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Timeshare vacations have been trending for quite a while. It doesn’t seem to be slowing, either. The American Resort Development Association reports that timeshare revenue increased to $9.2 billion in 2017, a 7% increase from the previous year.
It’s no surprise that timeshare vacations are so popular. Everyone loves a good deal. Good things become infinitely better when they’re cheap or free.
The saying “too good to be true” is a cliche for a reason. When something seems too good to be true it often is. There are pros and cons to timeshares.
Let’s delve in and learn a bit more to find out if timeshare vacations are really as inexpensive as they claim to be.
We’ll begin by defining what a timeshare is. We’ll also look at how they work. These will help give a clearer understanding of how much your timeshare is actually going to cost you.
The timeshare investor is able to reserve any week during a prescribed period of the year. This is one of the most flexible timeshare situations one can have. It’s not uncommon for things to get booked up during popular seasons, however.
This is one of the most common types of timeshare vacations. The investor gets the same week of the year for their timeshare. This also starts to show some of the difficulties that timeshares can raise as there are no guarantees a timeshare holder will get the same week for vacation every year.
This is one of the most stable timeshare configurations. The timeshare holder leases a property for a set period of time. They can use it however often they like during that period.
The developer still owns the rights to the property during the timeshare period, however.
The accumulated points timeshare model is similar to the floating week setup. Timeshare holders are able to stay at qualifying locations during set periods based on how many points they have.
Now let’s learn about some of the hidden fees that are common with timeshares. This will help give you an idea of what to look for when assessing the true cost of timeshare vacations.
Timeshare vacations come in many shapes and sizes. The size and shape of that timeshare will have a great bearing on how much it costs.
The average cost of a new timeshare is around $10,000. That price can vary by a few thousand dollars in either direction. A used timeshare can cost as little as $1,500.
That’s just the purchase price, however. Timeshares almost always have annual maintenance fees. A common range is $300 to $400 a year. Popular timeshare resorts can have significantly higher maintenance fees, however.
Certain resorts don’t cover property taxes, either. There’s one more unexpected expense coming to light.
Resorts are also able to tack on transfer fees and recording fees. These can become quite costly as the resort is able to charge timeshare holders for expensive repairs or upgrades, even if they don’t want them. Assessment fees are also common.
As you can see, it doesn’t take long for timeshare vacations to become more expensive than you were initially planning on.
Another reason for the popularity of timeshare vacations is they’re considered an investment opportunity. Timeshares can be great for when you want to get out of town, on the cheap. They can be less-than-great investments, however.
Reselling a timeshare is notoriously difficult. Those that attempt to do so almost always end up selling their timeshare for far less than what they paid for it. Timeshares have become an even riskier investment as people have been running scams around illegitimate timeshares.
If you do end up taking a loss on your timeshare investment you won’t be able to write it off on your taxes, as an additional drawback. The Internal Revenue Service has different rules and regulations for timeshares than other property and real estate investments.
Vacations at timeshare locations can be great when they’re handled correctly. Otherwise, they just become an unnecessary, unexpected expense. Here are a few tips for making the most of your timeshare.
Once you factor in all of the hidden costs, a timeshare might not end up being that much cheaper than a regular vacation. It can have more subtle advantages, however.
Having a timeshare might encourage you to travel more regularly. Or, it could help you plan a regular trip for you and your loved ones. Timeshares work best when they’re considered a way to increase enjoyment rather than revenue.
It’s always tempting to make plans based on who we want to be. To make the most of your timeshare you need to plan around the person you are.
Think about when you most often get time off of work. Think about the schedules of who you’ll be traveling with, as well. All of these things factor into whether you’ll get your money’s worth out of your timeshare investment.
A timeshare vacation can be a wonderful addition to your life when you go about it correctly. It can also be a huge money sink if you’re not prepared.
Real estate agents selling timeshare properties are not always the most honest and ethical people on the planet. Sometimes they can say or do unscrupulous things to get you to sign on the bottom line. Luckily, there are things you can do when that situation arises.
Timeshares can be full of hidden expenses. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation. Let us help you get out of your timeshare contract if you need to!