The timeshare concept has been around for a long time now, and continues to be a popular option for vacationers. Basically, a timeshare purchase gives you rights to use a property for a certain period of each year. Typically, timeshares are sold in weekly lots, allowing you and your family, or friends, to stay at the vacation property for that time period. Additional lots can easily be purchased to expand your ownership, and time at the property. Most timeshares are in resorts and other popular vacationing destinations. Timeshares have many advantages over owning a vacation home.
Since most vacation homes are only used for a small percentage of the year (unless you are lucky enough to be a true jet setter), a timeshare actually can be considerably cheaper than paying outright for the second property. However, there are downsides to buying a timeshare. Specifically, most timeshares charge an annual maintenance fee, whether you visit or not.
Purchasing a timeshare also often forces your hand in where your next vacation will be. If you prefer vacationing to a different location each time, a timeshare is definitely not for you. However, if you have found a resort or location that you enjoy visiting annually (and most timeshare properties are sold in desirable, read: warm, destinations), a time share might be the right choice.