Say hello to fractional ownership, a new rising star in real estate that’s increasingly being eyed as an attractive alternative to traditional property options, based on the highest Property prices in the history of BC, the lack of availability, and a comparison to timeshare.
In the last few years, fractional ownership has been raining in BC. One great example is the famous RV Springs Park in Harrison Hot Springs. A successful fractional Ownership Park in the Fraser Valley is in Phase Three of its development, adding 82 new RV lots to its existing inventory. But we also have seen the same model on properties in Whistler, The Okanagan, The Cariboo and Northern BC.
RV Lots, Marina spots and other recreational usages are the favourable pieces of real estate where this ownership model is used.
Don’t forget to mention that Marina spots are no real estate unless a parking spot on land comes with it!
Here, we dissect the essentials—benefits, risks, and critical differences from timeshares—to give you a 360-degree view of this emerging model.
What is Fractional Ownership?
Meet the new kid on the block. Fractional ownership lets multiple parties share the cost and use of a single property, usually for vacationing. Think of it as owning a slice of a pie—a slice of the land registered on title at the LTSA. The cherry on top? It offers more value and stability than the unpredictable timeshares.
But it does not give you the same freedom and benefits as a fee simple you own to 100%.
Fractional Ownership vs. Timeshares:
Both models allow shared property use but are not twins. Here’s how they differ:
- Timeshares: Sometimes yield a deed but generally offer mere occupancy rights.
- Fractional Ownership: Guarantees ownership of a slice of the property, for example, a designated lot (Lot no.37 out of 87), and you become part of the title.
- Timeshares: Offer limited time at the property.
- Fractional Ownership: Generally, offers unrestricted time based on your share.
- Timeshares: May shuffle you between different suites.
- Fractional Ownership: Consistency is king—you get the same unit, including when offered using appliances, pool, and even additional amenities.
- Timeshares: Costs are pegged to occupancy time, and resale is tough.
- Fractional Ownership: Costs are based on property value, and reselling is generally easier. But beware, financing can be tricky; most banks are skeptical, leaving private lenders as your likely go-to.
What’s In It for You?
Own a fraction, use a fraction. It’s often more cost-effective than full ownership, especially considering the average vacation homeowner spends just 27 days a year at their property.
Fractional ownership often offers a more wallet-friendly entrance into high-demand real estate markets. Plus, most Sellers provide financing options.
No one likes a headache. Property management is often a group effort or outsourced, sometimes with extra perks.
Know the Risks
Before you dive in, consider the following:
- Seasonal location appeal
- Development size and target market
- Regulatory landscape
- Financing availability
- Ongoing maintenance costs
Remember, due diligence is your best friend. Consult experts like real estate agents who understand and have sold fractional ownership before and always consider the feedback from experienced real estate lawyers along the way.
As real estate skyrockets, fractional ownership shines as a pathway to property ownership—offering affordability, convenience, and some investment potential, especially for recreational use. Whether you’re a real estate veteran or a newcomer, it’s an option worth exploring.
The market will adapt to this model, and in our opinion, we will see new products, like a more comprehensive financing vehicle, to support this ownership option.
Freddy & Linda Marks, 3A®Group RE/MAX Nyda Realty