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California Timeshares

California is a premier travel destination in the United States. It offers limitless adventures to explore within the Golden State's extensive geography. From stunning coastlines and breathtaking mountain ranges to towering forests and awe-inspiring deserts, California is perfect year-round for those who want to enjoy different experiences. That does not even include the metropolitan areas that feature world-class cities full of history and culture.

With so much activity, most folks take multiple trips. Enter timeshare resorts offering to make those dreams a reality. Alas, many folks are cautious regarding the industry (some for a good reason). This guide provides details about California and its timeshares, including the risks of taking part in such vacation ownership. 

About California - the Basics 

California Geography

This western U.S. state stretches some 900 miles from the Mexican border along the Pacific coast. The terrain spans from vast mountain ranges to sun-kissed beaches, with everything in between. Whether it is for the Bay Area in the north, the entertainment industry to the south, or the wine country in the heart.  

Things To Do

The state of California includes many cities and regions. Visitors can explore the great outdoors by strolling the Pacific Coast beaches, hiking the Sierra Nevada mountain range, skiing near Lake Tahoe, watching the sunset in the Mojave Desert, or visiting the nearby National Parks. If seeking an adventure, options are limitless in the Golden State.

California is great for family-friendly escapades, too. With a surplus of amusement parks like Disneyland, Legoland, and Universal Studios Hollywood, kids will love visiting just as much as their parents. Families have numerous cities to discover entertainment, food, and unique shops. In short, California has a little bit of everything.

Places To Go

While California is considered the mecca of celebrity culture in the U.S. due to the presence of Hollywood, there is more to the state than famous faces and movie studios. California is home to several world-class cities, such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego. Each has its wealth of culture, fantastic food, and iconic landmarks. 

In addition to the man-made attractions, California boasts stunning natural scenery. From towering redwood forests to idyllic seasides and everything in between. Below are ten examples that make this state such a captivating place:

  • Yosemite National Park
  • Joshua Tree National Park
  • Death Valley National Park
  • Lake Tahoe
  • Napa Valley
  • The San Diego Zoo
  • Santa Barbara's Beaches
  • Venice Beach Boardwalk
  • San Francisco's  Golden Gate Bridge
  • Hollywood Walk of Fame
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Los Angeles, California

The Basics About Timeshares

What Is a Timeshare?

Timeshares are vacation ownership properties often found within destination resorts. What makes them distinctive is their shared ownership model. One timeshare unit may include several owners who split the costs. In return, each owner has a reservation to stay at the property, often on a week-per-year basis.

The most common sales pitch behind timeshares is that they give people a chance at becoming vacation homeowners for a fraction of the cost. That is because you own a percentage of a vacation property. For instance, with a one-week per-year agreement, you own 1/52nd of that unit. In other words, you pay for the time you are there instead of paying full price for a place you visit occasionally. 

The Types of Timeshares

Over the past few decades, timeshares have risen in popularity within the travel industry. Various condominiums, campgrounds, and resorts offer a form of a shared ownership model. Alas, not every timeshare agreement is identical. Below is an overview of the two standard purchases:

  • Deeded Timeshare: A deeded timeshare property divides ownership interests between every owner. Like typical real estate, each buyer receives a deeded title to the unit and has the same ownership rights. These timeshare agreements do not expire; the owners are free to rent, sell, donate, or will their unit reservation. Still, deeded timeshare ownership has limitations and does not compare to traditional real estate investments. 
  • Non-Deeded Timeshare: A right-to-use timeshare property is more of a lease agreement. Non-deeded ownership interest lasts for a set number of years, anywhere between ten and one hundred. Since you rent the property, you do not receive a title deed. Instead, the timeshare developers retain it. Besides being less expensive, non-deeded timeshares do not offer as many benefits.

The Various Ways to Use Timeshares

​Several timeshare systems are available. The differences range from having strict vacation schedules to offering spontaneous-based plans. Following are the ways one can use their timeshare:

  • Fixed-Week Timeshare: Gives the owners exclusive access to visit the property at the same time every year. Those who favor consistency with their vacations will prefer this option. 
  • Floating-Week Timeshare: Permits owners to visit the same property every year but with the ability to change the dates. The drawback of the floating week is that you may have to compete with others for requested dates.
  • Points-Based Timeshare: Ruling out the ideology for weeks in exchange for points allows owners more options. These points get utilized as a currency to exchange for booking vacations. Every year, owners have a number of points to reserve for various getaways. Points might offer more flexibility, though discrepancies in how they are allocated and distributed may transpire.
  • Timeshare Exchange Program: Vacation-goers often tire of staying at the same resort. To provide more variety, many developers operate exchange programs. Timeshare exchange companies enable owners to trade their week in one place for someone else's week elsewhere. However, it involves additional fees.

The Pros and Cons of Timeshares

Some people consider timeshares a wise investment, while others view the value as too unpredictable. It depends on personal preference. Following are a few considerations:

Pros

  1. Minimal vacation planning: Timeshare plans can provide consumers with a prepaid and pre-planned vacation every year.
  2. Maintenance performed by staff: The resort performs the necessary care, such as upkeep and repairs. Despite annual dues for this service, keeping your hands clean during maintenance can be a perk.
  3. Less expensive than a vacation home: According to the American Resort Development Association (ARDA), the average price of a weekly timeshare interval is $24,140. While still pricey, that is less than buying a vacation home. 

Cons

  1. Risk buying something that becomes a burden: Timeshare vendors have a deceptive reputation. They often urge buyers to agree to lofty rates without disclosing the purchase details. Timeshare presentations often involve false promises, skewed calculations, and intimidation tactics.
  2. Annual maintenance fees and monthly mortgage payments are costly: According to ARDA, the average maintenance fee charged for a timeshare interval is $1,000, but it rises each year. Besides the high-interest financing through these companies, these arrangements are not always borrower-friendly.
  3. Timeshares are not investments and difficult to offload: Sales agents at resorts might claim that timeshares increase in value. Alas, they lose financial weight as soon as the ink dries on the purchase agreement. In fact, the timeshare resale market proves that. Countless owners want to give theirs away. 

Timeshare Horror Stories

Owning a timeshare is as expensive as it is risky. The drawbacks of having such little investment value in the property outweigh the benefits. In addition, it is not always easy to amicably get out of a timeshare agreement. Resorts tend to trap buyers into such deals to reap profits. 

Nonetheless, escaping the responsibility is possible thanks to the timeshare exit industry. There are hundreds of horror stories from former timeshare owners who needed help. Contacting an exit company was in their best interest.

California should be on everybody’s bucket list. Still, it is not worth a terrible experience with financial consequences. To make your dream vacations come true, there are plenty of options other than timeshares. 

Wesley Financial Group, LLC*

Wesley Financial Group, LLC* (WFG) is a timeshare exit company assisting buyers who were misled into purchasing. As an industry pioneer with over a decade of experience, WFG has accounted for over 16,000 timeshare cancellations. 

Contact a WFG representative if you know someone who experienced deceptive sales tactics with a timeshare purchase and needs a way out. Their timeshare termination services may help you obtain financial freedom. 

*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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