If you’ve dreamed of owning a second home, you’re not alone — interest in second homes has been on the rise for some time, and demand spiked in 2020. Still, the cost and responsibility of maintaining a second home puts ownership beyond the reach of most would-be buyers.
Now, an innovative real estate service is looking to change all that. Pacaso offers fully managed co-ownership of second homes. Simply put, Pacaso purchases a luxury home and sells ownership in one-eighth shares, which translates to about six weeks of use per year. Pacaso manages the property on behalf of the owners, handling the maintenance, bill payments and more. Owners share the home’s operating expenses (such as utilities and repairs), and Pacaso charges a monthly fee for its services.
Because Pacaso sells “shares,” one of the most common questions buyers ask is, “How is this different from a timeshare?” At first glance, Pacaso’s model might seem similar to a timeshare. After all, the home is shared, so owners can’t just show up anytime. But that’s where the similarities end.
First, each Pacaso is a one-of-kind, single-family home, not a hotel or condo unit. Pacaso homes receive an interior design makeover, including high-end furnishings and artwork, and offer the convenience, comfort and privacy of a real home.
Second, the home is shared by a small owner group. A timeshare, which sells weekly blocks of use, may have 52 owners. Pacaso limits the number of shares to eight, and rentals aren’t permitted. Owners agree to a Code of Conduct to ensure they will treat the home as their own.
Third, Pacaso buyers purchase a real estate asset. Each share is real property, and its value moves with the local market. Because a timeshare is not true real estate — it’s “right to use” time — buyers are likely to see the value depreciate quickly.
Fourth, owners can use their homes throughout the year. Pacaso’s scheduling app is equitable and flexible, allowing owners to plan stays up to 24 months in advance or book a short-notice stay just two days in advance. Timeshares typically limit bookings to specific weeks, and if they offer an exchange system, owners can expect to pay extra for more desirable dates or locations.
Finally, resale is streamlined. Pacaso owners set their price, and a local real estate agent markets and lists the home like any other. Pacaso owners enjoy true second home ownership with fewer hassles. The company has homes in popular destinations throughout the country, with plans to expand internationally.