Timeshare, if you have not heard of it before, is the concept of buying a property with several other owners. In this arrangement, every owner has the right to use the place as a holiday home within a time-sharing scheme.
So many people are desperate to have their timeshare holidays off of their hands! Desperate to get rid of them, they’re willing to sell it at a low price. This way, they become someone else’s problem and not theirs to worry about.
Are timeshares that bad? Timeshares do provide bargains for enthusiasts who know how to make the most of them. Here we take a look at timeshares and what they are all about, plus some great advice.
What Are Timeshares?
Timeshares are simply a method of using a vacation property. It is usually a resort or a chalet type residence, where you can stay for a week every year. How they work is that people have to pay upfront to buy a ‘timeshare.’ After that, they go on to pay an annual fee for maintenance. It costs anywhere around $900 to $3000, or even more!
Timeshares are available for a week every year. While a few have a ‘floating week’ that changes annually, or they could be in the form of points. This allows more flexibility that will enable you to stay either days or weeks and at different locations.
Timeshares Aren’t Financial Investments
A financial investment is something where the value of the property increases with time. However, a timeshare does not work in this fashion. When salespeople advertise their timeshares, they make it seem like something whose value will increase over the years.
Yes, the cost of timeshares sold by resort developers has indeed escalated over time. However, if you want to rid yourself of the points, you can sell them. However, the resale value of these timeshares is about 10% or even less than what they originally cost. Sites like eBay, TUG, and Gumtree are full of ads from owners who are pleased to let their timeshares go for even a penny.
Don’t Buy Timeshares In the Holiday Spirit
It’s safe to say that timeshare marketers are much more skilled at the sale of their timeshare product than you are at resisting. This is especially true if a salesperson approaches you while you are on holiday and in a relaxed state of mind. Of course, this is typically when they trap you into a sales pitch and practically force you into taking their product.
Nobody in holiday mode will be up to the task of scourging a contract for the finer details or assessing the potential exchange options. The thought of all that could go wrong also doesn’t occur. For instance, who would wonder about the continuously rising annual fees or trade share issues while planning a holiday? It is advisable to rent a spot you like, get a taste of it, before taking the plunge and investing.
Don’t Purchase Retail
If you are purchasing a timeshare from the developer, you are going to pay thousands more than what you would pay a timeshare owner. That’s because the owner is probably selling it to avoid paying the annual maintenance fees for a property they barely use. And if your co-owners stop paying their maintenance fees, you can hand them over to the collection agents. This will get them into a lawsuit and blacklisting. Something that nobody wants, more so if it’s a holiday place!
Buy Fixed-Week Timeshares in Attractive Locations
First of all, never fall for the promise that purchasing a timeshare in a less popular place now, will help you trade it off for a popular location later. This is because common sense will tell you that if you don’t even want to stay there, your potential exchange partner won’t either.
On fixed-week purchases, they have the perk that you do not need to make any advanced reservations to book a location as you own it for that set week each year. This means less planning involved and less hassle. Floating week systems usually need more plan advanced booking, and desirable weeks are typically snatched up quickly by other timeshare holders, or they require extra points.
For some people, half the fun is in the planning. If this is the case, then doing research is fun too! Know that the more flexible a timeshare plan is, the higher the chances of you having to pre-book at least nine months in advance. Timeshares can be attractive products for some, and unattractive for others. Do your homework!