We all dream of the perfect holiday location that would give us a value for our money. Timeshare is known to be a holiday location shared by different owners. It allows having a share in a holiday accommodation and other properties instead of purchasing the whole vacation home at a particular place. Buyers can pay the organizers or a resort development company and they will be given the right to stay at their vacation resort for a specific period of time. However, is buying a timeshare a good idea?
Pros and Cons of Timesharing
The pros of timeshares include the following:
- Timesharing enables the individuals to own a part of an exotic holiday accommodation;
- It allows owners of timeshare only to pay for what they use and it helps save money;
- Owners can use a guaranteed vacation location every year;
- Individuals can trade and exchange locations and accommodations for a set period of time with others and travel to new places and enjoy new experiences;
- The resale value of a timeshare is more like selling a vehicle than a property. Moreover, there is no shortage in online marketplaces that promote timesharing accommodations, for example:
However, there are some drawbacks too:
- You must pay the yearly fees for maintaining whether you use the resort or not;
- It’s not easy to buy a timeshare in a foreign country due to laws and restriction;
- Timeshares are not easy to sell - there are so many used timeshares that could only be sold at discounts;
- You have to check and book ahead (sometimes, you need to book half a year in advance) if you want to stay in a great place, especially, during the busy season.
- There is noone to complain about the condition of a timeshared property, unlike when staying at a hotel when you can complain about hotel room or service that is unsatisfactory
Things to Consider Before Buying a Timeshare
If you are thinking of buying timeshare accommodation, it's great to make a research first before you put your signature. Therefore, here are some important things that are better to keep in mind when considering whether you should buy a timeshare or not:
There are such types of timesharing ownership:
- Timeshare - when different owners have the right to a property based on:
- Fixed week/season ownership plan - it is when the owners can visit a particular property annually or bi-annually with the same functional entities and amenities.
- Floating week plan - it is when the owners buy a nonspecific week/season at the resort within a range of dates.
- Timeshare points system - it's when particular points are awarded annually, to later change them for a wanted week/season at any resort.
- Fractional — it’s when the owner has the rights to a vacation property for multiple weeks out of the year. Fractional accommodation is usually equipped with high-end furnishing, facilities, and luxury services, ranging in a size of a room and a location.
When choosing a property, be sure to check the accommodation facilities and services to not face poor customer support and quality as with an example shown in Bluegreen resort review. Their service reply to the customers complains was “there's not much we can do about roaches.” And further, they sent an automated response, "We're sorry!" and a do-not-reply email. Beyond that, destinations play a huge role when choosing the type of a timeshare ownership. Therefore, one of the most important things is to think about the location before purchasing a timeshare.
Wonderful locations that you may want to choose from depend on timeshare companies’ availabilities. For instance, you want to buy a vacation home in Dominica or Florida but there are no places during high season to purchase a timeshare. In such situations, the following can be taken to cope with the issues:
- Check and book the accommodation way before the busy season starts. Always remember to choose a location that works well for you.
- You can speak to the organization or developer of the timeshare resort about the problem and find an appropriate option.
- You can pay extra money regarding the reason for the change. However, it’s not always the case. Cost is also based on the organization funding the resort.
The cost of good timeshares to buy may vary annually based on a price of maintenance or taxes and may be from $300 - $1,500 (purchasing a used property) to $10,000 annually. Buyers can always negotiate with the companies on the prices of various timeshares that suite them. Still, here are some alternative steps to consider:
- Affordable timeshares. You can also look for organizations that offer good discounts in timeshares at favorable locations like the Vacation Village at Weston, Florida or the Veranda Beach Club also located in Florida. For example, the Vacation Village at Weston has a price range of $995 - $15,000 according to discounttimeshares.com list.
- Loans. You can take a loan from the banks to purchase your timeshare after the authenticity of the offer has been confirmed. This only works if your timeshare is not depreciating .It should have a good reputation on the market as well.
Remember, your purchases should always be within your budget. So, you can be sure you’ll not stop paying the loan, which can have an original interest rate approaching up to 30%, and annual maintenance fees, according to Bankrate.com.
The security of a timeshare ownership depends on many factors. One of them is the cost as it determines the value of such properties. Beware of scam companies that are ready to dupe sellers as well as buyers on the market. Be sure to know about the company dealing with the timeshares before making a decision and accepting any offers. To protect yourself from scam companies and negative situations, the following steps can be taken:
- If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is. A really low price means nobody will earn an income by giving away a vacation place just for viewing a presentation. Sometimes, the timeshare scams send an email or reach you via phone call stating that you have gained a free holiday and all you need to do to get it is attend a small presentation. You will be given captivating booklets and other alluring stuff to make things look legal at the presentation, so you could enthusiastically signup documents and invest in a timeshare fraudulent system.
