It’s Easy Being Green— With the Right Vacation Home

Going Green

To the long list of reasons of why your family should consider owning a fractional private residence club instead of a traditional vacation home, add, “better for the environment.” Before dismissing this assertion as green-marketing fluff, consider the following.

A typical private residence club home accommodates eight families, one at a time. So, not only does residence club ownership cost you far less, it makes one-eighth the demand on the planet’s resources. According to my back-of-the-envelope calculations (and data from the Idaho Forest Products Commission), a typical 2,000-sq-ft vacation home consumes about a 100 trees.  Now, picture a forest of 20-inch diameter pines with their top needles swaying 42 feet in the breeze. You would have to cut down 700 such trees to build the additional seven whole-ownership homes needed to accommodate as many families as a single fractional residence!

Living Room

Mountainside Club, NC

That’s just the lumber. Building the extra homes would consume multiple amounts of concrete, drywall, metal, bricks, plastic and asphalt roofing. And send eight times as much waste to landfills. And the extra homes would cover a sizeable swath of acreage. Last I checked, no one was creating new land, unless you count that goofy sand archipelago off Dubai.

The primary reason a family would prefer residence club ownership is that the purchase price and annual costs are commensurate with actual usage. On average, second-home owners spend 4 – 5 weeks at their retreats. So, many second-home hunters who opt for whole ownership are paying far more than necessary for their residences and the associated upkeep.  How great would it be to split your property taxes and utilities 8 ways!

Nearly every residence club I researched allows owners to vacation whenever they want, as often as they want, in accordance with the Clubs reservation policies. If some owners use their club home less, other owners can use it more. And one of the many big advantages of owning a residence club home is just that, you own it, all secured by a deed like any other real estate.

Most current private residence club owners probably have no clue they are as green as Kermit. Forget the Prius, your choice of vacation home can do more to preserve the planet than a fleet of plug-in cars! And there’s no need to subject your family to nerdy self-denial, since residence clubs tend to offer more luxury, more service, and better locations than far pricier whole-ownership vacation homes.

Joan Jernigan, an owner at the Mountainside Club in Western North Carolina, summed up her feelings about the green benefits of residence-club ownership. “I look at it like the cherry on top of a whole mound of club advantages,” she says. “It makes me feel good that I can finally enjoy my dream vacation home, one that gets much of its appeal and serenity from the surrounding environment, and do my part to save the planet, too.”

Look, I’m no shaggy bearded tree-hugger by any stretch. But, I do care about the Earth and preserving as many natural things as I can, within reason. This seems more than reasonable.  And I think it’s great that fractional residence club owners are saving the planet, whether they know they are or not…by sharing.

In short, residence clubs offer an easy way to save green and go green at the same time.

Here are a few websites where you can learn more about residence club ownership:

www.residenceclub.com
www.bestresidenceclubs.com
www.sherpareport.com