Tips on Buying a Timeshare

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Timeshares are a great way to enjoy luxurious accommodations in an ideal location. There are hundreds of thousands of timeshare properties spread out in resorts in over 100 countries in the world. It’s a small but steadily growing segment of the tourist industry.

And now you want in. Outlined below are some tips of the trade to ensure that you get the timeshare of your dreams.

Are you on board?
First and foremost, make sure that a timeshare is the right option for you. A timeshare provides security and is perfect for one-week family vacations. If you don’t like visiting the same place twice, taking long trips, or you are a spontaneous traveler, a timeshare is not a good fit.

Understanding how it works
Timeshares have evolved from the one-week-per-year standard format. Now there are many variations. You can buy into points-based programs for more flexibility in location or go in fractional ownership at a higher expense, but with longer timeframes and more luxurious amenities.

Make sure you also know about the following:

Deeded vs. Non-deeded. Deeded means you own the title to a small part of the property. Non-deeded gives you the right to use the timeshare for a specific period of time. It’s more like leasing a property. This is important to note when the time comes to transfer or sell it.

Fixed vs. Floating. Fixed means you’re guaranteed the same week every year. Floating is when you can reserve a week during a particular season.

Location is key
Location is key to the amount of flexibility and enjoyment you will get out of your timeshare. When purchasing one, make sure it’s in one of your favorite places and will be a destination that you’ll want to visit year after year. If you’re hoping for a timeshare that you can exchange with to visit different locales, make sure you own in an area that has high, constant, global demand.

Research
The average cost of a two-bedroom timeshare is between $15,000 to $20,000. Before deciding to purchase a timeshare, calculate the amount that you spend on a hotel during vacation, multiply by 10 years and compare it to the cost of the timeshare. Be aware of any and all additional expenses, including maintenance fees and property taxes. Look into the Resort Management Association for information on how to eliminate maintenance fees and other hidden charges.

Make sure that financially it is a smart decision. Do be aware that while you may be able to resell the timeshare, often you receive about half of what you paid. It’s similar to taking a new car off the lot. Timeshares are not real estate investments, but rather an investment in your future holidays. Timeshares, if used consistently every year, can pay for themselves in about 15 years.

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