If you’ve heard a lot about timeshares, but are still unsure whether you should get one, there are a few important facts to keep in mind. Timeshares allow you to own a vacation, or vacation property, for a certain period of time. You’ll usually get to use your property once a year for a week, but that doesn’t mean you can’t go elsewhere for vacations.
Aside from the cost of the property itself, you will also need to pay yearly maintenance fees and other costs. Most of these expenses are similar to those you would incur in a regular hotel or condominium, but they tend to increase more quickly than inflation.
There are two types of timeshares: deeded and non-deeded. Deeded timeshares allow you to own the property. Non-deeded timeshares, on the other hand, don’t give you ownership, but they let you have access to it. They can be less expensive than comparable deeded timeshares, but often come with more stringent transfer restrictions.
One of the biggest benefits of owning a timeshare is the ability to share costs with other travelers. For instance, if you want to visit a beach resort, but can’t afford to pay for a luxury hotel, you can rent a timeshare for a fraction of the cost. This is especially beneficial if you plan to take a large group of family members, friends or colleagues on vacation. However, you must read your contract carefully to ensure that you’re not getting ripped off.
Another issue is that the price of your timeshare can go up faster than you can raise your yearly maintenance fee. The ARDA (American Resort Development Association) estimates that the average timeshare interval will cost $21,455 in 2019. In other words, you’ll be paying for a full week of vacation each year, even if you don’t take it.
Timeshares have a bad reputation. Many people purchase them out of fear or intimidation, rather than because they truly want to. That’s why you’ll find opportunists all over the place trying to take advantage of those who are uninformed about the industry.
While it is possible to cancel your timeshare, it’s a complicated process. Sometimes you can do so by phone, but other times you’ll need to sign a written document. Regardless, if you’re unsure, don’t sign the contract. Instead, call your solicitor or resort staff.
Even if you do decide to cancel, the company might charge a surrender fee. Some states have laws that permit cancellation after rescission, but you’ll have to read your contract carefully.
Also, if you plan to sell your timeshare, you might have to pay a brokerage fee. Once you’ve paid the brokerage fee, you might have to give up the rights to your timeshare. So if you don’t like the resort you bought it from, you might have a hard time selling it.
Finally, keep in mind that there are thousands of timeshare owners who are looking to sell their timeshares. If you’re considering a sale, you should talk to the resort staff or your solicitor to ensure that you’re not signing up for something you don’t need.