US households account for more than half of timeshare ownerships of properties spread out over 180 countries. But is buying a timeshare really the right thing to do?
Some swear by it, and others are suffering from buyer’s remorse. So, if you’re considering buying a timeshare, it’s only right that you know exactly the pros and cons so you can decide for yourself.
Check out this complete guide to the advantages and disadvantages of buying a timeshare and make the best decision for you and your next vacation.
Should You Buy a Timeshare? The Pros
First things first, let’s dive into why buying a timeshare property can be a good thing. You may find that these advantages outweigh the cons for you — each person is different. If you find yourself loving the benefits below, then the next thing is to find out how to buy a timeshare online.
You Have a Go-To Vacation Every Year
One of the things that people love most about a timeshare property is that you have a built-in vacation every year (and perhaps more frequently than that). This means that the stress of planning a vacation, booking accommodation, figuring out transport for a new place, etc, is absent.
You choose a place you love, and over the years you get to know it well. So, whenever your timeshare period comes up, all you need to do is pack your bags and enjoy.
Timeshares Are Good Value for Money
Probably the most appealing feature of timeshares is that they are cost-efficient. You’ll most certainly benefit from long-term savings if you choose timeshare over hotels. If you’re someone that vacations regularly (or would like to), then this is a huge advantage.
It may seem like a big upfront cost, depending on the type of timeshare you opt for, but in the long run, you’ll save money. As an affordable holiday option, timeshare wins every time.
A Lot of Fun for Groups
Most timeshare properties are built and equipped for big groups with multiple bedrooms and sleeping areas. This makes it the perfect option for getaways with family members or friends.
If you have a yearly meetup with friends or family, a timeshare could be perfect for you. It gives you a predetermined date and place to have a reunion with your loved ones annually.
While staying in hotels can be luxurious, sometimes the best kinds of vacations are when you feel right at home. Most timeshare properties are set up to resemble a home.
This is especially beneficial for family vacations with kids. It’s great to have a kitchen and living room to gather in, and bedrooms close by without being on top of each other or down a hotel hall from one another.
Flexibility to Exchange
Another super appealing quality of owning a timeshare is the ability to exchange. You can exchange with another resort or buy membership with one or more companies if your resort of choice has an affiliation.
For example, resorts such as Hilton Grand Vacations Club and Disney Vacation Club have a points program that allows owners to make a reservation within their brand’s portfolio.
Is It Good to Buy a Timeshare? The Cons
It’s not all roses and sunshine when it comes to owning a timeshare. Just as there are many pros, there are also some definite cons. Some of these may be a deal-breaker for you — check them out and decide for yourself.
Unexpected and Increased Annual Fees
Unexpected fees are an unfortunate commonality with timeshare properties. Above and beyond routine fees for maintenance, taxes, and utilities, you may be hit with some hidden costs, too. One example of this is special assessment fees and repairs.
Similarly, you don’t have control over the annual increases which may be much higher than you expected.
Timeshares Are Difficult to Sell or Cancel
When you get tired of your timeshare and would like to sell it, or cancel it, you may run into some problems. You are almost guaranteed to lose money as there just isn’t a big enough market of buyers or demand for timeshares.
Add to this that as a timeshare resort ages, it becomes less popular and you could find yourself in a sticky situation. Check out the HGVC cancellation policy for more insight and a good example of what to expect.
A Reputation of Scams
This is something that many people don’t want to talk about, but it’s the elephant in the room that must be addressed. There are many scams and unethical players when it comes to buying a timeshare. Timeshare has a long-standing reputation of association with sneaky sales techniques.
If you’re planning on buying a timeshare, it’s important that you stick with reputable brands and do your homework first. Remember, if it seems too good to be true — it probably is.
Less Vacation Flexibility
This is a big one for those who love to try new destinations, resorts, and activities on their vacations. While there are some timeshare options that allow flexibility, even then your options are limited.
You may find it gets tedious to go to the same place every year on vacation. You need to think about whether saving a couple of hundred dollars every year is worth sacrificing flexibility and freedom of choice about your vacation.
Is Buying a Timeshare Right for You?
Now that you’ve seen the pros and cons laid out for you, you can decide whether buying a timeshare is right for you. There’s no cut-and-dry option, it simply depends on what your preferences are and your non-negotiables.
If you like predictability when it comes to vacationing and you’re looking for a cost-effective, stress-free option then a timeshare may be perfect for you. On the other hand, if you prefer complete flexibility and you’re looking for a real investment, then it may not be right for you.
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