For many years now timeshares have been a booming industry in the travel and vacation market. The idea behind them is that you can buy 1 to 4 weeks per year of a timeshare. You become an owner with a title that is transferable to your heirs. It can be sold or held indefinitely. Most time shares come with an option to buy into a travel club that lets you trade your weeks where you purchased for weeks at comparable destinations elsewhere in the United States or world. This option normally requires the payment of an annual fee to stay with the travel club.
If you believe that you will prefer vacations in a timeshare over motel or hotel rooms, then this may be a good option for you. Once you pay for the timeshare, you can stay during your weeks for free each year. An annual maintenance fee is charged to pay for upkeep of the property. If you stay in upscale accommodations, the fee will be considerably less than hotel costs. If you stay in low end establishments, then the fee will be more than your vacations would cost without the timeshare.
You really need to buy the travel club option to get maximum use from your timeshare unless you plan on only vacationing at the same place for the next 20 or so years. Don’t buy a timeshare if you haven’t purchased a house or property to build on at retirement. You need to take care of permanent living quarters before committing to tens of thousands of dollars for a good timeshare.
Buy a timeshare when you are sure that the annual fees along with the payments are not going to sink your financial ship. The argument here is that even if these costs are only equal to your vacation costs, you have to pay them, but you don’t have to take a big vacation is money is tight. In fact, if you can’t pay cash or pay off the property within a couple of years, don’t buy it. The risk for buying an optional purchase is too great.
Before you buy into a timeshare, explore the option of buying one directly from a current owner. If they have owned it for a few years, you may be able to buy it for a significant discount and still give them what they paid for it or maybe a little more. Everyone will be happy. Also, check to see how many owners are trying to sell. If too many are trying to unload the timeshare you’re looking into, it’s not a good sign of good value.
Don’t buy a timeshare when you are being pressured. They may tell you today or not at all for a certain priced offering. This is rarely true. If they can offer it today, they can offer it tomorrow or a week from now. If they can’t, you probably don’t want to do business there anyway.