What are timeshares? It’s a piece of property or real estate that you pay to use sporadically throughout the year - generally only once or twice. If you’re lucky enough, you’ll find someone to rent the space when you’re not using it. This can help supplement your payments. Timeshares can be located all over the world from condos on the beach to cabins in the Poconos. Sound too good to be true? It might just be. Let’s take a look!
1. Know What You’re Buying
The first thing you should know before buying a timeshare is what type of agreement you’re signing. There are four common types of timeshares.
Fixed week timeshares mean that you have access to the specific home, room, or unit during the same week and days each year. There is little flexibility with these types of agreements.
Right To Use
During this type of timeshare, you don’t actually own the property. Instead, you lease it from the owner for a set number of years.
No, this doesn’t mean a timeshare on a boat. A floating agreement means you’re able to choose the week and period of time you want to use the unit. This means more flexibility, but also means fighting over certain time periods with other timeshare holders.
This type of arrangement is similar to a floating timeshare in the sense that you can decide which weeks you want to travel. The perk of a points club is that you have access to a variety of locations. You accrue points, which can be used to reserve time.
2. It’s a Cheaper Vacation Home
One upside to purchasing a timeshare is that you’re only paying for what you use. Unlike a vacation home where you pay the mortgage all year round, you pay for the week or weeks you utilize the property.
3. You Can Share Your Timeshare
Part of the reason this agreement is called a timeshare is because you share it with others. Not only can you try renting this place out to someone during your set week if you don’t plan on using it, but if you’re feeling generous, you can allow friends and family to stay there.
4. Timeshares Are Hard to Sell
Once you invest in a timeshare, you’ll find it pretty tough to back out. Not only are timeshares tough to sell, but used ones are even harder to get off your hands. It might be in your best interest to purchase a used timeshare, if you’re still considering investing in one.
5. Their Riddled with Scams
Yep, if you’ve heard that timeshares can be a scam, you’re right. The most common timeshare scams are called resale scams. These involve telemarketers promising timeshare holders huge profit to rent out their space. The catch? They require holders to pay a one time fee, upfront. Be wary of any phone calls or mail advertisements that seem too good to be true and offer unbelievable perks. A timeshare attorney can help you understand your rights and assist in the recovery of your lost money if you fall victim to a scam.
6. Don’t View a Timeshare as an Investment
That’s right - you’ll likely never turn a profit on a timeshare and may never even recoup your original purchase price upon resale. For this reason, don’t view a timeshare as an investment but instead a lifestyle luxury. If you need to borrow money to purchase your timeshare, it’s probably out of your financial means and you may want to reconsider.
Do Your Research
Now that you know a little bit more about how timeshares work, you can make an informed decision about whether or not its a viable vacation option for you and your family. Like with any major purchase, be sure to read the fine print before signing anything and research the purchase from a variety of angles.