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What Is Wrong With Timeshares?

Are you thinking about buying a timeshare property? The industry has come a long way since its inception, but still, there's so much wrong with these vacation properties. Many have no idea what they're signing up for with a timeshare purchase, so we're here to help! 

After speaking with former disgruntled owners, we created a list of the top causes leading to regret. Check out the list below.

What Is a Timeshare?

Timeshares are vacation real estate operating under fractional ownership. That means you own a percentage of the timeshare along with others with whom you split the costs and time spent at the property. A typical timeshare can hold up to 52 owners, with each spending one week a year at the resort.

Countdown of the Top Reasons Why Timeshare Owners Regret Purchasing

Below are the top ten reasons why timeshare purchases often result in remorse: 

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10. Timeshares May Be Complicated

While buyers often get misled into believing that timeshares simplify vacation planning, that’s not always the case. As an owner, it can be challenging to book and schedule your vacations. You're one of many owners under fractional ownership, thus competing with others for desired locations and dates when planning each year.

Timeshare booking issues are no secret either. These obstacles are so common that several states have enacted laws prohibiting timeshare companies from misrepresenting the ease of booking during their sales pitch. 

9. There Are Better Choices Than a Timeshare Company

Timeshares often market themselves as vacation ownership with long-term savings. However, factoring in the hidden fees and restrictions, there are more affordable options. Below are a few common alternatives:

  • Stay at a hotel suite: A hotel room can often provide the same offerings as timeshare resorts without extra costs. 
  • Book vacation rentals on an online marketplace: No matter the location, you’ll find vacation home rental options.
  • Invest in a vacation home: Owning a vacation property can be a convenience and an investment.

8. Timeshare Ownership Isn't a Smart Investment

To vacation at the same property on the same week every year, a timeshare may be ideal. But if you're looking for a vacation property to use on occasion and serve as an investment, turn away. 

As proof, research the resale market. While sellers are aplenty, the number of potential buyers is sparse within the secondary market. The property value of a timeshare reduces as soon it's purchased. 

7. A Timeshare's Price and Interest Can Set You Back Financially

Many timeshare companies overcharge for ownership. According to ARDA (American Resort Development Association), the average price for a one-week timeshare is more than $20,000, with luxury units sold for up to $300,000. These upfront fees are beyond reach for many and therefore require a loan.

Alas, banks typically don't back timeshare loans, so you'll be stuck with high-interest rates provided by either the timeshare company or a credit card company. 

6. Annual Maintenance Fees Make Timeshares Even More Expensive

The costs of timeshare ownership don't end there. Additional expenses include maintenance fees, assessment costs, property taxes, and other hidden fees. In particular, the maintenance fees often keep timeshare owners up at night. ARDA claims these annual fees average between $600 for smaller units to $1,200 for ones with more than one bedroom. Not to mention, those figures are on a rising trajectory.

Timeshare owners must pay an annual maintenance fee as long as they retain ownership, whether or not they use the property that year. Learn more about these fees here.

5. Failing to Pay Timeshare Costs Can Lead to Foreclosure

Different expenses go into purchasing a timeshare. As with any significant real estate purchase, ensure you can afford all costs beforehand. A default on a timeshare’s financial obligations could mean foreclosure.

A foreclosure can spell terrible news for timeshare owners. Along with losing future access to the property, your credit score might suffer and make qualifying for future credit more challenging. Timeshare resorts don't make it easy to walk away with no consequence. 

4. Renting Out a Timeshare Is Not Guaranteed to Generate Income

One perk of real estate ownership is that you can rent. In vacation homes, this is common. So it's no surprise that many timeshare developers also allow renting. However, timeshare renters have the same dilemma as resellers, a lack of clientele. If you are lucky enough to find renters, don't expect much of a profit compared to the property expenses you still have to pay.

Not all timeshare agreements permit owners to rent, and some have strict conditions if they do. Check the documents first. 

3.  Be Aware of Timeshare Resale Scams

In recent years, timeshare fraud has become widespread as many scam artists pretend to be brokers. These "resellers" will claim they have a buyer for your timeshare and to complete the transaction, all you need is to pay an upfront fee. Then, they disappear with your money without selling your timeshare. 

While not all resellers are scammers, timeshare fraud is becoming common. To get rid of a timeshare, there are more dependable ways to do so here.

2. Your Timeshare Agreement May Never End

Many timeshare agreements are lifetime commitments between them and the property developers. Deeded timeshare owners are often held in perpetuity. And why do these deals last forever? That’s how the resorts make a living! Lifetime agreements mean owners can be charged annual maintenance fees indefinitely. 

Getting rid of a timeshare written in perpetuity isn't easy. Albeit, timeshare purchases have a rescission period where buyers can back out of the deal. However, buyers don’t have more than a few days.

1. Timeshare Salespeople May Not Tell You All of This!

There's quite a lot wrong with timeshares. Yet, perhaps the worst part is the salespeople! They’re trained to land sales by any means necessary. If that means not disclosing vital information or lying during the sales pitch, they likely will.  A five-hour presentation has less information than this article. 

Most buyers walk in with no intention of buying. Still, many get misguided when these meetings turn into high-pressure sales presentations. In the end, salespeople often lead innocent victims into timeshare purchases.

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Do You Want to Cancel Your Timeshare?

If you’re already a timeshare owner experiencing these issues and looking for the exit doors, consider working with a timeshare cancellation company. Hiring an exit team is a great legal and safe way to escape your agreement. Wesley Financial Group, LLC (“WFG”)*is a perfect example. They specialize in timeshare cancellation for owners lied to or misled into their purchase. Choosing to work with an experienced and dependable company such as WFG could be your solution to reaching timeshare 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 and not intended to substitute for professional advice, legal or otherwise.

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