Florida Time Share Pitfalls

We are currently in the midst of trying to sell our Orlando timeshare. It is a beautiful two bedroom with large Roman tub in the master bath, during week 27, which usually falls on the 4th of July. We have had had it since July 2000. It is within five minutes of Universal Studios. It accomodates up to 8 people. We have enjoyed it almost every year, but we got tired of vacationing in Orlando. Also, our family members, who we wanted to share the timeshare with, somehow never made it up.

Add this caviat and we are desperate now to sell: the maintenance fees are not locked in when you purchase – they go up every year – (something they dont tell you when you they wine and dine you). Maintenance and taxes started at $400/year and now they are at $700/year.

Here’s the skinny on selling timeshares:

It’s impossible! Online timeshare brokers will take your money gladly, and not sell a one! Why is that? Because no one buys a timeshare on-line or from a newspaper ad. Its that simple. People need to be coaxed with freebie weekends into buying a timeshare. Its the nature of the beast. “Timeshares Only” charged $400 to list our property. We share space with thousands of other timeshare owners desperate to sell. If someone is looking for a cheap timeshare to purchase (talking as low as $1200 for a prime timeshare) I would start with “Timeshare Only,” and not purchase direct from any timeshare companies. Owners on this site are DESPERATE to sell, especially us!

Here’s another myth buster:

Donateforacause.org, a non-profit agency devoted to auctioning donated timeshares to raise funds for the charity of your choice (as seen on Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace website) in exchange for a tax-write-off…. wouldn’t take our timeshare! They claimed that they do not do business with our timeshare company. Period! No other reasons were given.

Another suggestion Dave gives is to try to sell the timeshare back to the timeshare company at half the price you bought it for. That’s right, half the price! But here is what we discovered, which may be the reason why donateforacause.org may not do business with this MAJOR timeshare company. When my husband asked them if they would buy back our timeshare, they told him they do not have a “buy-back” program, but that they DO HAVE a “Right of First Refusal.” What this means is that, should we miraculously line up a buyer for this timeshare, we then have to wait and see if the timeshare company wants to buy it back first at the deal price, undercutting a potentially happy buyer from attaining the property at such a low price! So even if we wanted to GIVE AWAY our timeshare, the timeshare company ALWAYS has right of first refusal. If the deal price is “free,” then they could offer to buy it back for $1.

The only other business the timeshare company is interested in doing with an owner is to solicit them to “trade up,” which is timeshare lingo for spending tens of thousands of dollars more to get a fancier timeshare or additional weeks.

Please DO NOT BUY TIMESHARES! They are fun and exciting for about the first three years, but longevity is the key here. People get tired of the same vacations just as they get tired of their cars. It is SO NOT WORTH the aggravation and the perpetual (that means forever) annual fees that you are locked into until you give it away to a friend or family member. That’s a $20,000-$30,000 wedding or anniversary gift, if they pass the Right of First Refusal test! Think about it!