There are both positive and negative aspects to owning a Timeshare.
Salespeople will emphasize every positive aspect of Timeshare ownership, and sometimes exaggerate those aspects in ways that later prove to be false or misleading.
Timeshare salespeople have developed an unsavory reputation for manipulative and high-pressure sales tactics, similar to those traditionally associated with used car salespeople. In order to decide whether Timeshare ownership is right for you, it is important to consider all aspects.
What are the advantages to owning a Timeshare?
There are several advantages of owning a Timeshare:
Owners, having only a partial interest in a Timeshare property, can enjoy the benefits of a high-end ‘vacation home’ without having to purchase an expensive property.
Owners of a Deeded Timeshare have a guaranteed destination for a vacation, and won’t have to worry about the property being fully booked.
Owners can share or give their Timeshare to relatives and friends, and, depending on the timeshare company and its policies, may be able to rent their timeshare interest to other people for profit.
Timeshare resort properties are often located in desirable areas and close to particular attractions, such as Walt Disney World or the Las Vegas Strip.
Maintenance of the property is handled by the Timeshare resort.
What are the disadvantages of owning a Timeshare?
On the other hand, there are also many disadvantages to Timeshare ownership:
Timeshare owners are expected to pay maintenance fees every year, whether or not they use their Timeshare in that particular year.
Owners often encounter difficulty when trying to sell or divest their Timeshare.
Some Timeshare companies refuse to take back Timeshare interests, or put restrictions on resale that many owners cannot meet.
With many Timeshares currently on the resale market, there is limited demand and the value of a Timeshare interest tends to decrease increase over time.
Some Timeshare companies impose limitations on where and when owners can take a vacation.
Even points-based membership programs – which are designed to give owners more variety in locations – will have very limited availability at popular locations, or sometimes require owners to pay additional fees in order to get their desired destination.
For owners of Deeded Timeshares, it can be difficult to trade their Timeshare to owners of Timeshares at other locations.
Owners will experience losses for failing to pay required maintenance fees. The resort can then foreclose on the Timeshare interest.
Because the value has decreased since the date of purchase, the resort can then make a claim for the shortfall between what was owed and the resale value.
Many Timeshare companies impose restrictions on use that prohibit or heavily discourage renting out the Timeshare to a third party.
Reserving a vacation with a Timeshare can be difficult. While the salespeople claim the Timeshare is easy to use, the reality is often a difficult process with restrictions or unstated deadlines.
If a vacationer is not looking to stay at a particular resort, renting at a smaller resort can be less expensive. The price for a hotel stay may be higher, but the vacationer only pays for that particular stay. Salespeople may tell prospective buyers that the cost per stay is lower with a Timeshare than with a hotel, but what they don’t factor in is the additional costs (i.e. maintenance fees, property taxes) that owners of Timeshares have to pay.