While the genuine companies serving the modern day timeshare industry in Mexico are still somewhat recovering from the dubious reputations of a handful of emerging timeshare companies in the 1980s and 1990s, many people still don’t really understand what timeshare actually is and the benefits it can afford its members. Here is a short introduction to the history of vacation ownership and timeshare in Mexico to put your minds at rest.
Understanding Timeshare in Mexico
The word “timeshare” can refer to all kinds of vacation products in a variety of forms and price ranges; timeshares may even vary in duration. What unites most products under this umbrella, however, is the idea that you are buying shared time in a vacation home.
More specifically, when you purchase timeshare in Mexico with the Villa Group, you are buying a flexible membership known as Villa Preferred Access, which allows you to exchange points to stay in a variety of different units within the Villa Group’s collection of resorts. How many points you need will depend on the season and size of the unit. This type of timeshare membership allows members to choose when they use their membership and the size and location of their accommodation.
Timeshare is not a new concept
Though the timeshare industry has only really been big since the 1980’s, the concept as a whole is not new at all; families and friends have been “going in” on shared property for hundreds of years. Timeshare companies simply streamlined and industrialized this process so that unrelated parties could share properties at a lower cost, with less organization and coordination needed on their behalf.
Initially timeshare providers operated a simply system whereby you bought a vacation home in set weeks in certain properties. This was the beginning of the fixed week timeshare. This then extended to include floating week timeshares which allowed members to pick certain weeks within a given season to stay in their property. As the industry changed and evolved, however, it became clear that flexibility was key, and so the points based timeshare came to be.
As timeshare owners began to expect more flexibility in their vacation experiences, international exchange networks began to emerge. The two most famous are undoubtedly RCI and Interval International. These timeshare exchange companies allow timeshare and vacation club members to swap their own weeks for stay in other parts of the world. Therefore, investing in timeshare in Mexico can actually open up opportunities for you to stay in places throughout the world.
The issue faced today is that in the 80’s and 90’s there were next to no regulations for the timeshare companies that were popping up in top destinations around the world. Though most were legitimate, it left the field wide open to scammers and fraudulent companies as well as pressurized sales and other unethical behaviours. These days, however, there are strict regulations in place on timeshare in Mexico to protect the consumer from all kinds of unethical practices and scams. These include transparency laws and a mandatory cooling off period. As such the presence of timeshare scams in Mexico has declined greatly and is generally limited to resale and cancellation scams.
Types of Timeshare at a Glance
– Access to the same suite, at the same time, every year.
– Access to your suite when you reserve a week in particular season.
– You buy points rather than a share in a specific property and can use them when and how you like, often up to and including the purchase of services and meal plans.
– The purchase of a larger fraction of a single property, usually amounting to several weeks or months. Fractional ownership is, like full ownership, perpetual until you sell or otherwise dispose of your fraction. For more information, see our Fractional Real Estate products at Villa La Estancia.