Buying a timeshare is NOT like buying a house. When you buy a house, you actually own the property you purchased. When you buy a timeshare, however you don’t really own anything except the mere right and privilege to use a vacation property, typically a condo, for one week of the year, every year.
Timeshares are a ridiculous concept, if you think about it, especially if you’re shelling out more dough to go on more than one vacation a year outside of what your timeshare allows. How are you saving yourself money with this so-called “investment” property? It’s hardly an investment. In fact, it’s the worse real estate purchase you can ever make. You see, timeshares are like cars; they depreciate in value the moment you drive them off the lot. They aren’t like houses that you can fix up and remodel so you can raise its value.
When you own real estate property, you have the liberty to make improvements to your asset because you actually own it. With a timeshare property, you don’t have the right to make such decisions because you don’t actually own the property, the resorts do. In addition, when you own your own home, you can make certain improvements when you are fiscally able to whereas with a timeshare, the actual property owners (presumably the resorts themselves) can make such improvements regardless if you are able to foot the bill or not. They just tack it on your to your annual maintenance fee and call it a “special assessment” fee.
The term “ownership” is thrown around too loosely in the timeshare industry to make people feel like they are getting something of value, when really they aren’t. How do you own something when you don’t even have the right to improve or enhance the vacation property you supposedly own of your own accord?
The whole concept of timeshares just doesn’t make sense, which probably explains why they are so hard to get rid of when you do realize how worthless your so-called investment really is. You can’t even donate the darn things because charities don’t want to end up in the red for a lousy investment they probably won’t even utilize. Timeshare owners are even selling these so called properties on eBay for pennies. Now, that is saying a lot right there about timeshare ownership.
If after reading this article, you are still considering buying a timeshare, do yourself a huge favor and figure out how cost effective this purchase will really be 5-10 years from now. This means calculating how often you go on vacation in a given year, figuring out if you like going to the same place or different places when vacationing, factoring transportation costs and any associated annual fees. Chances are that you’re better off without the timeshare because you won’t have to worry about annual maintenances fees and surprise special assessment fees.