Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Timeshare Pros and Cons

At RedWeek.com, we are in the timeshare business and of course find value in them. In an effort to make consumer more aware of how timeshares work, we have created this list outlining both the pros and cons of timeshare ownership. After reviewing it, you should be able to determine if timeshare ownership is right for you and works well with your lifestyle.

PROS:
  • Long-term Savings
    You pay a one time purchase fee that entitles you to a week every year at a resort. Instead of renting your vacations, you now own them.

  • Home-like Accommodations
    Most timeshare units have floor plans that resemble condos, with an additional sleeper sofa in the living room area, allowing plenty of room for families. Timeshares come stocked with kitchen utensils, dishes, silverware, and laundry amenities that make your vacation more convenient and affordable.

  • Exchange Options
    Exchange is consistently a top reason people buy into timeshare because you can exchange the week you bought for another resort worldwide.

  • Deeded Properties
    Some timeshares are "deeded", which means you are buying real property. You can give it away, will it to your heirs, rent it or sell it as you wish. Not all properties offer this, check with the seller.

  • Guaranteed Vacations
    Americans are notorious for giving up vacation time. When you buy a timeshare, you're making a significant upfront investment and may be more motivated to take time off.

  • Flexibility
    If you cannot use your vacation week one year, you can bank it with exchange, or rent it out. Fees do apply.

  • Cheaper Than A Vacation Home
    Why keep an expensive vacation home that sits vacant during the time you're not there? Timeshares come fully furnished and stocked with appliances and cooking utensils, plates, glasses, cups, and silverware. Plus, you have access to amenities such as gyms, pools, spas, on-site restaurants and bars, tennis courts, child care and activities, golf, and so on.

CONS:
  • Bad Rap
    Some people feel timeshare ownership is unethical and can be a scam, due to hard sales pitches and sneaky techniques by salesmen. Things have changed in recent years as most major companies are now committed to standards of ethics.

  • Same Resort Each Year
    Some people prefer to decide when and where to go each year, in the more traditional methods of travel planning. If you own a week and want to exchange for another resort, your first choice might not be available, depending on the value of the week you own and fees apply to conduct the exchange.

  • Cost vs. Benefit
    Timeshares are valuable in the long-run, but you have to put your money into it up front. If you need to finance the property, you will be paying interest, which needs to be worked in to your calculations to decide the cost versus benefit in your particular situation. A timeshare should not be considered a money-making investment.

  • Reselling
    If you ever needed to resell, there may not be a buyer waiting at the time you are ready to sell. In addition, some developers include clauses into timeshare purchase contracts that may restrict your ability to sell on your own.

  • After Purchase Fees
    In addition to the price you paid for the property, you’ll also have to pay maintenance fees cover the grounds and housekeeping services, utilities, insurance, on-site management, facilities upkeep, etc….
    Assessment fees happen in special cases where something at the resort needs to be fixed, and the cost exceeds the maintenance fee reserves.
If you have never been to a timeshare resort before, browse RedWeek.com and rent a timeshare first. This will allow you to get a feel for the accommodations and help you determine whether a timeshare purchase is right for you. While you're at the resort, speak with owners about their experiences. If you decide to purchase, check out the timeshare resale deals on RedWeek.com and save money over buying retail from the developer. If you do decide timeshare ownership is right for you, just know that you are joining a very happy bunch of vacationers.

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