Timeshares are a popular way to vacation and for a good reason. They offer the convenience of having a set place to stay each time you go on vacation as well as the opportunity to travel to different places all over the world. However, before you purchase a timeshare, you should know a few things. In this article, we'll outline some tips for buying a timeshare so that you can make an informed decision about whether or not this type of property is right for you.
What Exactly Is a Timeshare?
A timeshare (or vacation ownership) is a property shared by multiple people. Usually, each person owns a certain number of weeks each year, and they can use the property for that period. Timeshares can be found worldwide, and there are many different types to choose from. You can buy a timeshare directly from the owner or purchase one through a timeshare company.
A resale timeshare is simply a timeshare that has been sold by owners who no longer wish to use their vacation ownership. When you buy a timeshare resale, you can save a significant amount of money on your own because timeshares rarely increase in value. This means that you can take a vacation every year with your family and create lasting experiences for considerably less money.
How Does a Timeshare Work?
A timeshare is a property divided into intervals of time, typically a week each, and sold to different owners. Timeshares can be located in popular tourist destinations worldwide, or they can be purchased as a second home. When you buy a timeshare, you accept the right to use the property for a certain amount of time each year. Timeshares are typically based on one of the three schemes listed below:
This is the most common type of timeshare, and it means that you own a specific week each year that you can use. The property ownership is shared among all the owners and they all have the same entitlement to use it during their chosen week.
A floating week timeshare gives you the freedom to use your week at any time during the year, subject to availability. This can be a great option if you want more flexibility when traveling. However, it's important to note that you may not have your preferred dates available each year.
Based on parameters such as resort location, size of vacation property, and period of availability, the points system uses points that represent timeshare ownership. To enable timeshare exchanges, resort developers employ points, which can be used either within their resorts or with other alternatives. While the points system gives consumers a greater variety of holiday options, there is a significant difference between the points assigned to various vacation resorts.
Several Types of Timeshare Ownership
If you consider purchasing a timeshare, there are several types to choose from. Which type should you buy? It depends on your personal preferences and lifestyle.
One type of timeshare is deeded ownership. Deeded ownership means that you have a specific week each year that you can use, and you also have an ownership stake in the property.
Another type of timeshare is the right-to-use (RTU) timeshare. With this type, you don't own any specific week, but you do have the right to use a timeshare unit for a certain number of days each year.
Finally, there is fractional ownership. This type is a bit more complicated as you are essentially splitting the cost of the property with other people. You don't necessarily have to use the property simultaneously with the other shareholders, but you do need to make arrangements with them if you want to use it.
Pros and Cons of Timeshare Ownership
Timeshares have been around for a long time, and there are pros and cons to owning one. Let's take a look at some of the pros first.
You have access to a property in some of the most desirable locations in the world.
You can usually use the property for more than one week per year.
The cost of owning a timeshare is often lower than renting a comparable property for the same amount of time.
You can often get discounts on airfare, car rentals, and other travel-related expenses.
There is usually a maintenance fee associated with timeshares. This fee can be pretty expensive, depending on the location and size of the property.
The resale market for timeshares can be quite saturated, so it may be challenging to sell your share if you decide to do so.
It can be challenging to find someone to take over your ownership share if you cannot use it.
You may not always have access to the property if someone else is using it at the same time you are.
As you can see, there are both pros and cons to owning a timeshare. It's essential to weigh the pros and cons and decide what is right for you.
Tips for Buying a Timeshare
Now that you know more about timeshares, here are some tips for buying one.
1. Do Your Research
It's essential to learn as much as you can about the different types of timeshares and their affiliated resorts. This way, you can make an informed decision about which one is right for you.
2. Consider Your Budget
Be sure to factor in the cost of owning a timeshare, including maintenance fees and any other associated costs. Don't forget to budget for travel expenses, as you may get discounts on them if you are a timeshare owner.
3. Think About Your Travel Habits
Are you someone who likes to travel during the busy summer season, or do you prefer to go during the off-season? By thinking about your travel habits, you can narrow down the list of timeshares that are a good fit for you.
4. Ask Questions
Don't be afraid to ask the resort or salesperson any questions you have about the timeshare. This is a necessary purchase, so you want to be sure you have all the information you need before deciding.
