Pacaso vs. timeshare: What sets us apart

Published Date: August 8, 2023

an aerial view of a town with a mountain in the background
At first glance, co-ownership of a Pacaso might not seem that different from a timeshare. After all, you don’t own the whole home yourself, so you can’t just show up on a whim anytime you feel like popping over. But, that’s where the similarities end. Start searching for information on timeshares, and you’ll find a lot of horror stories. Read what Pacaso owners are saying, on the other hand, and you’ll hear how much they love their second homes.And that’s because Pacaso is not a timeshare, it’s true property ownership (but without all the hassles). Here are five reasons buying a holiday home with Pacaso will fill you with joy, not regrets.

Each Pacaso is a one-of-a-kind holiday home

Not just any property can be a Pacaso. We seek out the best properties in the best locations — each one is different, and all of them have that special “wow” factor. Then our professional interior designers get to work, selecting the perfect furnishings, modern amenities and special touches to ensure your home is a place you’ll feel comfortable and relaxed whenever you walk through the door. A Pacaso is a luxurious home away from home. A timeshare is almost always a unit at a hotel or apartment complex. Think cookie-cutter floor plans and typical hotel-style furniture. You might have neighbours on both sides, above and below — hopefully the soundproofing is up to scratch. 

A small group of co-owners enjoy the property

Because Pacaso limits the number of shares per home to eight, you and just seven other owners, at most, will have access to the property (only one owner will occupy the property at a time, of course). Plus, Pacaso properties are reserved for the exclusive use of owners and their guests — rentals aren’t permitted. Pacaso vets potential owners, who agree to a common sense Code of Conduct to ensure they will treat the home as their own — because it is! Plus, you won’t feel like you’re “sharing” your Pacaso. We conduct a thorough inspection and cleaning after each stay, so your holiday home is pristine when you arrive.  A timeshare unit may be shared by 52 other people — one person or group for every week of the year. Additionally, some timeshares allow for swaps or rentals, increasing the number of potential guests. 

You own property, not time

One of the biggest differences between Pacaso and a timeshare is what you actually own. With Pacaso, you own an actual property asset. Your share is real property, not simply a block of time. And because it’s a property asset, its value will move with the market — which means that any equity realised is yours. When you purchase a timeshare, you typically own the right to use the property for a period of time, not the property itself. That’s why you can’t usually get a conventional home loan to purchase a timeshare — there’s no “home” as collateral, only time. Financing is offered through the timeshare company, often at a high interest rate, and some buyers secure funds through a personal loan or home equity loan. Because a timeshare is not a property asset, you are likely to see the value depreciate, much like a new car begins to lose value once it’s driven out of the dealership.

You can use your home year-round

Each Pacaso share gives an owner ongoing access to their home, and most owners stay 6-7 times per year. You aren't locked into a specific week or weeks each year, and you don’t even have to schedule weeklong stays. You can enjoy a weekend getaway or a mid-week escape, and you have the flexibility to plan stays anywhere from 8 days to 24 months in advance. Short-notice stays can be booked just two days in advance! You’re also guaranteed one “special date” per year, which includes school holidays, Christmas and other bank holidays. You may not get your first choice every year, but since you can book dates up to two years in advance, you’ll always have another opportunity to bag your favourite. You book time at your home using the Pacaso app, powered by our SmartStay scheduling system. It’s easy to use and equitable for owners, based on the number of shares you own. When you buy time at a timeshare, you’re often locked into a fixed week, year after year. You may have a “floating week” option, but your choices are still restricted to a range of dates. With either option, you can only check in on certain days, and you typically must book a full week. There are exchanges and point-based systems which allow you to choose different resorts, but you’ll often pay extra for more desirable locations, and availability can be limited. If you have a fixed-week schedule, you may never get a particular holiday week if it was already locked in by another owner. 

The resale process is streamlined

We think you’ll love your second home for years to come — but when it’s time to sell, we want that process to be as smooth and simple as the purchase process. You set the price you want, and we’ll market and list the home much like a traditional property listing. Because our properties are thoughtfully selected and located in some of the most desirable holiday home markets, we’ve experienced strong buyer demand for Pacaso shares. On average, Pacaso shares resell in fewer than 10 days, with a 10% gain, on an annual basis (source: Pacaso 2021 United States resale price data as of Q3 2021). For timeshare owners, resale is one of the biggest sources of stress. There’s a supply and demand imbalance, with a glut of sellers trying to get rid of their units (and the accompanying resort fees) to a smaller pool of buyers. There is a resale market, to be sure, but most people end up selling at a huge loss — you’ll find sellers on Ebay asking just a few hundred euros (or less!) for their timeshares. There’s also a whole industry of timeshare exit companies that will help you offload your timeshare for a fee — and, unfortunately, many of them have been known to take advantage of sellers. According to U.S. News & World Report, you should “buy for the memories,” not because you expect to turn a profit. 

Experience the joy, not the regrets

Pacaso offers exceptional holiday homes in top locations. Our pricing and costs are transparent and equitable, and you’ll never be surprised by hidden fees or bound to a rigid schedule. Instead, you get to enjoy your own private, luxurious oasis throughout the year, while Pacaso takes care of maintenance and property management. View our listings to get started. 

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Amie Fisher

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