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Should I Buy a Timeshare

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 probably 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.

What is a Timeshare?

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.

Is It Smart to Buy a Timeshare?

The question on the mind of potential timeshare buyers is whether or not such a purchase is a wise investment. Ultimately, the answer varies for each consumer. Yet, timeshares have notoriously been deemed bad investments by the consensus. While owners may enjoy a resort trip here and there from their purchase, there is often an overabundance of disservice that outweighs the good.

Folks looking to buy real estate as an investment are better suited to ignore timeshare offerings. The value of these properties vanishes when the dotted line is signed, so seldom do they become anything but illiquid assets. However, if you merely want a yearly vacation prebooked and have the financial means for support, it could be a good fit. Remember, buying a timeshare can lead to dream vacations, but there's also the risk of falling into a money pit. 


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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:

The Notorious Timeshare Company Salesmen

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 sometimes lure in prospective buyers by promising extravagant gifts. Their high-pressured presentations can last for hours, A timeshare purchase can happen simply by attempting to remove yourself from a sales 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.

Your Travel Locations Become Limited

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.

Scheduling Conflicts are an Issue

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?

Mortgage Payments & Upfront Costs

No matter what you hear in the sales presentation about how much you save with a timeshare, owning a timeshare is not cheap. According to the American Resort Development Association (ARDA), the average purchase price for a timeshare is over $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.

You’ll Pay Maintenance Fees, Even When You’re Not Using the Timeshare

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 annual maintenance fee is over $650 and increases yearly. Furthermore, whether or not you use it each year, you can always expect to be billed for these yearly fees.

Is it Hard to Sell a Timeshare?

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. With the supply of secondary timeshares exceeding the demand, reselling can often feel like an impossible task. Often, properties will list for as little as $1.  

Several factors play a role in a timeshare's resale value. From the week's season and resort's location to the remaining mortgage costs and maintenance fees, the difficulty of reselling is often out of the owner's control. Selling timeshares continually proves to be a long-drawn-out process with little financial upside.

Timeshare Resale Scams

The increasing amount of timeshare owners looking for help in the secondary market has resulted in a rise in scam artists. So-called "resellers" defraud clients into paying them fees and then conveniently disappear without selling the timeshare. When exiting a timeshare agreement, it's imperative to only work with reputable services that have a trustworthy in-house staff specialized in this field. 

Defaulting on a Timeshare Agreement Results in Foreclosure

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.

Renting Accommodations May Be Similarly Priced in a Cheaper Resort

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 the 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.

Are Timeshares a Good Investment?

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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.

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