From: Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

Canadians who dream of having a vacation property may consider buying a timeshare. Before you commit to buying a timeshare unit, it's a good idea to know the facts.

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What is a timeshare?

A timeshare is a form of shared property ownership in which a person buys the right to a vacation property for a set time period—usually once a year. Vacation properties range from resort condominiums to campground sites. The property and maintenance costs are divided among all of the owners.

Timeshare contracts fall under provincial and territorial jurisdiction. If a timeshare purchase takes place in another country, the laws and regulations of that country apply and they may be different from those in Canada.

Deeded timeshares

Purchasing a deeded timeshare gives the buyer the right to use a specific property during a specified time period each year. It divides the property value like a pie, and each owner gets a deed to a "slice". The deed allows the owner to use the property and to take on costs for the "slice" the owner buys. The owner also shares in maintenance costs.

A deeded timeshare can be an option if you plan to keep it for a lifetime and use it often. Because you own the property, you can choose to use the property yourself, rent it out or give the time away to friends or family. You can even leave the timeshare as an inheritance, as you would any other property.

Right-to-use timeshares

A right-to-use timeshare refers to a lease-like agreement. In this type of timeshare, the owner's lease expires after a specified time after which property ownership rights expire.

A right-to-use timeshare may include the following options:

Before you buy a timeshare

You may choose to buy a timeshare outright or pay for it over time.

Keep the following factors in mind before you buy a timeshare:

Protect yourself from timeshare high-pressure sale tactics and scams

Most timeshare offers are legitimate, but some vendors use high-pressure selling tactics.

Selling a timeshare

Many factors will influence the resale value of your timeshare, including location, resort quality, flexibility of usage, season, demand and price. Here are some tips:

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