Timeshares, should you – shouldn’t you? Well, if you like to vacation at different places and do not want to get tied down to a particular patch of vacation real estate, a timeshare may be just the thing you need.
Timeshares have fully developed since the early 1960’s but there is still a lot of opinions on both sides of the fence on whether or not they are a good investment. Before committing to one it is always a good idea to try and get several opinions from those family, friends or even strangers that own them to get their advice. In many cases once you commit to a contract you will be tied to that contract forever or take a beating if you try and get rid of it.
What is a timeshare? Wikipedia defines it as “the arrangement whereby several joint owners have the right to use a property as a vacation home under a time-sharing agreement.”
Never look at a time share as an investment. But rather a system or method of:
- Vacation – Many of us need to be forced to take vacations. With a time share you are committing to doing at least one vacation a year.
- Versatility – With the right time share it will allow you to travel almost anywhere in the world with equal or better accommodations.
- Flexibility – Time shares can often be exchanged or transferred through a variety of agencies that have sprung up over the years. You can also list your unit for rent through different agencies although do not expect to make a killing. They also may be liquidated but this often takes time and the owner may take a bath compared to what he paid for it.
We have talked to some people who love the one they own and met many who are ready to liquidate theirs. The key to being happy with a time share is to do your homework upfront so you know exactly what you are purchasing and what it will cost you over time. Every time share we have ever seen has maintenance costs involved even if you pay for the entire price on the sales floor. Most maintenance fees are expected to be paid annually and can get pretty hefty to have to come up with the fee all at one time. Ask friends who have timeshares the pros and cons before taking the leap to buy. Many Timeshare companies will invite you to a free weekend to illustrate how lovely having a beautiful place to vacation every year can be. Timeshares have many perks, no doubt; however, it is highly recommended that you do your homework before getting caught up in the glamour of it all and end up making a hasty and expensive decision to buy.
The bottom line to owning a time share is if you can rationalize the expense and risk of not having to liquidate it in a hurry, it is a great way to spend a vacation. The thing to remember is that time shares have evolved since the early 1960’s but you still need to protect yourself and make darn sure you are getting what you are paying for. Check it out and if all looks well, go for it.
By Jerry Mohr for the 50 Plus Report