What is a Timeshare?

3:51 AM Posted by Admin

You've seen them and you've heard about them and now your curiosity has got the better of you and now you want to know the truth behind them. But are you ready for the truth?

Ok, so what is a timeshare?

Let me give you the simplest explanation and get down to the dirty details later.

A timeshare is where you're paying for time in a vacation community like a resort. You may have one or two weeks once a year or every other year.

Now, that's the short answer. Now what's probably crossing your mind is why timeshares get such a bad rap.

The Deeper Explanation of What is a Timeshare

This is where it starts to get interesting. Let me explain...

Timeshares are vacation developments built by such well-known companies as Wyndham, Marriott, and Disney. Vacationers buy time into these developments usually at a timeshare presentation. The average price range of a timeshare is about $16k plus yearly maintenance fees.

The timeshare you buy may include one or more properties. In order to get more vacation properties, or better destinations, you'll have to pay more.

Points are used where you can exchange them for various destinations that are outside of your original properties and/or time frame.

Are You Really Saving Money?

This is the loaded question.

Here's what I mean...

Now when you go to these timeshare presentations, you're going to feel a bit out of your element and even a little bit intimidated. Sometimes they use a little (or a lot) of pressure on you to buy into their timeshare right then and there – there is no “I'll think about it later”...

The timeshare salespeople may even compare your costs of staying at a hotel and eating out vs buying into a timeshare and having home cooked meals. If you've ever been to one of these presentations, then you're probably nodding your head because you know the whole comparison spiel.

Now don't get me wrong, if you add up the costs of staying in a hotel, buying food, going out and paying for entertainment,etc... you may be saving some money by buying into their timeshare. Did you notice the emphasis on the word “may”?

However, if you're the kind of person who's looking for a place to just lay your head and don't need the amenities a resort has, then a hotel is the right fit for you – not a timeshare. In fact, if you bought a timeshare you would be losing money not saving any.

So, if you're sitting there in the timeshare presentation getting pitched, remember that you have to come out on the winning end. Don't let them tell you the way you should be vacationing and how much you spend every year on your vacations.

First of all, they don't know you. Second of all, you should know your own numbers – you should know how much you spend every year on vacations.

Now, if this seems like the salespeople are trying to talk you into a timeshare – well, you would be right. This is why a lot of people succumb to the pressure the tactics and sign on the dotted line right then and there...only to have buyer's remorse when they return home.

If you think this is where timeshares get a bad rap, well, you're halfway right.

But there's more...

Even a Hungry Man Wouldn't Eat

Let's go through a typical scenario...

So you decided to buy the timeshare and actually do use it a few times but then your life isn't so flexible as it once was.

You cant always get the vacation time off from work to use your timeshare and so some years you don't even use it but you still have to pay those maintenance fees. There are even times where you can't even book a room because everything is filled up already for the dates that you want.

Then there may be times where you want a better destination but you don't have enough points and/or the points exchanging system is so convoluted and confusing you don't want to even bother.

Add on to the fact that you begin to notice that your maintenance fees keep getting higher and higher every year even though you're not getting more destinations added to your timeshare portfolio.

Now you're growing more and more disillusioned with your timeshare and you've had enough and you're ready to get rid of the darn thing. That should be easy – right?

But here's the problem...

Timeshares aren't worth anything...in the end

It's hard getting anyone to buy your timeshare for any price close to what you paid for it. In fact, you’ll likely get pennies on the dollar for what you paid for it – if you can find a buyer. 

Some timeshare owners think that they can just walk away from it, but in reality you still owe the maintenance fees and whatever else you owe on your timeshare. You'll get turned over to collections and you'll get your credit dinged.

Some owners think that they can give it to a charity but a lot of charities don’t want them because it's not worth the extra costs and headaches.

If you think that you can will it away, well you can, however, make sure your heirs want it, if not you're leaving them with a burden that depreciates, but yet has rising maintenance fees year after year.

What about those resale companies – are they legit?

Some are, but many are not.

By now you can see how a timeshare can unravel and lead to a lot of financial woes and sleepless nights for its owners that decide they don't want it anymore.

So, now you know the reasons for the bad rap in timeshares. Now, keep in mind there are people who have good experiences with timeshares and are happy about their decision to buy into one. It's when you decide to get rid of your timeshare that things start to go downhill for you.

So, Should You Buy?

Timeshares have advantages over your average hotel room. However, if you're fine spending your vacations staying at a hotel room then why put out the extra money for a timeshare and get locked into a binding contract?

But if you're one of those people who enjoy all the amenities that come with resort vacationing, then a buying a timeshare retail is one way to go but it's not the only way. There's the resale market where you can buy a timeshare for a lot less than if bought directly retail.

However, you still are going to have to pay those rising maintenance fees and be stuck with all the unpleasantness the original owner had.

A Better Alternative to Timeshares

The next timeshare alternative is to get a real vacation club – one that has prime resort vacations that you can enjoy for a small fraction of what you 'd pay for a timeshare.

Vacation clubs have become the inside secret of savvy travelers who want all the perks of a resort vacation lifestyle without the financial burden of a timeshare.

What is a timeshare?

For some people a piece of mind, but for many others a nightmare that never ends.

I recommend this vacation club. Over 20 years of happy travelers and...counting!


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