Are Timeshares Really As Bad as People Say?
Why You Might Want to Consider a Timeshare
If you love vacationing, you might be wondering whether or not a timeshare vacation is right for you. Many resorts that offer timeshare presentations provide consumers with the opportunity to tour their resorts. In many cases, by simply attending a tour, you can receive a free gift. It’s important to be a responsible consumer and find out as much as you can before attending a timeshare presentation.
When it's a Duck, Call it a Duck
A timeshare presentation is basically a sales presentation, and it is a good idea to know as much as you can about timeshares before attending a presentation. The sales presentation usually includes a high-pressured sales pitch, and you might not be in a good frame of mind to make a sound decision if you don’t do your homework first.
What is a Timeshare?
A timeshare basically provides consumers with vacation property ownership. The timeshare concept originated in Europe more than four decades ago, and it has since gained international popularity. Timeshares are a good choice for some consumers, but not every consumer will benefit or enjoy owning a timeshare.
For a specified down payment and a monthly maintenance fee, timeshare owners are given use of the property for a specified period of time. A timeshare owner can do one of several things with their allotted vacation time. They can use the week (or whatever specified time their contract allows) themselves. They can rent out their week or give it away as a gift. They can also exchange their week to use it at another partnering resort. There are usually additional fees involved with trading a timeshare. Eventually, after you have made all your payments (which can take ten or twenty years), you will own your timeshare completely, although you will still be responsible for the maintenance fees.
You will also have to schedule the week you are going to use your timeshare vacation in advance. If you like flexibility, you might want to avoid a timeshare. If you don’t like being locked into a specific vacation each year, then a timeshare might not be right for you. Certainly, many timeshare owners exercise their transfer option and vacation at a different location every year, but they still are restricted to partnering resorts.
When You Buy, Know Where To Go
If you do want a timeshare and you think one would suit you well, don't buy it from a timeshare company. There are many timeshare owners who want to sell their timeshares, and will usually do so for less than what you would pay the timeshare company for one. Some $13,000 timeshares have been known to sell for $3,000 or $4,000 when being sold privately.
Whether or not a timeshare is right for you ultimately depends on your personality and preferences and those of your family. Some consumers are quite satisfied with their timeshares, while others like the flexibility of unrestrained travel and spontaneous vacations.