5. Get a Copy of the Contract
When you're ready to buy, be sure to get a copy of the contract and read through it carefully. If there are any terms or conditions that you don't understand, ask the salesperson to explain them to you.
6. Take Your Time
Don't feel pressured into making a decision right away. It would help if you took the time to think about it and discuss it with your family or friends. Buying a timeshare is a big commitment, so you want to be sure you're making the right choice.
7. Ask For a Refund Policy
In case you change your mind after buying a timeshare, be sure to ask for a refund policy. Most resorts will have a cancellation policy, but it's best to know what it is before you buy.
8. Use a Reputable Company
When buying a timeshare, it's essential to use a reputable company. There are a lot of scams out there, so do your homework and make sure you're dealing with a reputable company.
9. Be Aware of Scams
Unfortunately, some scam artists out there prey on people looking to buy a timeshare. Be wary of anyone who asks for money upfront or tries to rush you into making a decision.
How To Buy a Timeshare
Choosing to acquire a timeshare is a straightforward process and finding a property that you like is even easier. You can make an offer online or you can work with one of our agents to complete a purchase. The majority of the time, buyers are responsible for closing fees, but this can be negotiated. The number of points remaining in the owner's Use Year, or how long you will have to wait until you can use the ownership, is another factor to keep an eye out for. When it comes time to purchase a home, this can be an effective negotiating strategy.
Benefits of Owning a Timeshare
There are many reasons why timeshares might be a good vacation option for people. A timeshare purchase may be a good option if you vacation at the same resort year after year for the same one to two-week period. This will allow you to own a property you enjoy without incurring the exorbitant costs of owning a home.
As a bonus, timeshares provide the security of knowing exactly what you'll get each year, without the trouble of researching, reserving, and renting accommodations and without the worry that your preferred place to stay will be unavailable. Your time has a monetary worth, as well.
In addition, some timeshares include benefits such as access to fitness centers and hot springs, among other things. On-site storage is available at some establishments, allowing you to conveniently store equipment such as your surfboard or snowboard without having to worry about lugging them back and forth.
Furthermore, the fact that you may not be able to use your timeshare every year does not rule out the possibility of enjoying it while you have it. Many owners take pleasure in regularly lending out their weeks to friends or relatives. Some people donate their timeshare weeks, for example, as a silent auction item at a charity function.
Is a Timeshare a Good Investment?
The short answer is, it depends. Much like stocks and real estate, the value of a timeshare can go up or down. If you purchase a timeshare from an owner, for example, and that owner decides to sell, later on, you might find that you don't get as much money for your investment as you would have if you'd waited.
It's also important to remember that you cannot always use your timeshare when you want to. You may have to wait until the following year, or even longer, to get the week you wish to at the resort of your choice. If you cannot travel during the time you own the property, it's not going to do you much good.
On the other hand, if you can travel when the timeshare is available to you, and if the market is correct, then your timeshare could be a very lucrative investment. You could quickly sell it for more than you paid for it, especially if you find a buyer who wants to use it at the same time you do.
As with any investment, it is essential to do your homework and understand all of the risks and rewards before deciding.
Q: What is the average price of a timeshare?
A: According to 2019 data from the American Resort Development Association (ARDA), the average price of a timeshare is $22,942 per interval.
This price varies depending on the location and size of the property.
Q: How many points do I need to reserve a week?
A: This depends on the resort and the season. Some alternatives require more points than others, and during high-demand seasons, such as Christmas or Spring Break, you may need more points than usual.
Q: Can I live in my timeshare?
A: No, timeshares are for vacations only. You cannot live in them full-time.
Q: Are timeshares illegal?
A: No, timeshares are not illegal. They are a legal way to own a piece of property.
Q: Are there any fees that come with owning a timeshare?
A: Yes, there are annual fees associated with owning a timeshare. These fees vary depending on the size and location of the property.
Timeshares are a unique way to own property, and they can be an excellent investment if you understand the risks and rewards involved. Do your homework before you buy, and make sure you know all the associated costs. If you're still unsure, talk to someone who has experience with timeshares or resale timeshares to get their advice.
Whether you're looking for a place to stay on your next vacation or you're interested in investing, knowing the facts about timeshares is an excellent place to start. With so many resorts and locations to choose from, there's sure to be one that's perfect for you.