Culture Club

Fractional ownerships let urban tourists put down roots

Even the most seasoned of tourists have left a city feeling like they missed something. In a foreign metropolis, a week or two leaves barely enough time to scratch the city’s surface. For a new breed of traveller, there’s a desire to move beyond a brief getaway to the beach and into an extended urban escape. With the unique opportunity to take up residence abroad in some of the world’s most enticing cultural hubs, fractional ownerships pick up where time-shares leave off. Visitors drawn to the bustling streets and infectious energy of cities may find that fractionals serve their needs in a way that a remote, private villa never could.

Time-shares can tally upwards of a few dozen buyers who purchase the right to use a property for a week or two a year. Fractionals, on the other hand, offer residents prime ownership over elegant foreign real estate while limiting shares to three to six parties. Fewer buyers mean more time to gain cultural grounding and put down some temporary roots for a fraction of the cost of sole ownership. The properties are rare gems—plush apartments in sought-after downtown neighborhoods. Most put scrupulous effort into interior design and modern renovations while maintaining historic architectural structures within enticing, upscale edifices.

Each share of the property is purchased outright in exchange for a few months a year, while a management company oversees and maintains the home. There are also the monthly carrying costs of the property, which are paid year round. Imagine the ease of arriving to a fully furnished apartment with the convenience of amenities like laundry, maid service and a concierge desk to ensure that repairs, for instance, never have to cross your mind. Though a time-share would have locked you into a single property in the past, some fractionals permit swaps with fellow owners in sister cities or tropical destinations. And so, you would have the flexibility to visit sandy shores when the mood strikes.

European cities like Paris and Madrid become a home away from home when you can settle into a familiar environment. With more time to immerse yourself in a city, a pied-à-terre invites you to discover new sights and sounds every year, with the flexibility to book when your schedule permits. At its core, fractional real estate helps you discover your niche, trading in the traditional pitfalls of tourism for a more refined glimpse of the city’s stature. Whether it’s a music festival, an art show opening or a visit to a sidewalk café, you can embed yourself in the DNA of a foreign urban sprawl by mixing the old with the new. As you adapt to the cultural climate, local tastes become second nature and your comfort level will strike the chord of being in a home sweet home, enticing you to linger longer, explore at leisure and experience the city without urgency.

For information: —Anna Cipollone