Sometimes, timeshare ownership can leave you feeling scammed.
Every day, we hear terrifying stories from owners of these vacation properties who are experiencing fear, pain, or an overbearing amount of debt. The list of reasons you should never buy a timeshare property can be lengthy. Still, we'll do our best to present the most prevalent and impactful disadvantages of timeshare resorts in this guide.
So, what is a timeshare? Understanding the concept can be challenging for those lucky enough to have never stepped foot into a timeshare presentation.
A timeshare is a resort vacation property purchased under partial ownership. That means many different people have a stake in the same timeshare units. The more common deals give owners a designated week each year to stay at the property, though more flexible options are available, too.
When you purchase a one-week timeshare, the general impression is you’re saving money by prepaying for an annual vacation. Theoretically, this sounds like a good idea. However, timeshare ownership seldom plays out the way people expect. Obstacles often prevent people from fully utilizing their property.
If you consider purchasing, it's crucial to take the proper time to weigh the pros and cons. While timeshare companies will do everything they can to steal this time from you and draw attention away from the disadvantages, we're here to do the opposite!
Below are several reasons to avoid buying a timeshare:
Timeshare buyers sometimes have no idea what they’re getting into when signing the dotted line. Many of them never intend to buy anything in the first place. So what changes their minds? The deceptive timeshare salespeople.
Salespeople will lure in prospective buyers by promising extravagant gifts. Their high-pressured presentations can last for hours, often leaving people trapped against their will. A timeshare purchase can happen simply by attempting to remove yourself from a hostile environment. Signing on the dotted line sometimes feels like the only way out.
If you were misled into timeshare ownership by a deceptive sales pitch, you might be able to cancel your agreement. Click here to learn more.
A prominent selling point for timeshares is their wide variety of vacation club locations. Salespeople will list off names of exotic places and show dozens of resort pictures to encourage people to buy a timeshare. Yet, the truth is that many timeshare agreements are on a fixed week system restricted to the same location each year.
A timeshare may be ideal if you are only interested in revisiting the same place every year. However, owning a timeshare can be restrictive if you desire to explore new locations. It's a lifetime agreement that can cause you to miss out on other opportunities.
Prepaying for future vacations should make the entire scheduling process simpler. Unfortunately, that's not always the case. Sales representatives regularly brag about how easy it is to use their programs, but that's rarely true.
Scheduling issues have become so common that several states passed laws against making misleading scheduling statements during the sales process. What's the point of prepaying for a vacation if it is impossible to schedule?
No matter what you hear in the sales presentation about how much you save with a timeshare, owning one is not cheap. According to the American Resort Development Association, the average purchase price for a timeshare is $20,000. That's a substantial upfront cost for a vacation home you can only use once a year.
Being so expensive, most buyers have to take out a loan to afford it. Due to the timeshare developer's typical terrible interest rates, the ownership could cost a buyer twice as much as expected. On top of that, other hidden fees quickly creep in after the purchase.
Salespeople like to compare the cost of timeshares with the average price of hotel rooms. They're right that over time, timeshares appear to be more cost-efficient. However, in this appeal, they conveniently disregard the annual maintenance fees.
According to the American Resort Development Association, the average timeshare maintenance fee is over $650 and increases every year. Furthermore, whether or not you use it each year, you can always expect to be billed for these yearly fees.
Getting pulled into a timeshare scam can happen quickly. But getting yourself out of a timeshare is excruciating. Due to the unhappy nature of many timeshare owners, the resale market seems to get flooded with resellers constantly. Often, properties will list for as little as $1.
The increasing amount of owners looking for help in the secondary market has resulted in a rise of scam artists. So-called "resellers" defraud clients into paying them fees and then conveniently disappear without selling the timeshare.
Timeshares only get treated as real property when it negatively impacts the buyer. Buyers risk foreclosure if they default on their timeshare mortgage payments, yearly maintenance fees, exchange fees, special assessments, or other related obligations.
A foreclosure can come with drastic setbacks financially, emotionally, and mentally. Not only can your credit score drop, but qualifying for loans becomes more challenging. Consider these long-term effects before getting a timeshare.
In the end, timeshare company salespeople are most likely in it for the money. They talk about how much money you'll save but rarely mention all the additional expenses they tag along. Once you consider the total cost of timeshare, you realize plenty of other options for vacation ownership are available at a much lower price.
So, are timeshares worth it? While they are helpful for some, they appear worthless, if not worse, to the average person. You can easily find affordable alternatives that save you money and don't tie you down to a lifetime deal. It's a better deal to rent out a unit from another owner instead of working directly with the timeshare industry.
While a timeshare can serve a particular purpose when reasonably priced, it is not a good investment. Timeshare owners typically pay more than they expect to use their unit. When they finally decide to sell it, they often lose thousands of dollars. There is rarely a positive return on their investment.
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.