3 Things You Will Never Learn at a Timeshare Presentation

On the surface, investing in a timeshare seems like a good idea. For a few thousand dollars, you get a yearly allotment of guaranteed time (usually a week) to spend at a luxury resort. Most salespeople usually emphasize the potential savings on future vacations. Some even portray timeshares as sound financial investments with long term rental or high resale values. The truth is that investing in a timeshare could be the biggest mistake you ever make.

Having a guaranteed week at a luxury resort sounds wonderful until you try to use your vacation time. Both fixed week and floating week timeshare owners are shocked to find out how difficult it is to use their timeshare when they want to. Although fixed week timeshares guarantees your unit on specific dates of the year, you may end up in an undesirable time slot. Or worse, you may be unable to take a vacation during your assigned time and end up missing out altogether.

Floating week timeshares allow you use your days at anytime of the year. However, if you are trying to take a vacation during a time of the year when a lot of other people are traveling as well, then getting the dates you want can be problematic.

Another downside to timeshares is the yearly maintenance fees. Although you own your timeshare outright, you do have to contribute money to the resort’s upkeep. These fees range from a few hundred to several thousands of dollars a year and the costs continue to increase during the life of your ownership. So even if you do shave $1000 off your vacation by not needing to rent a hotel room, if your maintenance fees are a $1000 a year, then you are really only breaking even.

Lastly, and most importantly, the resale value of a timeshare is very similar to that of a vehicle; it declines with age. The timeshare market is both saturated and depressed. Add to that the fact that timeshares are no longer an exclusive commodity and you have the perfect recipe for a failed investment. The Wisconsin Consumer Protection Agency recently reported that in the last 25 years, only about 3% of owners were able to resell their timeshares.

Anyway, you look at it, investing in a timeshare is not a smart move. If you really want to save money on your vacation, make effective use of the many travel discount websites available online. You’ll still have a fabulous vacation without the headaches of timeshare ownership.

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