In this post I will be addressing the somewhat controversial question of are timeshares worth it are they worth the money? The reason I acknowledge that this topic is somewhat controversial is in talking with many timeshare owners I have come to realize that some owners absolutely love ownership while others rue the day they bought one. I am just going to get to the point, in my opinion they are definitely not worth the money. In theory the idea is good but in reality the hidden fees and changing homeowner association benefits not disclosed in the sales interaction really muddy the waters.
It’s hard to go on a vacation these days without being harassed by street vendors throwing all kinds of free promotions at you. I would suggest that you resist any urge to listen to the presentation as the $150.00 voucher for a fee helicopter ride is not worth the years of overpriced maintenance fees that you will pay if you end up purchasing a timeshare. I will admit the sales presentation is very convincing and it is hard to argue with the overall premise. However, what the salesperson does not share with you has led to many owners feeling angry, frustrated, with buyers’ remorse.
So if you’re contemplating buying and are asking the question are timeshares worth it, make sure you do your homework and be an educated buyer. By this I mean absolutely DO NOT purchase the timeshare during your slotted presentation time. The timeshare company will do everything in their capacity to trying and convince you that if you choose to leave without purchasing that they will not offer the same opportunity when you return. This is pure hogwash! Do not believe what they are telling you I repeat do not believe this manipulative sales tactic. The reality is there are hundreds if not thousands of timeshares that are being sold by unhappy owners on eBay, as well as in your local classifieds, or authorized resellers. If you choose to listen to the presentation make a commitment before your appointment that you absolutely won’t buy until you’ve had time to read the fine print and do some intense research. The sales staff will not be happy with you and will do everything in their power to convince you that you’re missing a once in a lifetime opportunity. What a joke!
I will admit that in recent years the timeshare industry has changed things for the better but still at the end of the day I must say buyer beware. Most timeshare companies have gone away from they traditional format in which owners have a fix week at one property. This setup was very restrictive and did not provide travelers with the flexibility to meet their needs. These days everything for the most part is based on a point system. Owners can use their points to stay anywhere in the world as long as the property is under the umbrella of the timeshare organization. This is definitely an upgrade in service and is a focal point of the sales presentation.
So here is where timeshares become a bad idea. My biggest complaint is in the fees associated with the property. First you have what is called maintenance fees and these fees can vary significantly based upon where you home property is located. They can range anywhere from $500 dollars to well over a $1000 dollars. You as owner have absolutely no control over these fees and in recent years many owners have felt used and abused by rising fees. Other fees that you could potentially be responsible for are fees helping to pay for damages to one of the companies properties. For example, I know of one company that just recently added a fee of $1400 dollars to their owners to help pay for damages to one of their Maui Hawaii properties. Whatever happened to insurance for situations like this? So for this owner their one week in Maui is going to cost them $2400 just in fees this year. Does this sound like a good deal to you? The company will tell you that this would only occur in rare instances. My question for you is how are they defining “rare”? Also, if the owners are going to be responsible for these liabilities then does it not make sense that they should also receive a profit sharing check annually? Once again beware of the fine print. You as owners have absolutely no control over these fees and if you get a bill then you must pay as it was disclosed in your fifty pages of closing documents that you somehow overlooked when buying the timeshare.
These days with the help of the internet consumers are in a really good position to secure affordable accommodations without the need of being locked into a timeshare. There are even timeshare owners who are willing to rent their week to you. Another option for you is to rent a private vacation home by owner. Homeowners all over the globe are willing to rent there second homes to travelers just like you. With a little effort you should be able to find cheap accommodations for you next vacation.
I hope that this post was helpful. Please do yourself a favor save your money and don’t buy a timeshare that will only leave you feeling frustrated that you wasted your money. So once again to answer your questions should I buy a timeshare the answer is NO!
I have included a video that you should watch about the challenges that this owner has experienced.