Fractional Lives Chapter 1: Roberta and Tom O'Neil

In the first of a new series, we interview people who have taken the plunge and become fractional ownership buyers about why they decided to make the purchase and how it is working out for them.

Chapter 1: Roberta and Tom O'Neil, owners at Cape Codder Residence Club, Hyannis MA, USA

O'Neil familyRoberta and Tom live in Connecticut, and have been taking vacations at Cape Cod for more than 30 years. They have recently become fractional owners at the Cape Codder Residence Club.

The Cape Codder Residence Club consists of 15 spacious two- and three-bedroom residences on the site of the Cape Codder Resort and Spa. It is selling 1/20th and 1/10th deeded shares, which entitle buyers to 27 days usage per year and 35 days plus space available time respectively.

Cape Codder Residence ClubRoberta says: “We had actually visited the Cape Codder years ago because of some of the facilities they have, the indoor pool and so on, and last year when we were back at the Cape, we saw an advertisement in a local magazine I think. So we went to visit the resort and started collecting information. We weren't familiar with the fractional concept at the time, we were more educated about timeshare, which was very popular in this area. When we started reading up on fractional ownership it was because of our interest in the Cape Codder. We researched fractional ownership as well as owning our own Cape Cod home or cottage and found that we wanted the offerings of fractional ownership.”

One of the main benefits of fractional ownership for the couple, who have previously bought a whole ownership vacation condo in Brewster, MA, is not having to worry about maintenance. Roberta says: “It allows us to go on vacation, and be on vacation, with no worries about upkeep or maintenance. When we owned our own place, if we weren't there, there was always the worry that there was a broken waterpipe or a break in and so on. With the fractional ownership, it is truly a vacation. We are a dual career couple leading busy lives, so a Cape Cod resort is the perfect antidote for our sometimes stressful days. The accommodations at the resort also allow us to have our children along with us or other family and friends.”

Cape Codder Residence club“We have bought a 1/20th share, with plans to upgrade to a 1/10th share. The 1/20th plan was more appealing to our current life as we have one child beginning grad school this month, and our second child is just graduating high school about to leave for the service. Our limited time for vacation fits into the allowance under the 1/20th plan,” she adds.

The couple are very happy with their property, and are enjoying their vacations at the Cape Codder: “We absolutely think we're getting good value from our purchase. The best part about it is that you do get a deed, and you can go on vacation and put your feet up, and be pampered the whole time,” says Roberta.

Tom says the resort's usage plan is fair and easy to use: “You are required to book two full weeks per year with the 1/20th ownership. You do that in October for the following year, but then you have the option for the remaining time that you have, to use it in short weekends or bundle a load of time together for a longer stay. Then it depends on availability and scheduling, but it's very flexible.”

In common with many buyers of fractional property in the US, Roberta and Tom are part of the “drive to” local market. “We live in Connecticut, about a three to three-and-a-half hour drive from the resort,” says Tom, while Roberta adds: “Most of the other owners have a similar drive, but some are closer to five hours, if they are coming from New Jersey.”

The Cape Codder Residence Club is a member of the Resort 2 Resort exchange programme. The O'Neils have yet to use it, but Roberta says: "It's a nice bonus, and we do plan to take advantage of it, especially for the cruise option it provides.”

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