Fractional ownership—also referred to as joining a private residence club—is one of the most misunderstood and unknown sectors of the real estate market, according to Steve Dering, the founder of Elite Alliance, a company that consults on and sells luxury fractional real estate.
“People often mix up fractional ownership with timeshares where consumers buy a certain amount of time in a vacation home but don’t actually own the property,” he says. “With fractional ownership, you own real estate that can be sold, placed in a trust, gifted, or inherited.”
Joining a private residence club is ideal for buyers who don’t want to wholly own a property because they won’t use it enough to justify the cost. “Most of our customers can well afford to buy a high-end vacation home, but it doesn’t make sense for them to do so since they only want to spend a limited number of weeks in it a year,” Dering says.
Besides the low commitment and hassle, fractional ownership has more attractive perks: Residences are furnished, for example, and come with fully equipped kitchens, and the beds usually have high-quality linens. In addition, the club’s staff manages the property, and owners have access to a concierge and can request housekeeping (for a fee).
Following are five upscale private residence club options in the United States and Mexico that are ideal for luxury-seeking vacation home buyers who want to own, but only part-time.
The Phillips Club, New York City
Starting Price: $170,000
Located on the Upper West Side near Lincoln Center and Central Park, The Phillips Club offers studios and one- and two-bedroom apartments. These units feature city views and have a contemporary aesthetic with neutral tones. In addition to housekeeping and concierge access, owners can enjoy amenities such as pre-arrival and grocery shopping service, a member’s lounge, a business center, and free membership at the nearby Equinox Sports Club New York.