The timeshare industry has been taking off with the promise of guaranteed vacations and luxurious real estate properties, but is it really worth the money?
Are you considering joining the over 10 million households in America that own a timeshare? Vacationing is a big part of American culture. Timeshare ownership helps make vacations more cost-effective and memorable.
Given that such a huge number of households have invested, it’s understandable if you’re ready to open your purse. But then you must have heard many timeshare horror stories, which have thrown a spanner in the works.
With so much to consider before signing on the dotted line for an expensive purchase like this one, it’s important for anyone considering buying into a timeshare or vacation club membership to know what they’re getting themselves in for. So, should you believe in the numbers and invest in timeshare real estate? Or is that money better spent elsewhere?
Read on further to find out all you need to know about whether investing in a timeshare property is really worth your hard earned cash!
What Is A Timeshare?
Imagine having the opportunity to own a vacation home in your dream destination, but without the headaches of maintenance and upkeep. This is the appeal of a timeshare. Essentially, a timeshare is a property that is owned by multiple individuals who each have the right to use it for a certain amount of time per year. This allows for the cost of owning a property to be split between the owners, making it more affordable for each individual. It’s like a vacation home without the commitment of actually owning a second property. While there are some downsides to owning a timeshare, such as limited availability for booking and potential financial obligations, many people find them to be a great way to ensure they have a guaranteed vacation spot each year.
The Benefits of Buying a Timeshare
Timeshares are an ideal alternative to vacation homes. If you’re unable to afford a vacation home or don’t want to deal with issues like property maintenance and taxes, a timeshare becomes an attractive prospect.
At a fraction of the cost, you’ll enjoy fractional ownership of a vacation property. Your timeshare contract allows you to use the property only at specific times of the year.
What’s more, you can take the timeshare rental path if you’re not ready for ownership. The advantages of renting a timeshare include cost savings and getting a taste of what it’s like to own a timeshare.
Timeshares can give you access to the most alluring vacation destinations. Many resorts offer timeshare programs.
If you’re constantly struggling to settle on vacation locations, a timeshare will make your life easier. Since you’ll own a piece of property in a fixed location, you can always take your vacations there.
The Downsides of Timeshares
The biggest disadvantage of investing in a timeshare is the lack of flexibility. If you have little control over your vacation schedule, you may buy a timeshare you won’t fully utilize.
For example, if your allocated time is the last week of July, you have to be available to make use of the property. What if this time comes and you find yourself busy with work or school? Yes, you can try and switch your time with another timeshare owner who is available to use the property, but finding them is a real headache in the first place.
Then there is the issue of timeshare contracts. You’d think that canceling your timeshare agreement is as easy as signing up for it. People have been trapped in timeshares they no longer wanted to own.
Although you can avoid this problem by looking for timeshares that have exit clauses drawn into the agreement, it’s easy to be caught napping. Many buyers, especially those buying with the help of timeshare attorneys, don’t comb through the fine print. It’s only after they have bought the timeshare that they notice these hidden clauses.
Investing in Timeshare Real Estate: The Verdict
To protect yourself, it is important to do your due diligence when looking for a timeshare. Find out what other owners are saying about their experiences, and use an attorney who can help you understand the agreement before you sign.
Ask questions, and don’t be afraid to walk away if something doesn’t feel right. It is also important to double-check all of the details so that you understand what will happen if you decide to exit the timeshare in the future. Finally, make sure that you are aware of any fees or penalties associated with exiting a timeshare that could be incurred.
By being aware and taking steps to protect yourself, it is possible for you to enjoy the benefits of timeshare ownership without being taken advantage of.
Investing in timeshare real estate isn’t a bad idea. So many families are enjoying their timeshare ownership, and there is no reason you can’t be one of them. If you’re an avid vacationer, you’ll enjoy the benefits.
There are downsides, sure. However, more often than not, you’ll find yourself on the side of regret if you choose a property that doesn’t suit your needs or if your vacation schedule is unpredictable.
Either way, take your time to make the right decision for you and your family. In the meantime, head over to our Destinations section and start planning your next vacation.