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It is important to note that due to unknowns involved in marketing and renting vacation properties, you should not count on rental income to cover costs of ownership. Instead, experts recommend that you view this income as a bonus, if and when it is paid to you. The main consideration should be finding a property that you enjoy and will use.
-How is rental income distributed?
Gain a clear understanding of percentage of rental income that will come to you, as well as any fees or charges that will come out first, such as furniture and decorating charges, and savings accounts for replacement of items. Some properties offer a better ratio than others.
Availability and Usage
-How often can you use property? How long can you stay? How do you reserve time and how far in advance do you need to notify someone? These will be important questions for condo hotel and fractional owners. But even in a hotel residence, you may need to call ahead to let someone know you are coming. Otherwise, your place may not be cleaned and stocked with supplies.
-What if you want to cancel your time or reschedule? How far in advance do you need to let someone know? Is there a penalty? Can your friends and family use your allotted time if you’re not able to?
For condo hotel and fractionals owners, guidelines that dictate what happens when you can’t be at property are as important as those for when you are using unit. Be sure there is plenty of flexibility so that you can easily make adjustments and get most out of your property without being penalized unnecessarily.
-Are there other properties in same management group that you can use? Some properties are managed by companies that have other properties available for you to use as an alternative. This can be an ideal feature, especially if you like to travel or want to share your available property time with family and friends.
Amenities and Services
-What amenities and services are available for residents and what do they cost?
It is important to have a full understanding of services and amenities offered and charge, if any. Some properties seem less expensive at first, but if you find that you will have to pay for things such as laundry, maid service, and furniture, appliance and decorating upgrades, price doesn’t seem so great anymore.
Be sure you know actual price it will cost you to get unit with furnishing you want and services you use on a regular basis. These expenses are all part of overall cost of a property.
If You No Longer Want Property
-What if you change your mind about purchase?
In response to high pressure sell tactics of some standard timeshare properties, State of Florida enacted a rescission law that allows you to change your mind about your purchase within a certain timeframe. If purchasing a new property, you have 15 days to change your mind and receive your deposit back. On a resale unit, timeframe is 3 days.
-Can I sell or transfer ownership of my property, and if so, are there restrictions or penalties?
There may come a time when you want to sell your property or give it to your children. It is important to know rules about this before you purchase. Some properties may say that you can only transfer ownership to family members. Others may require you to list unit through management company. You may also be required to own property for a certain amount of time before you can sell. It is important to ask these questions before purchasing.
-What is resale value of property?
In general, types of ownership we have described have good resale value and are typically much better than that of standard timeshares. Of three, fractionals are most questionable when it comes to resale, but risk can be greatly minimized if you pick an exclusive property with a well-known management company.
The resale value of your particular property will depend on several factors, including reputation of management company, number of other similar properties available in your area, condition of property at time of sale, overall real estate market, and popularity of your location. Some of these things can’t be predicted, but if you do your research it will help you to select a property with high resale value.
This list of questions covers many of different aspects and issues associated with these innovative forms of resort property ownership. There likely will be other questions you want to ask as you become involved in process. It is a good idea to enlist services of a reputable real estate attorney or agent who is familiar with specifics of condo hotels, fractionals, and hotel residence purchases. It may cost you a bit more, but could end up saving you thousands in end and can provide you with peace of mind and freedom to enjoy experience and to feel satisfied with process and terms of final purchase.
Leon Altman is the founder of the InvestingIN Real Estate Letter - http://www.InvestingIN.com/realestate/LtrSignup3.htm - and its parent website, http://www.InvestingIN.com ; http://www.InvestingIN.com/realestate/resorts/resort4u.htm