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Everything You Need To Know About Timeshares

To those who haven't spent a lot of time researching timeshares, there seems to be the reputation that they are a good investment, and that it will go up in value because it is "deeded" property. But one thing that many people fail to do when they are at the point of making the decision "to buy or not to buy," is to check what timeshares are actually reselling for in the current market.

Author: Marie Phillips
Date: Sep 30, 2009 - 12:38:34 PM

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Buying a timeshare can be an unforgettable moment for a lot of us. The sandy beaches, beautiful sunsets, amazing food, free gifts and your salesperson can leave quite a mark in your memory and it sure helps to get an annual reminder of that day in the form of a maintenance fee. Many timeshare owners have been frustrated with the results of their timeshare ownership and seem to look back to the moment when they purchased and ask themselves, "Why did it make so much sense back then?" The answer to those questions is really quite simple. A lot has changed in the industry since many of us purchased a timeshare, chances are timeshares were a much more sound investment at one point, but today it is simply not the case at all. Owners are finding that the resale market is practically non-existant and are beginning to wonder why their salesperson told them it was a good idea. A large portion of upset owner's questions can be answered simply by taking a good look at the changes that have occured in the past several years.

One of the biggest changes in the industry is the availability of travel through other means. The internet, like in so many other industries, has changed the face of the travel industry forever. It used to be that one had to be a timeshare "OWNER" to be able to stay at a timeshare resort, and today that is no longer true. There are a plethora of timeshare vacation rental sites that anyone can visit and book a vacation through. Today, anybody can stay at a timeshare resort, whether they've invested thousands of dollars in to the unit or not, if you are willing to pay for the weeks vacation, you have a place to stay. Most timeshare resorts today function exactly like a standard hotel; last minute bookings, discounted rates, and no "ownership" necessary. And ofcourse, a lot of these changes have been made possible via the internet.

To those who haven't spent a lot of time researching timeshares, there seems to be the reputation that they are a good investment, and that it will go up in value because it is "deeded" property. But one thing that many people fail to do when they are at the point of making the decision "to buy or not to buy," is to check what timeshares are actually reselling for in the current market. Property value is not determined by the price it is listed at, but rather by how much it actually sold for and what properties like it/around it are also selling for. It doesn't take long to see that timeshares on the resale market such as ebay, are "listed" for $0.01 to $200. What you would also find on ebay, is that timeshares for that price aren't even selling at those low costs. Many people at this point would ask, "how could you pass up the great deals on ebay," but the better question to ask is, "even if you could find someone who wanted a timeshare, why would they pay thousands for it when they can practically get it for free on ebay?" Resale sites like ebay have made the market incredibly competitive and many owners who have already spent thousands of dollars to buy into their program aren't able to come to terms with the idea that all that money is gone. Yet, the harsh reality is, it IS gone...

Even withouth the fact that the accessibility of timeshare rentals and a depressed resale market has resulted in timeshare ownership becoming non-existant, there are many other factors that are a part of timeshare ownership that can be unbelievably discouraging. One of the frustrations is called “maintenance fees.” Owners are billed each year (right around Christmas time) for their annual dues, which for numerous owners have gone up anywhere from $20 to 200% systematically.  And “yes” if you take a vacation it pays for itself…but what will you think when 10 years from now you’re paying $3000 for a week on the beach while everyone else is getting there through orbit at $1000 for the week. The truth is, an ever-increasing bill will only stay competitive for so long, until you are paying beyond premium.

So if you are considering purchasing a timeshare as a wise way to spend your hard-earned money, then definitely do your research beforehand. Statistics show that, only 3.3% of people have ever been able to resell their timeshares over the last 25 years. If those statistics sound positive to you then by all means take your chances. If you are already a timeshare owner, perhaps some of this information can be intimidating to you but there are options available to help you with your timeshare problems. Timeshare listing companies haven't shown that they are able to give owners much hope for their money, but companies like Timeshare Depot can help timeshare owners shrink their long-term debt into a short term solution so owners never have to pay another maintenance fee ever again. Timeshare Depot encourages prospective timeshare owners to do their due diligence before making the commitment to sign on the dotted line. So whether you already own a timeshare or you are a prospective buyer, definitely keep a close watch on this ever-changing industry.

View all articles by Marie Phillips

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