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Have you been presented with a seemingly inexpensive timeshare deal? Click here to learn why you shouldn’t be fooled by cheap timeshares.
Have you ever had someone try to sell you something solely on the basis of how cheap it was? A lot of folks have.
Maybe you’ve walked down the street in your city and noticed sellers hawking $5.00 watches. Would you buy a knockoff item simply because it was inexpensive?
Probably not, right?
You should treat the idea of cheap timeshares the same way. Frankly, inexpensive timeshares don’t exist.
If you believe you’ve happened to stumble onto one, beware. It’s quite likely the quality of the property and service (or both) will be like the knockoff watch you walked right by.
Read on, and we’ll investigate exactly why you shouldn’t fall for the prospect of cheap timeshares.
What is a Timeshare?
For the unacquainted, a timeshare is a way of owning a vacation or piece of property. It’s a form of fractional ownership in which, much like it sounds, you own a fraction of the piece of property or vacation time.
There are two primary types of timeshare options for purchase. These are right-to-use and deeded timeshares.
In a right-to-use (RTU) timeshare, you are purchasing (quite literally) the right to use the timeshare for a specified period of time each year during the length of your contract. Whether you purchase enough time for one or two weeks a year, you’re always guaranteed the same amount of time per year in your timeshare.
Deeded timeshares, however, are a different beast entirely. When you purchase a deeded timeshare, it’s essentially the same thing as purchasing any other piece of legally bound real estate property .
For a quick example, it’s like purchasing a house. The contracts for deeded timeshares are almost always lifelong. Unless you are okay with owning to your timeshare for life, opting for an RTU is the lesser of two evils.
How Do Timeshares Work?
As mentioned above, you can buy a single week per year, or many weeks, depending upon what the timeshare company allows. With your purchase, you’re entitled to stay in your timeshare for the amount of time you’re allocated every year.
If the idea of staying at the same place for vacation each year sounds like it might get old in no time, we understand. There are other options. For instance, if you are not using your timeshare one year, you could rent it out, or exchange it for a vacation in a different destination.
Yet, as nice as a guaranteed vacation might sound, there are many drawbacks of purchasing a timeshare. Continue reading, and we’ll go into a bit more detail on some of them.
A Long List of Cons
While timeshares do have some benefits, we’re quite certain that in this instance, the cons outweigh the pros.
Sure, you’ll get a guaranteed vacation to the destination you chose. (No one coerced you into purchasing a timeshare, after all.) Your timeshare is probably nicer and features more amenities than the average hotel room.
What’s also important to bear in mind, though, is how difficult it can be to get out of a lifelong timeshare contract. Many people consider this to be the primary con of timeshare ownership. If you own a deeded timeshare, even death will not relieve you of the financial burden or contract.
Instead, the deed will transfer to someone else in your family, leaving them with the burden, and no one wants that.
Another huge con of owning a timeshare is the fact that you have no control over who uses it when you’re not there. You won’t get any say in who else owns the timeshare. You usually don’t even have the option of choosing exactly what week or weeks you’ll get to stay in it.
Don’t Fall for Cheap Timeshares
Sure, if you look around online, you can find timeshares which are selling for as little as $1. Seriously, only $1! But, even at this supposed “cheap” price, your timeshare is still going to cost you. As such, finding truly cheap timeshares is highly improbable.
You see, there are many different types of fees associated specifically with timeshares.
The first of these are maintenance fees. The maintenance fees on your timeshare are mandatory. You’ll need to pay them regardless of whether you are staying in your timeshare on any given year or not. Take a look at this post on our blog for more information on the many fees associated with owning a timeshare.
Other fees you’ll owe if you buy a timeshare are mortgage fees and any applicable brokerage fees. These, in addition to costly (and most likely, continuously rising) maintenance fees, are sure to throw any vision of cheap timeshares you may have right out the window.
If you come across a supposedly inexpensive timeshare option, whether new or used, don’t fall for it. Be aware that there are often hidden fees, and that you’ll need to be accountable for them no matter what. This means whether you actually use the timeshare, or not.
No one wants to pay for something they’re not even using. Understand this, and you’ll be much more likely to avoid falling into what could be a lifelong trap which could be very hard to move on from.
If You Must, Consider a Timeshare Rental
If you’re still drawn to the idea of a timeshare, we would recommend looking into renting a timeshare as opposed to purchasing either a new or used one.
If you rent, you’ll only need to pay the maintenance fees you would pay every year if you owned the timeshare. You’re also not locked into a lifelong contract, so there is a lesser amount of risk involved, and you’ll still get to enjoy what few benefits of a timeshare there are.
As we’ve learned, there are many different options when it comes to purchasing, renting, or exchanging timeshares.
If for whatever reason, you have found yourself tied to a deeded timeshare with a contract you’re unable to extricate yourself from, we’re here for you. Please don’t hesitate to contact us to schedule a free timeshare exit consultation. We’re here to help you get out of it — alive!