Owning a fraction instead of the entire property could be the answer for today’s credit squeeze and higher risks associated with certain types of investments.
If you want to eat only a slice of pie, would you want to spend all that money to buy the whole pie if you can share the cost with others who also wish to eat from the same pie? Of course, it makes sense to just bear part of the cost that commensurates with what you consume. That is fractional ownership or owning a fraction or a slice of something bigger.
Fractional ownership is not to be confused with timeshare. The buyer’s rights in a timeshare are purely contractual in that they have the rights to use the property for a specified period of time during each interval. Although it may be provided that they need to also pay a certain amount of maintenance charge in addition to the cost of purchasing the timeshare, they have no legal or beneficial rights to the property. On the other hand, a fractional owner is able to have ownership of the property, but not the entire parcel of the real estate.
The practice of joining together with family and friends to share ownership of a property has been around for many years. But the official fractional ownership in the property industry only started in the US ski resorts in the early 1990s. These first fractional developments recognized that people did not want to buy whole homes, which they would use only for a few weeks a year in the mountains.