Timeshares can be great, but there are some things that you should know before you buy one. As with anything else, there are lots of pros and cons when it comes to investing in a timeshare. Take a look at these tips, and then decide if the timeshare life is right for you.
Pay for What You Use
With a timeshare, you only pay for the amount of time that you are actually going to spend at your timeshare. Unlike a condo, you don’t have to pay for the time that you aren’t there. This is the number one reason why timeshares are attractive alternatives to vacation condominiums.
Family Vacations Become Easier
When you have a guaranteed vacation spot lined up for your family, there’s no need to worry about accommodations or destinations. Just look at where you can go, be it in the Bahamas or Las Vegas and you’re all set.
Potential Revenue Income
If you rent your timeshare during, well, your shared time, then you may be able to earn some extra income. Just make sure that your particular timeshare will allow a sublet.
When you own a timeshare, you can exchange your timeshare with another timeshare owner in a different town, country, or city. The beauty of a timeshare program is that you can easily trade timeshares with another person if you want a change of scenery.
The Dark Side
Many timeshare sales are done through pressure sales. Timeshare companies have automated messages that randomly call people and tell them that they get freebies such as a free stay at a hotel in Orlando or free tickets to a Disney theme park for the day, and all they have to do is sit and listen to a presentation about how great timeshares are. They have an answer for every possible doubt you may have such as “I may want to vacation somewhere else next year” for which they’ll probably tell you how they have timeshares all over the world so you have nothing to worry about. However, if you ask them about all of those “Timeshares for sale” and “Timeshare liquidation” signs you see all over the place, they’ll brush it off as not their area to comment on.
I don’t know about you but when I’m on vacation, I’d rather spend it doing something and not sitting through hours of a presentation and then getting pressured and more pressure to buy until they finally realize that I’m not interested and give me the tickets or whatever they promised. Don’t kid yourself – I know people who took money out of their savings just because they were pressured to buy a timeshare while on vacation.
How do you stay reasonable and not succomb to the pressure? Just consider what you would do with the money if you didn’t spend it on a whim. You would save and put it toward something you really needed it for. Keep in mind that timeshare financing and ownership may not be what you had in mind when you went on vacation.
In any case, I’m not saying timeshares are bad idea. I just hate the extreme pressure sale. If the timeshare lifestyle is for you, then you should consider it.
Lots of Fees
Even though you don’t have to maintain your timeshare property, you will have to pay maintenance fees. Aside from this yearly payment, you’ll also be dealing with a yearly maintenance fee increase – sometimes up to 4% per year.
No Value Guarantee
When the market drops (as it is known to do), you may be left with a timeshare that isn’t worth as much as you paid for it. When this happens, you will lose significant amounts of money.
When you buy a timeshare, you will have to sign a contract. In most cases, timeshare contracts lock owners into timeshares for two or more years. This means that you won’t be able to shake your timeshare easily.
Sharing a property means, well, sharing. Thus, you’ll have to negotiate with the other timeshare owners regarding vacation times. You may want to stay at your timeshare in Florida during the winter months, but your fellow timeshare owners may want the same thing. In short, you’ll have to learn to compromise.
Before you buy any timeshare, make sure you know what you are getting into. Read the fine print, pay attention to gimmicks, and take the above list with you when you shop.