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Are Timeshares Worth The Investment?

Buying a timeshare unit usually begins by being interested in extravagant vacation lifestyles. However, it almost always ends in heartbreak caused by either a lack of availability or costly annual maintenance fees. In a high-pressure sales presentation, purchasing timeshare weeks might be explained as a financial investment,  but in reality, you're just throwing money down the drain. It's critical to understand why timeshares are a bad investment before you make a commitment to just any resort developer.

Let's examine a few characteristics that make the timeshare industry one of the worst places to spend your money upfront on future vacation destination plans.

Yearly maintenance fees

Like upkeep on a regular house, week-based timeshares also require annual maintenance. Many resorts take massive hits to their facilities during busy seasons, like spring break or labor day weekend. That creates a demand for renovations and repairs around the property. Most people don't know that this constant need for maintenance directly affects the average price within the timeshare market.

While it may be evident on some timeshare owner agreements that their annual fees increase over a period of time, it comes as a shock to others. Some people are unaware of this price increase until they get the invoice for their yearly maintenance fees in late December. That is when the real frustrations start to set in.

Some owners think they can avoid the maintenance fee, but the timeshare company will ensure you can't book your stay before paying up each year. Another issue that could surface is your financial capability in the future. If your timeshare ownership is reported to a credit bureau, not paying your maintenance fees could negatively affect your credit score. It's important to remember that something like halting payments is solely your decision and responsibility.

The sooner owners can figure out their maintenance fee terms, the better off they'll be. It could hurt you for a long time in many different ways, including but not limited to affecting your credit. Annual maintenance fees are just one of the reasons that purchasing a timeshare can be a wrong financial decision. Still, they're also one of the more essential characteristics to consider when deciding whether a timeshare is worth the initial investment.

Availability at your vacation property

Resort companies love to tell you about all of their wildly dishonest benefits. One of their favorites is that if you sign up at their resort, you can travel anywhere you want, anytime you want. In most cases, the problem is that your one-week timeshare is on a fixed system. A fixed-week timeshare means that you have the same week out of the entire year where you can use it. Thus, the "anytime you want" phrase comes doesn't live up to the hype.

While it might be true, if you're the type that likes to plan a vacation in the spur of the moment, you might be out of luck. Many timeshare properties come with what are known as blackout periods. It is usually not possible to secure a spot at your resort during these dates, and if you can do so, you're going to have to settle for paying a lot more money. It stands to reason that if you own the property, you should be able to visit it whenever you would like.

Resorts tend to frame themselves as having "wide availability" during the timeshare presentation but often fail to deliver. Picture this: You're on vacation at a resort. You like everything about it, other than the high purchase price. Suddenly, a salesperson approaches and says, "What if I told you, you could visit this same resort any time of the year for a lower price than what you're paying right now?" That is how so many timeshare buyers get tricked into vacation ownership. Timeshare resorts don't care what they tell you, as long as it gets you to sign on the dotted line.

Financial Hardship

Like any recurring payment plan, a timeshare can hurt you in the long run. If you don't buy it outright – almost no one does – you will have to take out a timeshare mortgage loan. On top of this monthly payment, you will have the previously discussed maintenance fees and any other additional fees (i.e., assessment fees, origination fees, etc.) With all these extra costs, timeshare owners may feel the financial hardship set in. It doesn't take long for them to realize they don't have room in their budget to account for a timeshare every month. So what happens when you can't make a payment on time? There will be several collection attempts made, your credit may take a hit, and you could face foreclosure in some cases.

Foreclosure on a timeshare is variable based on how lenient the property company is about your payments. There are few occurrences of homeowner associations stepping in to help a current owner who is having difficulty paying their timeshare fees.

Knowing the ins and outs of your timeshare agreement upfront will help you determine if you can take on the financial responsibilities of owning a timeshare. There are many hidden fees within these agreements that are often overlooked and become troublesome down the road. Be sure to do your research before entering into a timeshare agreement. However, if you've already made a timeshare purchase and face financial hardships, there's still a way out.

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Your Best Exit Option

If you're struggling with booking availability, the maintenance fees, or your monthly mortgage payment, it's important to remember you aren't totally out of luck. While resorts might refer you to the timeshare resale market, that may not be the best option. Just look at the timeshares for sale in the secondary market right now. Rarely do they sell, and if they do, it is for much less than the initial purchase price.

Instead, your best option is to find reputable timeshare exit companies offering a 100% money-back guarantee. One company with such a stellar reputation is Wesley Financial Group, LLC. With years of industry experience and passionate staff working to cancel your agreement, you will be in good hands with WFG. If you’re interested in learning more about how they can help you terminate your timeshare agreement, visit their website.

Summary

Before your next vacation to any resort real estate, be sure to prepare yourself for the possibility that timeshare salespeople may approach you. Don't be fooled by the luxurious accommodations or minimal upfront cost. Sometimes, timeshare sales teams will use phrases like "vacation ownership" or "vacation club" to lure you in. However, you'll be just fine if you know the warning signs.

No matter the so-called benefits, buying a timeshare is seldom worth the financial risk. Taking vacations independently at a standard hotel or vacation rental with your own money is always a better option.

*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.

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