So, Let’s consider: Some reasons to avoid Timeshares – 2021 Update – The Revenge of all the FEE$…
I first wrote this a long time ago, and it’s been a while since I’ve done more with my time share than pay the annual Maintenance FEE… So, when I decided to use it for a week’s vacation this year, I totaled up all the FEE$ I had to pay and I got some major FEE Sticker shock.
First there’s the “annual maintenance FEE” which for me is now just shy of $1000. They never said it would get anywhere near this high when I was buying. Then there’s the Membership FEE that you have to pay to be part of an organization like “Interval” that allows you to “exchange” and actually use your time share. Uh, that FEE is just shy of $200 per year. Then when I went to “exchange” my timeshare, I got socked with yet another “exchange FEE” of just shy of $200. So far, my housing costs for this week away is just shy of $1400. And, I’m expecting a “resort FEE” to be assessed when I finally get to the place…it’s happened too many times in the past.
Now, I don’t know about you, but $1400 buys a helluva lot of really nice hotel time, where ever I want it, generally with breakfast (and at no additional FEE)…. SO, when you’re listening to some grease ball telling you how great his timeshare office is, you may want to think again…
And, I’m again reminded of what I originally wrote, long ago…
OK so we’ve all heard of them. Frankly you can’t go on a decent vacation to any resort and not have some high pressure attempt to sell you one. Usually for free tickets to some tourist trap or another, and OH, if your spouse is with you they MUST attend with you…it’s all part of the high reassure sales scheme to snooker you into buying one….yupo, I’m talking about…a timeshare.
The schemes have changed over the years. You used to have deeded property, now you buy “points” or whatever, depending on what the scheme, uh, plan, actually is that’s being pitched.
You’ll be told perhaps as many have been in the past that they’re “GREAT investments…”, “you can pass them along to your family…”, “they’re going to increase in value…” and any of many other lines designed to make you fork over a lot of dough for some expensive stuff.
For starters, it’s not an investment. You should never even think of it as an investment – regardless of what the sales people tell you. The resale market for timeshares is incredibly illiquid and it’s doubtful you’d find a buyer, much less one that’s willing to pay you what you paid for it, and forget making any profit. There are however any number of organizations willing to take your timeshare off your hands…for a hefty fee… Also forget the idea of being able to “trade up” at some later date…the only way you’re going to be able to trade “up” is if you pay a hefty fee for the honor.
Are you SURE you want to go to the same venu each and every year? Really? What about logistic issues getting to and from your venu? Keep in mind, you’re totally locked in to a set time when you have access to your property. Depending on your contract you may be able to rent or trade your unit, but that’s something to read in the fine print. For some you have to play the points game, and that presumes that you even have it all figured out!
What if your schedule changes or some event happens that you can’t take your vacation that week? You’re screwed. Some let you “bank” your weeks and trade them, some don’t and some totally depend on the points system…again, caveat emptor and read the fine print.
Finally there’s those ever rising “maintenance fees” that they really either don’t talk much about when you’re buying or they downplay the hell out of. Trust me, they WILL INCREASE. They WILL get expensive. You will NOT be able to do anything about it. You’re contractually locked in to having to pay whatever they tell you that your assessment is. And, frankly when you do the math on how many units your place has, at 52 weeks a year times what you’re paying for your week’s maintenance fees…you’re going to quickly realize that someone’s really making a lot of dough, and it’s NOT you.
If you want to get a free set of tickets to some expensive vacation park, ok, go for the sales pitch, but, don’t fall for the pitch, regardless of how much they browbeat you, bitch, moan, pressure you, etc. Make sure you think LOGICALLY and do the financial math before you even think of this stuff. And don’t fall for that “this is a special price for right now only” line of crap. If they REALLY WANT your sale, they’ll sell to you at that price today or next week. They’re all commission sales based…and there’s always more than one person selling these things…
I’m Don Rima and that’s the view From Where I Stand.