Timeshares are one of the more luxurious vacations you can have provided you can afford it. Since the 1960s when leisure travel first became popular, timeshares have become a rather attractive option for vacationers looking for practicality and flexibility. A timeshare is a piece of vacation property, usually a condominium, that is owned by multiple people who all share the right to use it by dividing it up into specific lengths of time, usually for weeks at a time.
Before there were timeshares, people would buy condominiums and live in them for vacation purposes for only a couple of weeks out of the year. Consumers soon realized how much money they were throwing away when timeshare programs were introduced allowing you to pay only for your uses. In addition to saving money, you never have to worry about security, upkeep or property maintenance because your annual fees take care of that for you.
Another pro to having a timeshare is that you are guaranteed a vacation spot each and every year because your timeshare contract usually stipulates that it be occupied at least once a year. This stipulation makes it easier to budget and get time off from work. For people less interested in vacation benefits and more as investment opportunities, timeshares can even offer owners a little revenue potential by renting it out to others instead of using it themselves.
The number one complaint you will hear from disgruntled timeshare owners is that maintenance fees are too high. Maintenance fees are known to increase by up to 4 percent every year. You may not have to do any manual labor as far as maintaining the property goes, but you are definitely paying labor costs for someone else to do it for you. Factor in the periodic special assessment fees and the dollars start to add up.
Another downside to owning a timeshare is that scheduling possibilities are pretty limited unless you are planning your vacation out more than 13 months in advance. Vacationers are always fighting for the same block of time and for the same popular destinations during peak seasons making compromises pretty hard to come by. Lastly, if you want to get rid of it, you can’t. It’s extremely difficult to do so because the resale market is so unstable, even nonexistent in some cases. If you do manage to find a buyer for your timeshare, you’d be lucky to sell it for a quarter of the price you bought it for.
If you’re thinking about the buying a timeshare, make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into by understanding the true value and worth of a timeshare for you and your family. If, on the other hand, you are realizing that owning a timeshare no longer fits your budget or lifestyle, you may want to look into some of your timeshare relief options.