The Timeshare Trap: 5 Facts and 5 Fibs on Timeshares

Time shares might sound like a great idea. You pay a little bit to “own” part of a getaway, and you can go there during the week or two that you’ve reserved as part of your ownership. However, time shares are often not what they appear.

Fib #1. Time Shares are a Good Investment

Fact: Time shares are not an investment at all, in the traditional sense. One does not own a time share as they might a house, though someone still has to pay all of the fees to keep and maintain the location. It’s more like paying a rental fee to use a place than it is making an investment. If someone hopes to make money off of a time share, then that person is going to be disappointed more often than not since these properties can end up being quite costly.

Fib #2: Time Shares are Easy to Sell

Fact: Time shares are very difficult to offload once someone finds him or herself stuck with one. If someone has a time share, and then decides that he or she no longer wants to be responsible for this investment, it’s very difficult to offload the time share onto someone else.

Fib #3: Time Shares are Inexpensive For the Property One Gets

Fact: Time shares always cost more than they might seem to up front. The reason for this is because there is more to a time share than the cost to reserve the amount of time one gets. There’s the property upkeep costs, taxes, travel to the location, closing fees, and a number of other costs and fees that have to be paid regularly.

On the one hand, it’s true that a time share property as a whole typically costs more than any one individual participating could pay for. On the other hand, the deal that time shares are presented as looks significantly less attractive once someone is made aware of all the fees, costs, and upkeep necessary just to use the property for a week or two out of the year.

Fib #4: It’s a Better Idea to Buy New Time Shares Than Older Ones

Fact: This is a question of initial value versus cost. Newer time shares cost more money because they’re fresh from a hotel or resort that sold it, but they lose their value faster than nearly any other kind of property on the market. That means that what was a good value when it was purchased might be worth practically nothing when it comes time to sell it. Older time shares still have good locations and exotic vacation homes, but they are cheaper to purchase for individuals who simply want a location to go in order to get away for a while.

Fib #5: Time Shares are Always Well Taken Care Of

Fact: Time shares are a lot like hotel rooms; there’s rarely much personalization or pride that comes with the location. Upkeep is often left to staff, and it may decline sharply.

3 Responses to The Timeshare Trap: 5 Facts and 5 Fibs on Timeshares

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