an elegant resort for far less money than it would take to purchase a unit outright, lease a property, or rent a hotel room for an extended period of time. Timeshare exchange programs afford the owner the opportunity to vacation all over the world and enjoy luxury amenities with no wasted expense.
 
Trading Power
The value assigned to an interval week when trading a timeshare property for a different week through an exchange company. Exchange is based heavily on supply and demand, but the features, amenities, location and reputation of the resorts and weeks in question also influence trading power. Consequently, a high demand week at a luxury resort could even be traded for two weeks at the same resort during off-season, or for two weeks at a less prestigious facility during the same peak season.
 
Trustees
Trustees of a resort property exist primarily to provide a secure backing in case a resort developer does not succeed financially. In the timeshare world, trustees are a financial institution or group of individuals who hold timeshare properties in trust on behalf of the owners. A timeshare buyer's right-to-use agreement is granted through the trustees through a license, or Certificate of Ownership.
 
Vacation Ownership
Synonymous with "timeshare"
 
Week Fifty-Three

Once about every seven years, a year will have fifty-three weeks rather than fifty-two. The fifty-third week in a year is usually set aside for the exclusive use of the resort developer or another important member.