I don’t know about you but whenever we are on holiday or traveling abroad we can never pass an Estate Agent’s window without looking in. We feel sure that, this time we will find that perfect, affordable property.
For some a second home in Europe will remain a pipe-dream and for others who take the plunge quickly realise how difficult it is to maintain a solely owned property from a distance. Then there’s the guilt of knowing you will probably only visit for a couple of weeks a year. All that money tied up…
During the last ten years we have met many guests staying at www.lasouqueto.com who have either been actively searching for a place in the Languedoc or use our B&B as a base during the purchase and Notaire signing process. We like to think that sharing our own personal experience of buying a property here settles their nerves a little.
Early last year we met two Canadian guests who were friends viewing two properties for sale through Fractional Ownership via a Company called International Property Shares LLC .The most fundamental difference between fractional ownership and timeshares is that a fractional ownership buyer purchases a percentage of the bricks and mortar and this comes with a legal fractional title. This method of Property ownership has been adopted for over thirty years so it is a recognised method of purchasing property.
There are usually between 10 or 12 shares in every property. With fractional ownership, when you decide to leave the property you can transfer or sell the ownership of your share.
The idea of sharing costs and responsibilities for a second home is certainly appealing but what about getting along with the other owners?
We wanted to learn more, so our Canadian friends put us in touch with Ginny Blackwell, the owner of www.internationalpropertyshares.com . Ginny has considerable experience of all things Fractional Ownership, and this is what she said…
‘One International Property Share owner from the UK recently contacted me for help in reselling their share of a lovely 3-bedroom 3- bath village home in the Languedoc.
I asked Victoria “So, why are you selling your 1/9th share?” She replied “The only reason we are (very reluctantly) selling our share is a combination of increasing age and decreasing health. We have had 17 very happy years and don’t actually want to leave at all, but time creeps on”.
“Can you tell us about the care and upkeep of your co-ownership house?,” I asked. “When we need house upgrades, like replacing a fridge, we discuss this as a group (by email), vote on it and move forward. Over the years, we’ve bought and installed a new boiler, a smart TV, a dishwasher, air conditioning, and a newly tiled roof terrace.”
“We keep some capital reserves, and our finances are in good shape. We have a reliable person nearby who ensures smooth changeovers between owners. It’s a great group of owners and funnily enough, we’ve never actually met one of them in person.”
Fractional Ownership Properties Hold Their Market Value
Fractional Ownership properties tend to hold their market value or appreciate over time unlike timeshares which do not often hold their market value.
Co- Owners Enjoy Slower Paced Vacations
Slowing down allows you to immerse yourself in the culture and ambience of France and truly enjoy your time at the deepest level. Most International Property Share owners enjoy stays of 4-8 weeks per year. Timeshares typically offer one or two weeks of time each year.
Annual Maintenance and Operation less expensive
Each fractional owner pays a portion of the annual running costs which typically range from $800-$1600 per year per owner. The dues cover the operational costs including taxes, insurance, utilities, phone, internet as well as a contingency fund. If you compare this to average annual fees for a time share week ($1000), there is no comparison!
For more information, or to join her Newsletter, feel free to contact Ginny directly. Her website lists a number of Properties she has in France and Italy. www.internationalpropertyshares.com