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Super-sized timeshares in Dominican Republic

chewie

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So my wife and I watch a lot of HGTV. We were watching House Hunters International yesterday and a couple from Pennsylvania were buying a vacation property in the Punta Cana area of the Dominican Republic. Here is a link to the episode: http://www.hgtv.com/video/dominican-republic-escape-video/index.html

The property that they bought was a "fractional" purchase, but for a one month interval, instead of the typical week interval that we are all familiar with. They paid like $57,000 for the (2) 2 bedroom / 2 bath unit, and were something like 1/12th owners of the property.

I thought this was very interesting, as it seems to be the same old timeshare idea that we are all familiar with. They had a maintenance fee, as well as initial purchase price. The only real difference is that they are 1/12 owners, instead of 1/50 owners. So...I did a little research on this idea on the internet, and although popular now in the DR, others are starting to pop up in Hawaii, as well as around Naples, Florida.

I am wondering what some of you veteran TUG folks think of this. My initial thoughts are... There is still a management aspect that seems to oversee the ownerships. After the initial purchase, would the maintenance fees seem to get out of control like most of the N. American timeshares? Also, since these are 1/12th ownership, would the initial purchase price be something that could be sold in the future? Or, is this just a new facelift concept to the same old timeshare concept that we have all bought into? Will the same thing happen here as happened to all of the N. American timeshares? Meaning, initial purchase price goes to $0 after you buy in, and then the maintenance fees go through the roof and it costs a fortune to use???

Knowing what I know now, and applying the logic of 'today's' timeshare landscape, I know that there are plenty of people (suckers) out there that would buy with aspirations to rent out units (the salesman's magic wand). Therefore, there would likely always be rentals out there for the time that we wanted to go down and we would probably always get a better deal that way. :D

Thoughts?
 

strandlover

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By no means do I consider myself a timeshare veteran / expert. However if I apply some simple math to acquire 4 fixed weeks (i.e. equivalent to a fractional month), I am closer to a total purchase price of $0 than I would be to $57,000.
 

ocdb8r

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"Fractional" ownerships have been around for some time and I wouldn't be surprised if they pre-date the modern day timeshare concept. Worldmark (back in the day when it was Trendwest) sold fractional ownerships in a few of their resorts. You generally encounter all of the same issues you do with a timeshare, depending on how the fractional is structured. Hyatt and Ritz still offer fractional ownerships.

Bottom line, this is not new. If there is a management company involved and their rights are similar to those at most timeshare resorts, you're going to encounter the same problems with maintenance fees and such.
 

dundey

TUG Review Crew: Veteran
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Fractional ownerships are also very popular is ski resorts.
Those however are typically quarter shares where the owners receive 1 week per month on a rotation basis.

Like a timeshare it mainly makes sense if you plan on using the property. Of course in the ski resort example, the popular holiday winter weeks are also easily rentable.
 

Patri

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Yeah, I bet the weeks are split, or someone would have dud months.
 

Paumavista

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Royal's in Mexico

I didn't listen closely (because we weren't interested)....but I believe the Royal Resorts in the Cancun area are moving into the fractional ownership area with their new resort....The Residences. I don't think they've even broken ground yet but the concept is being introduced.

Since we did find that soooo many Royal owers already owned more than one week and seemed to prefer traveling for an extended visit it actually seems to make some sense for those that can afford it.

Years ago we stayed at Eagle Crest, in Redmond Oregon and it was also a fractional ownership.

So fractional ownerships have been around for awhile and may be coming back (especially with travel costs being what they are....it costs more to GET to your destination sometimes than to STAY in your resort).
 
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