How Much Do Timeshares Cost? The Real Vs Perceived Cost
Buying a Timeshare
3 min read
Vacation isn’t cheap.
Everybody knows that a decent vacation requires a little extra dough. In south Florida, for example, average daily travel costs can peak at over 150 dollars per person .
Timeshares seem like the perfect cure to this dilemma. You pay for an allotment of time–usually one week–on a vacation property, while other buyers pay for the rest of the year.
Does it seem too good to be true? Well, it might be. Depending on your situation, a true timeshare cost can be higher than it first seems.
Here’s what you need to know.
The Timeshare Pitch
In certain situations for certain people, a timeshare can be a decent investment.
There are several ways it could work. You could buy a slab of land in a nice place with a big group, co-owning with the group. Or, you could come to an agreement to rent a certain amount of land, while an owner still maintains rights to the plot.
No matter the situation, you’ll generally end up spending one week a year on the property. Hypothetically, the flat rate you pay for several years of vacation time will be cheaper than renting hotel rooms year-in, year-out.
The American Timeshare Craze
Timeshares are big in the US–so big, in fact, that over nine million households also owned a timeshare in 2014. The timeshare momentum has only grown in recent years. You might have heard from your friends, or friends of friends, that a timeshare is a great deal for you.
The timeshare hype has started to dominate the conversation about vacation rentals. If you feel swept up in it, take a step back.
When you look at the whole picture, you’ll see that a true timeshare cost is more than initially meets the eye.
So…What’s the Price?
The initial costs of a timeshare follow a simple formula: payment to rent the property plus a yearly maintenance fee.
Depending on the state, that can mean anywhere from a total of 600 dollars a year to several thousand. On paper, it’s a sensible, affordable way to finance a vacation home.
But reality doesn’t always follow the script. On the one hand, there are scammers out and about . In the great rush of timeshare prospectors, consumers are often pressed to find the best deal they can.
Scammers will promise everything in vague answers to your questions while hiding the ugly truth about their property. You’ll end up stuck in a bad location with limited options.
But even if everything is legally above board, you still could end up with more costs than you bargained for.
The True Cost of Staying Clean
Let’s return to those maintenance fees. You’ll likely start with a flat maintenance fee that holds steady for a few years. But, it’s well within the owner’s right to increase the cleaning fee.
One year, they could raise the cleaning fee by twenty percent. Then they might do it again the next year. And even the next year.
Soon enough, you’ll end up paying double the cleaning fee you signed up for. That hidden cost destroys the “cheap” narrative surrounding timeshares.
And that’s only hidden financial costs.
The Intangible Timeshare Cost
When you initially make a list of timeshare pros and cons , you’ll likely mostly focus on the financial aspects of the deal.
The amount of money you spend on vacation is an important part of the equation. But, it’s not everything you need to think about.
But you should think about the downsides of having a timeshare. First focus on the location of your property.
You might really want to go to a beach house in Florida now. You might even want to go to the same place for a few years. But, after a few trips, any location will lose its appeal.
The Risk of Boredom
You’ll be locked into the same week every year, never seeing the setting in another season. The size of your group will need to stay the same, too.
Will going to the same property in the same location at the same time of year really always appeal to you? Repetition is the antidote to excitement. You’ll start feeling a need to spend your time there, not a desire to.
All of a sudden, your timeshare investment will feel more like a burden than a blessing.
How Does Leaving a Timeshare Work?
If you’ve been considering buying a timeshare, it might be best to just say no . If you’re in the unfortunate position of trying to leave your timeshare, you could feel a squeeze.
The first hurdle to overcome, at least psychologically, is the price you can sell for. Let’s say your initial timeshare cost was five thousand dollars.
In a perfect world, the property value would only increase over time, right? Unfortunately, that’s not how it works with timeshares. The market is over flooded with timeshare sellers, which means the value of current timeshares only drops, usually.
Without the advice of knowledgeable timeshare experts, you’ll end up selling that five thousand dollar property for four thousand, if not less.
Don’t Lawyer up
That’s not to mention the sticky legal work that might need doing if you try to sell your timeshare. You’re involved with a big group, not just you–you need to consider the interests of the other timeshare members before selling your share. Plus, the IRS is very stingy in its treatment of timeshare sellers, regardless of the price.
If that sticky mess seems overwhelming, don’t worry. With the right guidance of experts, you’ll be able to navigate your questions with relative ease.
Consider a Change
If you don’t have a timeshare but are considering purchasing one, think it over. While the shiny benefits seem obvious at first, there’s more to the whole story.
You might already know this if you’re an owner. The hidden timeshare costs can creep up on owners after just a few years, if not months.
Interested in this opportunity to take a load off your shoulders? If you are, we have you covered.
Reach out to us and we can give you the help you need. You’re already closer to better vacations and less stress.
Why not go for it?
How to choose the right company to get me out of my timeshare
We know how stressful timeshare contracts can be. What once sounded like a dream resort package turned into a nightmare. When you don't know where to turn, look to PMG to relieve you of your timeshare burden. We pride ourselves on open, honest, and frequent communication with our clients.
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