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Fractional vs. Whole Ownership: Pros and Cons for Real Estate Investors

Real estate is a popular investment strategy for building long-term wealth. However, not everyone has the financial resources to make a down payment on a property. This is where fractional real estate investment comes in, and why it has gained popularity in recent years. In this blog, we will discuss what fractional real estate is, its advantages and disadvantages, and how it compares to whole ownership. 

What is Whole Ownership?

Whole ownership is the traditional way of owning a property, where an individual or entity owns the entire property, including all the rights and responsibilities associated with the property. The owner has the right to use, occupy, and control the property and is responsible for paying taxes, property maintenance, and necessary repairs and renovations.

What is Fractional Ownership? 

Fractional ownership entitles each owner to a proportionate share of the property's income and appreciation, while not owning any physical part of it. Professional property management companies are then usually responsible for managing, maintaining, renting, and distributing income among fractional owners.


It is important to note that there are different types of fractional ownership arrangements, but in this article, we refer to fractional ownership as the investment strategy of buying shares of a home that does not have shared usage.

How do I decide which is right for me?

As with any decision involving an investment, it is important to weigh the pros and cons of each contemplated strategy. Below, we compare fractional and whole ownership based on a number of factors and highlight where each of them holds an advantage over the other.

  Whole Ownership Fractional Ownership
Initial Investment Requires higher capital required to get started Requires less capital to get started
Costs Owner is responsible for all ongoing costs relating to ownership of the property Property operating costs are divided among owners based on ownership percentage. Investment is more likely to be burdened by higher management and ownership structure costs. 
Flexibility  Owner has complete control over the asset Limited flexibility due to the need to coordinate with other owners
Decision Making Owner can make all decisions regarding the property or asset Decision-making shared with other owners or subject to pre-determined agreements
Access to Asset Owner has full access to the asset at all times Limited access due to the nature of ownership structure and agreed-upon usage
Management Owner is responsible for all management decisions, such as self-management or third-party management Professional management is likely to be required
Diversification Less opportunity for diversification due to the higher investment required Offers greater opportunity for diversification
Risk Owner bears all risk associated with the asset Risk is spread among owners based on ownership percentage
Resale Value Easier to sell due to full control of decision-making and freedom of timing More difficult to sell due to decision-making delays and likely predetermined timing
Financing Options Easier to finance due to a larger pool of lenders More difficult to finance due to complexity and smaller pool of lenders
Potential Returns Potential for higher returns due to superior liquidity options and lower costs associated with the ownership structure Potential for lower returns due to inferior liquidity options and higher costs of running a property under a shared ownership structure

In summary, fractional ownership can be a viable option for investors who want to gain access to properties they would not be able to afford through whole ownership. It also provides more flexibility in terms of investment size and allows for diversification across multiple assets. However, whole ownership is likely to lead to higher returns as it allows for greater control and flexibility in asset management, which can lead to more efficient decision-making and greater potential for appreciation and income generation. It is important to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each option before deciding which one is best for your investment goals and needs.

If you’re unsure which approach is appropriate for your financial goals, SHARE is here to help.
Schedule a no-commitment call with us today or email us at, and we can create a customized investment plan for you.