Your Guide to Buying a Timeshare
The buying, selling, and maintaining of timeshare vacation properties is a $10.5 billion industry. In the United States, this accounts for about 9.9 million households who own a timeshare or points in one.
This is big business, and while many people are delighted after buying a timeshare, others are disappointed after the gleam of their new purchase wears off.
However, you need to have clear goals and expectations for your timeshare to stay happy. Some questions you may want to ask yourself are: Do you vacation each year around the same time, and have a love affair with a single destination?
After all, you want to make sure the money you spend on timeshares brings with it happiness and satisfaction, not worry and regret.
In the following article, we'll discuss how to buy a timeshare and essential points on selling a timeshare.
Buying a Timeshare Basics
There are many types of timeshares, but the most popular are fixed week, floating, right-to-use, and points clubs.
A fixed week timeshare means that you have purchased a reoccurring week at a select property at the same time every year. You can rent this property out or trade its usage however you like, but you are booked for roughly the same week every year.
A floating timeshare guarantees you the right to use the property for a set number of days each year, but you have to plan these days and weeks. The exact time period is not guaranteed each year.
A right-to-use arrangement means that you have a lease on the property for a set time each year for an extended number of years. Once your lease expires, you can either re-up or get out of the deal.
A point club allows you to invest a certain amount of money each year, and you get points to spend on any of the timeshare company's properties. You could book a week in Orlando one year and Scotland the next.
Know What You Want
Realize that timeshares will not bring you a return on investment from the start. EBay is littered with people trying to unload the timeshares for pennies on the dollar.
The website HGVC resale is a good resource for finding timeshare offers.
If you find yourself heading to the same place every year at the same time of year, then a timeshare could be a great way to vacation. To make sure you want in, rent from an owner at a resort for a week and see if you really like it.
Avoid the hard sell of a sales pitch. Also, realize that you will be charged maintenance fees, often around $600, and you have no control of when or how they may increase.
For this reason, many people choose to get points and look to vary their vacation destinations and weeks of use. However, this takes a lot more planning.
Furthermore, don't think you'll have an easy time renting out an out-of-the-way timeshare. If you don't want to stay there regularly, other people won't.
The cardinal rule for buying a timeshare (or selling one) is to make sure you are happy with the money you are paying. You need to decide if your timeshare fits your budget and that you get the maximum amount of enjoyment out of the arrangement.
Research different companies, locations, and weeks before taking the timeshare plunge.
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