Timeshares are a popular type of vacation property. They offer much more space and amenities than a hotel room, giving families the opportunity to stretch out and relax. In addition, many timeshares have kitchens and washers and dryers.
The first thing you need to consider is whether a timeshare is right for you. The decision is personal and will depend on your preferences, financial situation and the size of the unit you want to own.
1. They are not an investment
The truth is that timeshares do not increase in value over time, and they do not produce income or appreciation, no matter what the salespeople tell you. In fact, some experts say that timeshares may actually lose money over time.
2. They can be a trap for the unwary
When shopping around, it’s important to understand the difference between deeded and non-deeded timeshares. While a deeded timeshare allows you to purchase ownership interest in the resort, a non-deeded one doesn’t. It also doesn’t have the same flexibility when it comes to reselling or giving away the rights to use the property.
3. They can be a hassle to maintain
A timeshare can be a hassle to maintain, because the owners don’t have a lot of control over how the property is operated and maintained. Owners often have to pay annual maintenance fees that are usually quite expensive, and these fees can add up over time, especially if the resort goes bankrupt or needs repairs.
4. They can be a hassle to travel with
Timeshares are typically available only by booking online or by phone, which makes it difficult to book trips at short notice. If you’re traveling with a group, it can be especially challenging to find accommodations at a time that works for everyone.
5. They are expensive
A week in a new, upscale timeshare in a popular resort can cost between $20,000 and $40,000. In addition to the upfront price, you’ll pay for maintenance fees (annual dues) that can more than double the initial costs over the life of the contract.
6. They are not worth it
When buying a timeshare, you need to be aware of what you’re getting into before you sign on the dotted line. There are a lot of misconceptions out there about timeshares, and the salespeople will push hard for you to buy one.
7. They’re not worth it for most people
It’s hard to find a place where you can get a week’s worth of quality vacations for less than the cost of a timeshare. That’s because the initial price of a timeshare doesn’t include financing, maintenance fees or exchange fees, which can more than double the upfront price over a lifetime.
Fortunately, there are timeshare resale options that can help you avoid the costly upfront fee and high maintenance fees of owning a timeshare. Instead, you can buy a used timeshare on the secondary market for about 10% of its retail price.