Here is an example where people have been deceived at a timeshare presentation where a Westgate Resorts salesperson lied what buyers can get for their own money:
- To protect yourself, have a legal representative you can always call in case of any problems. For example, ARDA-ROC is an association of buyers, developers, and agents who are dedicated to advocating for local and federal policies.
- Follow the laws of your state such as your right to cancel a request even after the agreement. You should be given a certain time to make changes to your deal in case you are not satisfied with the property. For example, in Florida, there's a grace period of 7 days to cancel a timeshare request. It varies from state to state.
- Choose to cooperate with a licensed, legal expert instead of a private company that makes big, hard-to-verify claims about cancellation.
- Register your purchase with a licensed body that deals with a real estate agency and secures your property. It also becomes a good step to take when it comes to selling your timeshare.
Resale and trade
Trade the timeshare ownership - owners can trade their units with other owners who have an equivalent unit with an affiliate company. Moreover, they can trade another equally good location with equally good units that can be discussed and then purchased. Trading and exchanging your vacation could be made by using the following steps:
- Spread the word you are selling or exchanging the property via social media and other channels;
- Talk to your timeshare organization and connect with exchange or timeshare trade company to define the details and use their services;
- Contact with the timeshare buyer or other timeshare hosts to work out the further logistics.
Reselling the timeshare - reselling a timeshare is a lot like selling the property. However, you also need to review every point to define restrictions, laws, or fees that could influence your possibility to make a resale of ownership. Moreover, certain factors can affect the speed with which your resale will be processed including how fast you execute and return demanded documents at different steps during the resale. Beyond this, remember, that selling a timeshare is not the same as selling a traditional estate property. You can face some of the issues like the buyers of the Silverleaf Resorts timeshare issue. The timeshare owner wrote the following addressing the issue:
“I called to ask about selling it off because when I was there they said they had many properties they were reselling for owners. However, now all of a sudden, they do not do that.”
Owners sign a contract to purchase the facilities for a specific time. Therefore, do not accept a contract that does not give you the chance to make changes as needed. Before signing the contract, take the following steps:
- Ask questions regarding the contract:
- Check the terms and conditions carefully;
- Review the services the seller/agent should provide;
- Verify the fees/commissions and other costs;
- Review the length/dates of the agreement;
- Control who is responsible for documenting.
- Read and be sure to understand what’s written before signing;
- Some buyers may prefer to be with a lawyer when signing.
If the buyers want to change their plans, they have a specific period to cancel the contract. The buyer’s remorse is an option to choose a better timeshare offers or to make a change in the duration of the vacation, or simply get out of an unwanted timeshare. The buyers could be given a specific period to cancel the contract when they want to. It could be from 7 days to 2 weeks or more depending on the company’s policies. Important steps include:
- Preparing a cancellation letter which should include the following:
- Your name, contact details and address just the way it was in your contract;
- The timeshare company’s name, a description of the timeshare purchased;
- Date of the purchase and signatures;
- The statement should be within the time period you have to cancel the contract.
- State your reasons for cancellation.
- Send the letter within the period of cancellation.
- Contact an attorney involved in real estate for help regarding this issue.
Researching other owners and timeshare companies
Finding and researching other timeshare owners and companies could be carried out through:
- Contacting organizations or developers involved in timesharing;
- Searching for recognized timeshare websites online;
- Reading the reviews and testimonials on such services as:
- Contacting developers of projects or realtors in person which is the best way to buy a timeshare.
Should You Buy a Timeshare Then?
From all we have seen, timeshare gives families and friends the opportunity to have luxury holiday vacation at their dream destinations. On the other hand, they can come up with a creative and innovative way to market timeshare as an investment opportunity. Usually the reasons why the customers buy and invest in timeshares vary extensively. But mostly, the reason is that the timeshare helps to save money for the future vacation. However, the question still arises as there are some risks. Just remember, it all depends on your capabilities. If you’re not financially buoyant to consider the best timeshare to buy, don’t go for it. And if you still have decided to own a property, make sure you’re dealing with a trustworthy timeshare company. Additionally, always consider the pros and cons of timeshares before committing to buying.
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While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal, medical, accounting, investment, or any other professional advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.