Last week I mentioned that Grupo Real del Mar had launched a new program about ownership sharing, which I still haven’t managed to get more information on (I’m out of the country for the month). But the idea, it seems, is to connect two or more parties to share the ownership of a home or condo, therefore reducing capital expenses and maintenance costs.
The more I think about this idea, the more merit I think the idea has. Seeing so many condos empty around Puerto Vallarta for the majority of the time seems such a waste of a great condo and a lot of money. For some reason timeshare or fractional has not proven to be the answer for these people – they still want their own unit, even if they don’t use it that often. But perhaps with the downturn in the economy, people will be rethinking that decision.
I read recently in Sunset magazine about a couple of other ideas for sharing. One was about a person in Seattle who has set up a sharing system for people who don’t have gardens and would like one by linking them with people who have gardens but don’t have the time to take care of them. Info about it can be found at http://www.urbangardenshare.com. Sounds like a good idea – I guess they split the produce that comes out of the garden! There’s even a new book out about sharing called The Sharing Solution by two Berkeley attorneys.
Sharing has also become very popular through home exchange programs, where people exchange the home they have for one in another part of the country, or world. We’ve been doing it for years and its worked very well. It works especially well for people who have two homes (a vacation home as well), so that exchanges do not actually have to take place at the same time.
There needs to be a better system for getting people together, however. If its going to be done commercially, there will be a middle man or intermediary that will be involved, and I don’t know how well that would work. The home exchange model is a good one, however, I think this is something that Facebook could handle quite well. Its all about social networking. Although in its infancy, at least with regards to commercial and marketing applications, social networking is going to prove to be big, I believe, and change the ways we communicate, share information, and buy things. But it ain’t there yet.
In an older world sharing took place a lot more. Neighbors helped one another out, as did people in their communities. It was easier, in small towns, in less hectic times, to share. Perhaps its making a comeback.