5 Timeshare FAQ's

If you are looking for a vacation home, many people like the idea of owning a timeshare property at a luxury resort.

What Exactly Is A Time Share?

A timeshare is where you buy a fixed week or weeks a year in a resort complex apartment that you share with other people. This is a good way of selling condominium style properties in a resort, as it can give very large profits, but it isn't necessarily a good way to buy a vacation home.

How Flexible Is A Time Share?

A timeshare may be very flexible if you choose a property from well known companies like Disney or Hilton. These companies have vacation club memberships that allow you to not only change the resort you stay at but also vary the week or weeks you can vacation. Other companies lock you into your timeshare week and your location.

How Do The Prices Vary?

Prices for weeks during the school vacation or other prime holiday times are going to be much more expensive than buying a week in the same resort in the offseason. Even if you want to save money, and you enjoy vacationing when there are less crowds, you still have to think carefully. After all, how often will you want to take a seaside vacation in January or visit the same ski resort every year - in the middle of summer?

Is It A Good Investment?

Time shares are not necessarily a good investment. Many people find that when they try and sell their timeshare they can't even get back the money they paid for it, never mind a profit! If you are looking to buy a timeshare, instead of buying direct from the timeshare company, look online at the resale timeshare market and you will probably be able to get a real bargain. Even the timeshare companies themselves say you shouldn't buy a timeshare just as an investment. You should look at it as a way of guaranteeing your vacation options at luxury resorts. Depending on the type of timeshare, your heirs can inherit your timeshare and you can even leave it in your will to a charity.

Are There Any Other Expenses?

Yes. Just like any other property, a timeshare needs maintenance, and the company will charge you an annual maintenance fee and often a membership fee as well. These fees can be extremely high. They often match the price of a vacation in a resort without the extra expense of purchasing and maintaining a timeshare. You also need to allow for the travelling costs when you make your decision to buy. For example, if you live in New York it may be very expensive to own a timeshare in Hawaii.

Think Carefully Before You Buy

Timeshares are very often sold in extremely high-pressured presentations and you may not be given sufficient information or time to make an informed choice. Sales staff at timeshares resorts often offer attractive incentives to attend. You may be offered a prize like a weekend for two, or a getaway at a different resort just for attending the presentation! Very often these prizes are actually scams. You can also be pressured to sign a legal contract and pay on the spot at the presentation, without being given time to read the contract or consult with your attorney.

You have to ask yourself if the timeshare being offered is such a good deal why do timeshare sales companies need to use such high-pressure techniques to get people to buy.

Buying a vacation property together with friends or family, or buying a timeshare on the resale market may be a better bargain.