They seem to make sense in the beginning. Before long, though, the average timeshare buyer will come to regret having made the purchase. Most of them feel blindsided by the difference between what they originally expected to spend and the amount the timeshare actually costs them. The clear majority end up trying to sell their stakes or cancel their timeshare contracts entirely.
If only they had known up front what they learned later, they might have opted out. Unfortunately, the timeshare industry prides itself on keeping its secrets close to the chest. Here are some insider tips that everyone should heed.
1. The Initial Cost Is Just the Beginning
When you purchase a timeshare, the initial expense can be misleading. If you’re buying a one-week timeshare, you might expect it to cost something like $20,000. What many timeshare sellers neglect to mention is the additional expenditure for utilities, taxes and maintenance for which you will be on the hook.
2. You’ll Have to Factor in Your Closing Costs
Although they can vary from one state to another, a timeshare’s closing costs will consist of more than simply legal expenses. Although most timeshare sellers won’t let you know of this up front, you will also need to pay for such things as:
- Preparation fees.
- Taxes and tax form registration.
- Insurance policies.
- Other outstanding amounts.
Unless you know to expect these extras, they can come as a shock on closing day.
3. Your Maintenance Fees Will Keep Rising
The timeshare will levy its maintenance fees on a yearly basis. They will cover such things as insurance; utilities; landscaping; general management; major repairs; replacement of appliances, furnishings and broken items; and housekeeping chores. Unfortunately, these expenses are not written in stone, so don’t be surprised to see your maintenance fees increase by an average of 5 percent each year.
4. My Week Is Better Than Your Week
When it comes to timeshares, there’s no getting around the fact that some weeks are more valuable than others. Their precise worth to the timeshare seller will depend on whether they fall during an area’s high or low season, and this will determine the prices they charge for them. You will pay less for a summer week at a ski resort than you would for that same amount of time during a season when the snow is sure to fly.
5. The Floating Week Mirage
The craftier timeshare seller may try to sell you a floating week. The upside seems irresistible at first: Once you’ve bought that week, you can ostensibly use it whenever you want. All you’ll have to do is call the company to set things up beforehand. What you may not realize until it’s too late is that the so-called peak-week concept still holds, and the price you’ll wind up paying for your floating week will rise or fall in step with the time of year.
6. What Is the Point of Points?
The foxiest timeshare sellers of all will convince you to purchase points that you can use to reserve the week you want at the property of your choice. As you slog through your regular timeshare payments, the seller will assign additional points to your account. Although the quantity of points seems generous at the start, you’ll soon learn that the peak-week concept applies here too. The best weeks at the most-wanted vacation spots will often cost more points than you’ve accumulated, and you may find yourself either paying extra to purchase more or skipping your yearly vacation to give your meager point stash time to accumulate.
7. Timeshares Are Hard to Unload
A timeshare will not pay unless you use it, but as many timeshare purchasers later come to realize, taking the same vacation year after year can get old fast. That’s when they learn the hardest truth of all: Timeshares are notoriously hard to get rid of. At any given time, you’ll find a larger number of people trying to sell their timeshares than you will people trying to purchase them. If you do manage to snag a buyer, you will almost certainly have to sell at a loss, and that makes the timeshare a pretty bad investment after all.
Timeshares may make sense for the larger family or for people who have no desire to take their vacations anywhere else in the world ever. For others, however, they can soon become a costly burden, and that is the biggest thing that timeshare sellers don’t want you to know. However, there may be a bright side. Learning the facts that the timeshare industry hopes to keep under its hat can help you avoid making what for so many turns out to have been one of life’s costlier mistakes.
For more information on how to get out of your timeshare contract, contact us today at 702-856-4731 for a consultation.