Owning a vacation home is the ultimate dream for many but sometimes an unachievable one. Having a regular property to escape to, where you can build summer memories over the years, is an attractive prospect but often comes with a hefty price tag.
Buying a timeshare in a vacation property is one of the more affordable methods of attaining the same dream. However, over the decades, this form of property ownership has become much-maligned, with highly publicized timeshare scams raising questions about whether timeshare vacation property ownership is a worthwhile investment.
Below we will look at the pros and cons of modern timeshare ownership, answer frequently asked questions about the timeshare process, and help you to decide whether timeshares are worth it.
What is a Time Share?
A timeshare is a form of vacation home sharing where the right to use the property is purchased by several buyers who then split the time that they spend in it. You would be one of a number of buyers pooling your individual funds to come up with the overall timeshare purchase price.
Once the Timeshare vacation home has been bought, each owner will be allotted a certain amount of time they can spend at the property each year.
How does a timeshare work?
The amount of money you have contributed to purchasing the timeshare will be reflected in the amount of time you are allotted to use the house. For example, if you paid the equivalent of 1/6 of the price, you will be entitled to two months' use.
How is a timeshare purchase different from a normal property purchase?
If you are looking at a timeshare from an investment opportunity standpoint, you should know a few things before making a purchase.
1. The value of your timeshare will most likely depreciate from the moment you buy it.
2. It is difficult to sell on your timeshare if you decide you no longer want it.
3. When you buy into a timeshare, you buy into the right to use the property, not the property itself.
These factors may have you wondering, "Are timeshares worth it?" But some great benefits come with these opportunities.
What are the benefits of a timeshare?
Affordable Access to Holiday Properties
If you choose to join a timeshare, you will be able to access time in a vacation property in a tourist location each year for a fraction of the price you would have to pay to buy the house on your own.
You will be able to build vacation memories on the same property year after year.
Owning a part in a timeshare will allow you and your family to return to the same vacation spot each year. You won't have to worry about booking accommodation or package holidays every few months and can just focus on relaxing and having a good time.
You don't have to worry about the upkeep of the building.
A timeshare will require you to pay an annual fee for the maintenance and upkeep of the building, but you will not need to worry about arranging any repairs, doing any maintenance, or contributing to the general upkeep of the property. All of this will be handled by the timeshare company.
Save More Money by Buying a Second-hand Timeshare.
If you are looking for a way to further limit your costs in holiday home membership, you could look into purchasing a second-hand timeshare. If you approach a timeshare owner directly, you could end up saving up to 80% of the retail price you would face if buying from the timeshare company.
Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card
Best for Beginners
What are the disadvantages of a timeshare?
You won't be able to use the timeshare property whenever you want
For many, one of the best things about owning a vacation property is the prospect of being able to escape to it throughout the year. However, there is little flexibility in timeshare schedules, and you may find that another timeshare owner has already taken your preferred vacation week. The possibility of a last-minute decision to jump in the car for a quick break is also rarely an option.
The Industry has Developed a Reputation for High-Pressure Selling Techniques and Timeshare scams
The vast majority of Timeshare Companies are reputable; many organizations now subscribe to the American Resort Development Association and similar organizations, which require their members to adhere to a code of ethics when selling.
The fact remains, however, that in the industry, high pressure sales tactics are sometimes employed by commission-chasing salespeople who tempt potential buyers into a pitch by offering free experiences in exchange for a few hours in which they can attempt to persuade them to make a purchase.
Timeshare Investments Do Not Usually Appreciate
If you are looking to invest in a vacation property with the hope of a healthy return, timeshare opportunities are not the best way to go. The overall price that was paid for the timeshare includes not just the value of the property but the marketing and sales tactics that the timeshare company put into the sale. A timeshare investment is likely to depreciate rather than provide a good ROI.
It may be Difficult to Resell Timeshare Ownership.
If after a little while, you decide that the timeshare you have invested in isn't for you, you may find it difficult to sell your timeshare to another buyer. You could find yourself trapped paying yearly maintenance fees for a property you no longer wish to visit. For this reason, you should be very certain in your initial purchase and make sure a high-pressured sales pitch has not persuaded you.
Summary - Is a Timeshare a Good Investment?
Are timeshares worth it? This will depend on why you want to buy into one of these opportunities. If you are trying to invest in real estate, which will appreciate in time and give you a good profit in your initial investment, then timeshares should be avoided in most cases. You will also find it difficult to sell on your timeshare portion; if you manage to, it is likely to be at a lower rate than the amount you paid for it.
If you are buying a timeshare because you love the property and location and are happy with being able to visit only a few times a year, then a timeshare might be a good fit for you. If this is the case, you should still make sure to remain vigilant against high-pressure sales and timeshare scams.
Timeshare vacation properties are an interesting opportunity to consider if you want a regular vacation in an area you could not otherwise afford, but generally, you should not be looking at a timeshare property as a potential money-making investment.
Airbnb vs Hotel
When choosing whether you would prefer to stay at a hotel or an Airbnb location on your next trip, there are several things you will need to consider.