(November 28, 2012) — Anne and Bruce Anderson wanted a vacation home for their family. However, as they began shopping in their preferred destination, the couple soon found $500,000 didn’t get them very far. “We didn’t want a fixer-upper,” Bruce says. “We wanted a place that was big enough for the kids, relatively new and somewhat luxurious. Then we discovered a private residence club, and knew we’d found something that just made sense for us.”
The Andersons aren’t alone. Fractional real estate ownership and private residence clubs have been embraced by affluent travelers and value-seeking consumers for more than 20 years. Still, many consumers looking for a second or vacation home are not familiar with the concepts. A recent rise in popularity, however, indicates this may be changing.
Even during the recent real estate downturn, residence clubs continued to grow in popularity. Many luxury resort companies, including Four Seasons, Ritz-Carlton and others, saw value in the concept and now feature residence clubs at selected properties.
Plus, the fractional private residence club model offers all the enjoyment of a vacation retreat without the costly and time-consuming responsibilities that accompany second-home ownership. According to feedback The Fractional Journal has received from current club owners, there are strong reasons to recommend a fractional residence club to a friend.
Reason #1: A Better Investment
Number one on the list is money. Anyone who has ever owned a second home or vacation retreat knows why this comes out on top. First, most people come to realize they only use a second home four to six weeks per year, which is the national average, according to the National Association of Realtors.
Paying less than $200,000 for a well-furnished $1.5 million ski-in/ski-out home or a villa in Costa Rica overlooking the ocean saves over a million dollars. And with today’s uncertain real estate market, a homeowner still gets the use and enjoyment with virtually zero risk on investment. In addition, the monthly costs, from maintenance to property taxes, are divided equally among the owners, saving tens of thousands of dollars over time.
Reason #2: No Costly, Time-Robbing Responsibilities
With a second home, an owner is responsible for all the maintenance and upkeep. This includes not just the bills, but also the time-draining hassles that take away from simply enjoying vacation time with family and friends. With a residence club, owners still receive the security of deeded real estate but have other owners with which to split costs. The club management company handles all maintenance and repair issues.
Reason #3: Much More Bang for the Buck
Although many people dream of owning a vacation home, most either can’t afford the type of home they want, or wouldn’t use it often enough to justify the substantial expense. Perhaps a prospective buyer has a budget of $500,000 in mind for a vacation home, only to discover that will buy surprisingly little in many top destinations. With private residence clubs, owners get more and higher-quality real estate than private owning a home.
Reason #4: A True Approach to Carefree Living
With shared ownership, a vacation home is always kept in perfect shape so everything is ready upon the owner’s arrival, right down to the fridge filled with favorite groceries. The concierge can book restaurant reservations or tee times, secure lift tickets or arrange spa treatments, all of which allows an owner to maximize vacation time.
Reason #5: More Than Just One Vacation Destination
The vast majority of private residence clubs are members of networks and special programs that provide opportunities for owners to also visit and utilize other clubs and resorts. This means an owner can enjoy a vacation home while also traveling to new and interesting places.
All Good Reasons for Fractional Ownership
When considering all the advantages, it’s easy to see why shared ownership is an appealing concept gaining widespread acceptance. Looking at the details and doing the math, it’s difficult to argue against the wisdom of shared ownership, now or in the future.
About The Fractional Journal:
FractionalJournal.com and its sister publications at BestResidenceClubs.com and LuxuryLivingInt.com offer news, trends, and special announcements from the world of high-end and luxury real estate and lifestyle opportunities, with a special focus on fractional ownership, private residence clubs, and shared ownership of everything from private jets and super yachts to wineries and winning racehorses. For more information on fractional ownership real estate or other shared ownership opportunities, please visit The Fractional Journal at http://www.fractionaljournal.com.