Buying a timeshare might seem like a good idea because you love to travel and there are locations everywhere you want to go, but we often forget to think about how we travel, travel flexibility and total trip cost, and that’s what timeshare salesmen are banking on. While timeshares are great for traveling and good properties, the poor business practices set people up for failure. The average timeshare costs $5,000 to $20,000 and includes a yearly maintenance fee of $500 to $1,000 and that’s quite a bill to consider. But what the timeshare companies don’t want you to know is that you can buy a used timeshare for a much lesser value. My husband and I for instance purchased our timeshare for $1. When we closed our title, taxes and fees totaled about $800. How did we do it you ask? We did our research! If you’re considering a purchasing a time share check out these tips below.
- Decide whether you want to go to same place every year or exchange for different location – Many people jump into buying a timeshare without considering that their travel habits may change in the future. Having kids or kids leaving home can drastically change when/where you travel. The key is to find a flexible option that can work for you now and in the future. An example of this might be to purchase a floating week instead of a fixed week which will provide you greater flexibility. You might also consider buying a property that is attached to a points system which offers more options.
- Consider buying a resale to save thousands – In most cases you are better off buying a timeshare that is available through resale than buying directly from the property. Resales can be purchased through Ebay and Redweek and can be bought for as low as $1.
- Do plenty of research before jumping in – Purchasing a timeshare is a big commitment. They aren’t easy to sell should you grow tired of it. You should do plenty of research before purchasing. Many people regret falling for the high pressure sales tactics on vacation tours. There are many websites that provide info on All Things Timeshare but my favorite is www.tugbbs.com
- Maintenance Fees are likely to increase – Maintenance fees are the annual fee you pay to cover the costs of operating and maintaining the facilities. They tend to go up (never down) so be sure to buy a timeshare with a maintenance fee that you can comfortably afford to pay every year.
- Beware of Scams – There are plenty of scammers out there that target timeshare owners. Some of the most common ones are those that charge a fee to sell your property then disappear after collecting your money. Also know that you are also still responsible for paying your maintenance fee while the legitimate companies are trying to sell your property. It can take months (sometimes years) for them to sell it and you will still have to continue to pay the maintenance fee.