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ICM VACATIONS - Timeshare FAQS

Q. What is a Timeshare?
A. Timeshare is people sharing the cost of owning a vacation home. If you purchased a separate year-round vacation home, you would need to furnish, maintain, paint, repair, clean, pay for electric, water, sewage, telephone, and garbage removal. As you know, this can be very expensive and takes a lot of work! However with all of us vacationers together we are able to pay for a property management company to maintain everything for a one-time purchase price and an annual maintenance and tax fee. This makes life easier and it is cheaper in the long run. Even if you do not want to go to the same resort every year, you can exchange through your exchange house to go anywhere in the world! Timeshares are loaded with luxuries and are sold as one, two and three bedroom furnished units. Some of the luxuries that are included can be: fully equipped kitchens, laundry facilities, color TV, DVD's, air conditioning, Jacuzzis, swimming pools, recreation rooms, and much, much more depending on the location of the resort!

Q. What is the difference between fixed, floating and flex weeks?
A. Fixed Weeks will always be identified by a number, corresponding to the week of the year. For example, the first week of January is Week 1, and the last week of December is Week 52. Most fixed weeks begin on Friday, Saturday or Sunday. When you have a fixed week you can only stay at the resort during your assigned week, year after year. Floating Weeks require you to contact the resort to designate your desired week. You can make a reservation for any time during the calendar year based on a resort's availability. There are always black out dates for events and other levels of membership, so it is crucial to call early. Flex Weeks require you to make a reservation to an assigned season. Flex time may be labeled by season or color; winter flex, summer flex, red, white, blue, etc. The terminology will always vary between different vacation resort companies.

Q. What are Points?
A. Points are units of measurement used to establish the value of seasons, sizes of suites, and resort locations. Primarily multi-destination resorts such as Wyndham, Bluegreen and Monarch use points. Multi-destination point programs offer the owner a variety of resorts to choose from as well as flexible use options.

Q. What is an Exchange Company?
A. An exchange company gives you the option to stay somewhere other than your home resort. You can exchange your week for one at a comparable resort. There are several timeshare exchange companies, but two of the largest are Resort Condominiums International (RCI) and Interval International (II). RCI and II are affiliated with over 5,000 resorts around the globe. You can become a member of your home resort exchange company, or use the services of any independent resort exchange companies that best meet your specific travel needs.

Q. What is a Banked Week?
A. When dealing with an exchange company, the owner has the option to reserve or deposit unused weeks to be used at a later time. The owner typically has 2 years to use the week in the exchange company's network of resorts. However, for a fee the banked time can be extended up to one year.

Q. What is the difference between a Five-Star resort and a Gold Crown resort?
A. A Five-Star resort is the most desirable rating for a resort in the Interval International (II) system. A Gold Crown resort is the most desirable rating for a resort in the Resort Condominiums International (RCI) system.

Q. What is a Maintenance fee?
A. A maintenance fee is a mandatory fee that the resort charges for the upkeep of the property. In most cases this fee also covers taxes, utilities, insurance, and any other maintenance expenses. These fees are generally levied on a monthly, annually or biennially basis.

Q. What does RTU mean?
A. RTU stands for Right to Use. In locations where deeded ownership of vacation properties is not permitted by law (primarily outside the United States) the owner will be given a contract very similar to a lease to define a claim to the property. RTU contracts usually range from 20 to 99 years.

Q. How is pricing determined for timeshare resort properties and timeshare resales?
A. Pricing of timeshare resort and timeshare resale resort weeks varies depending on many factors including: time of year, location, resort amenities, size of the unit, and of course, market demand.

Q. The resort charges a lot more than the resale market. Why is that?
A. Much of timeshare resort developer costs are sales and marketing related. When you purchase directly from the resort, unfortunately you are paying to absorb all of the administrative and marketing costs associated with the sale of the property. When buying on the resale market, you only pay for the market value of the property.

Q. What are Biannual and Biennial Properties?
A. Biannual allows the owner to receive two weeks per year. Biennial allows the owner to receive one week every two years.

Q. Is financing available on the timeshare resale market?
A. There are private financing companies that we can refer to you, to help secure funding when you have found a property that you are interested in.