Are you thinking about buying a timeshare? Wondering what the keys to choosing timeshares are?
If you’re thinking about buying a timeshare for your vacation needs, you need to evaluate your choices carefully. It can be easy to make a mistake when buying a timeshare and end up with one that you regret purchasing.
Fortunately, we’re here to help. In this complete guide, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about choosing timeshares.
What Is a Timeshare?
A timeshare is a real estate investment in which multiple investors share a resort property. Owning a timeshare is a type of fractional ownership that offers an owner the rights to a property for specific periods of time.
These properties are often condo units that are located in a desirable vacation area. In addition to paying for the price of the timeshare itself, there will also be maintenance costs that will need to be paid each year as well.
With a timeshare, each of the investors will have a certain time period in which they’re able to use the property. This will usually be one week or several weeks per year.
What Types of Timeshares Are There?
There are several main types of timeshares that are out there. Here’s what you need to know about them.
One of the types of timeshares that you can own is a deeded timeshare. With this type of timeshare, you’ll own a weeklong time slot of the timeshare and you’re free to do with it what you choose. This includes selling it, renting it, trading it, or giving it away.
Right to Use Timeshares
With a “right to use” timeshare property, you’ll be able to use a property for a certain span of time based on a legal contract. However, you won’t actually own any timeshare real estate.
One of the reasons that these timeshares may be used is if the timeshare is in a foreign country where only citizens or residents are allowed to buy property.
Another type of timeshare that is becoming more common is a points-based ownership timeshare.
It’s important to understand the difference between timeshare points vs weeks. With a points timeshare, you’ll simply get a set amount of points rather than owning a right to a certain unit for a certain amount of time. This may be as part of a vacation club such as the Disney Vacation Club or the Marriott Vacation Club.
Usually, these points-based timeshares offer a lot more flexibility than conventional timeshares do. You’ll be able to use your points to choose from various resorts that are a part of the club that you’re in and there could be a variety of options when it comes to the destination and property you can choose.
What to Consider When Choosing Timeshares
There are a lot of things to think about when deciding whether timeshare ownership is right for you and when choosing a timeshare. Here are some things you’ll want to consider.
1. Know Your Travel Style
One of the main things you’ll want to consider carefully when thinking about buying a timeshare is how much you’ll actually use it based on how you and your family travel. It’s best not to buy a timeshare and wishfully think that you’ll find the time to use it each year.
If it’s not realistic for you to go on vacation often enough to use it regularly, you’ll want to reconsider buying a timeshare. You’ll also have to buy a certain time window for the timeshare, so make sure that you’ll be available at that time each year.
2. Be Sure You Love the Destination
When choosing a timeshare to buy, you need to make sure that you buy one that’s in a location you love. You should ensure that you’ll want to go back to the destination often and that there will be enough excitement in the destination to keep you occupied over multiple vacations throughout the years.
Some holiday destinations will be a lot of fun during the first or second trip but will lose a lot of luster over time. You’ll want to consider whether there is enough to experience in a particular timeshare location to make it worth going back to time and time again.
If you’re worried that you may get tired of a destination, you may also want to consider getting a flexible points-based timeshare instead.
3. Check For Quality
Another thing that you’ll want to think about when choosing a timeshare is the quality of the accommodations are.
Timeshares will typically be much more comfortable than a hotel, but they do range in quality. You’ll want to think about the level of quality of the timeshare’s furnishings as well as consider which amenities will be provided.
Make sure that you evaluate a timeshare well to ensure that it’s one that you’ll feel comfortable spending a lot of time in.
4. Always Visit In Person First
Keep in mind that it’s a very bad idea to buy a timeshare sight unseen. You’ll want to be sure that you visit the resort timeshare that you’re thinking about buying and should ensure that you get a great feel for what it has to offer.
Pictures alone are not always a reliable way to make your choice and not visiting in person may leave you disappointed in the end. The conditions may not be as good as you expect from what the seller tells you or from the pictures you see. Visiting in person before buying is essential to ensure you’re making the right choice and investing your money wisely.
5. Be Sure You Can Afford It
If you want to have the best time when buying a timeshare, you should make sure that you’ll be able to afford the timeshare as well as the vacations you take to it.
In addition to the expenses associated with the timeshare itself, you’ll also need to deal with travel expenses such as flights, car rentals, entertainment, and dining when going to your timeshare for each vacation. You should be sure you know what your budget is for your vacations to ensure that you’ll be able to make it to your timeshare and enjoy it each time you go.
6. Don’t Make an Impulse Buying Decision
One of the most important things to remember when buying a timeshare is that buying one should never be an impulse decision.
Many timeshare sellers are experts at what they do and will make time-sensitive offers and offer a lot of bonuses for buying a timeshare at a certain time. You should avoid rushing the decision, however, and try not to get yourself into a position where you’ll be getting a hard sell.
Always think carefully about your decision to buy a timeshare before making a purchase. Weigh out the pros and cons extremely carefully before making your choice.
Pros and Cons of Timeshares
There are both pros and cons to timeshare ownership, so you’ll want to be aware of what they are. Be sure to weigh out the good and bad aspects carefully when making your decision to ensure that you’re satisfied with your final choice. Here are a few pros and cons that you should think about when buying a timeshare.
Reasons You May Want to Buy a Timeshare
If you know that you’ll be going on vacation to a particular destination each year and you want to save money when doing so, then buying a timeshare may be a good decision. If you have a favorite vacation destination that you love, then buying a timeshare can in fact save you money. It can also offer extra comfort and can serve as a home away from home.
Similarly, you may want to choose a points-based timeshare if you know that you love a particular resort company, such as the Disney Vacation Club, and the locations they offer.
Drawbacks of Buying a Timeshare
There are some drawbacks to buying a timeshare as well. One of the main problems is that most timeshares aren’t very flexible and you’ll be paying for a particular location and time window each year. This lack of flexibility can take some of the fun out of going on vacation, particularly if you enjoy going to many new places when you travel.
On top of this, while a timeshare may save you money, it depends on how much you use it. You’ll need to pay maintenance fees every year for your timeshare and these costs can add up.
Another problem is that timeshares can be difficult to sell and they often depreciate in value, meaning that you’ll sell at a loss. This means it’s not a good choice compared to other real estate investment options.
If you want to make sure that you buy a timeshare that will be the best choice for you and your family, you should ensure that you consider all of the most important factors. Make sure that you consider all of the information in the guide above if you need help choosing timeshares.
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