If you were to ask a timeshare company, they'd probably tell you that timeshares are the answer to your dream vacation! It's as if all timeshares have to offer are benefits. However, many owners feel indifferent about their purchase, with some even regretting it. You don’t want to gamble which end of the timeshare owner spectrum you’ll end up on!
For that reason, in this article, we’ll be looking into the benefits and the burdens of timeshares.
A timeshare is a vacation property under fractional ownership. You share the expenses and times spent at the property with several, if not many different owners. Often, this type of vacation ownership will reserve a one-week stay for you at your selected resort every year. The selling point: why pay for an entire vacation home when you seldom use it outside of a handful of visits a year? Timeshares deliver vacation ownership at a fraction of the cost, so they say.
There are two types of timeshare ownership: deeded and non-deeded. A deeded agreement means you're the unit owner indefinitely. A non-deeded agreement is a leased deal lasting a certain number of years. As an owner, your benefits depend on your ownership type and whether you have a fixed week, floating week, or a points-based timeshare.
Click here to learn about timeshares and how they generally work.
Understanding that there are benefits of timeshare ownership, as well as burdens, is essential.
What began as simple vacation packages provided by travel companies nearly half a century ago has grown into a billion-dollar industry. Today, timeshares are everywhere. They're at the luxurious vacation resort and the more local properties. They often include top-of-the-line amenities and accommodations such as fitness centers, tennis courts, swimming pools, hot tubs, on-site restaurants, and spacious living areas. The timeshare industry appears to be doing alright.
If there's one blemish on the reputation of timeshare resorts, it's their salespeople. They’re good at selling, but they often do so behind questionable tactics. Too often, owners feel scammed. Timeshares salespeople have been raising eyebrows for decades, and some pioneered the timeshare exit industry in response.
The most apparent benefit of purchasing a timeshare is that your future vacations are guaranteed and already reserved! Timeshare owners can relinquish themselves from the trouble of planning a new vacation every year. Knowing that you already booked and paid for the trips will result in more time on vacation. If you value predictability and prefer routine vacation ownership, timeshares may have something to offer.
Having all of your vacations reserved in advance can be helpful, but do you want to spend every vacation at the same resort, in the same unit, and in the same week? That can get old pretty fast. Some resorts offer exchange programs so owners can switch now and then, but at an extra cost.
One downside of owning a vacation home is that you have to maintain it, even though you use it a handful of times a year. Not with timeshares! As a timeshare owner, your hands stay clean. The property developers take care of everything from regular upkeep and cleaning of your unit to repairs and improvements to the resort. However, you’re not off scot-free as you do have to pay yearly maintenance fees.
Not maintaining a timeshare sounds tempting, but once you realize how costly maintenance fees are, you may change your mind. The American Resort Development Association reports the average timeshare maintenance fee is $1,000 and will increase annually. There's no way to skip out on paying these annual fees either, as they're perpetual.
The cost of traveling is going up, so wouldn't it be nice to be able to lock in your future vacations at today's price? With a timeshare, you can! Instead of stressing about industry-wide price influxes every year, pay for all your future trips at today's price. Just take a moment and consider how much the cost of hotel rooms has risen in recent years and how it'll continue. Owning a timeshare may put those concerns to rest.
Timeshares can save money in some regard, but not enough to be considered an investment. A timeshare never produces financial value like a real estate investment. It may seem like you save money compared to a hotel room just by looking at the purchase price. However, consider the additional fees and high-interest rates that sometimes make it impossible to finance.
Unless you have a non-deeded agreement where you're leasing a timeshare, you should be able to resell or rent out the property. Not all timeshares come with these ownership rights, so check the paperwork and make sure you possess the deed instead of the management company. When you're no longer able to travel or afford the timeshare fees, having the ability to sell or rent can be significant.
A timeshare purchase could be a lifetime commitment. Deeded timeshares don't expire, so the companies charge annual fees whether or not owners still use the property. It's a money-making scheme and why resorts make it difficult to get out of a timeshare agreement. While you can try to sell it, the resale market has a low chance of success with a high risk for scams. However, here's some good news. If you were lied to or deceived into buying a timeshare, you might have another option. Timeshare cancellation companies, such as Wesley Financial Group, LLC* (WFG), nullify thousands of timeshares a year for misled owners. If you want to learn more about timeshare cancellation, contact WFG!
There are timeshare pros and timeshare cons. How a buyer values each of these factors will determine their timeshares worth. So when you're deciding whether that new timeshare is worth buying or not, consider its burdens just as its benefits.
If you’re already a timeshare owner curious about what exit options you may have, reach out to us today for a free consultation!
*Wesley Financial Group, LLC, and its affiliates, successors, or assigns are not lawyers or a law firm and do not engage in the practice of law or provide legal advice or legal representation. All information, software, services, and comments provided on this site are for informational and self-help purposes only and not intended to substitute for professional advice, legal or otherwise.