Timeshares are a type of property ownership that involves sharing a condo, apartment or room at a resort. The owners typically use the units for one or two weeks at a time. The timeshare company oversees the property, and they may make repairs and improvements that owners must pay for through their yearly dues.
Many salespeople will try to convince you that timeshares are cheaper than hotel rooms, especially for annual vacations. But the truth is that a timeshare’s yearly maintenance fees are more expensive than hotels, and they usually increase yearly, often faster than inflation.
The best way to find out if a timeshare is right for you is to run the numbers. Consider the total cost of buying a property, including yearly fees, taxes, utilities, transportation and travel expenses. Then compare it with what you spend on an average vacation, and ask yourself if the timeshare will actually pay for itself.
If you have no intention of using the property, or if your circumstances change (like a job loss or retirement), the maintenance fees may be difficult to bear. That’s why you should always review the terms of your contract and consider whether the yearly fees would be affordable in case of a medical emergency or other life situation.
A deeded timeshare is a type of property ownership that enables you to own a fraction of a timeshare, often referred to as “rights to use.” The timeshare owner shares ownership with other timeshare owners and typically pays a one-time upfront fee to purchase the rights to the deeded property.
These rights to use a property can be sold or transferred at any time, and they are also tax-deductible in some cases. However, it is important to consult a professional before deciding whether or not to purchase a timeshare.
Sometimes a timeshare is purchased as a floating week, where the owner owns rights to a specified period of time during the year, and can choose the date of his or her stay at any resort. This type of ownership allows you to take advantage of the best rates at the most popular times, but it’s not without its drawbacks.
The main disadvantage of a fixed-week timeshare is that you are limited to a certain time each year, which can be a struggle if you want to book a holiday for that specific week. The other drawback is that it can be expensive to acquire a timeshare, as the demand for these weeks can be high and competition for the prime dates often stifles the prices.
Purchasing a timeshare can be confusing, and if you’re not sure about your options, it’s best to consult with an expert who can help you weigh the pros and cons. It can be especially helpful to speak with a timeshare expert if you’re considering a deeded timeshare, as these are less common than fixed-week options.
The most important timeshare fact to remember is that these properties are not investments, and they don’t appreciate in value over time. The real value of a timeshare is in the memories you get from vacationing there, and in the peace and quiet you experience while enjoying your holiday at the resort.