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Points to ponder if you’re considering a timeshare property
Have you longed to have a vacation place of your own where you could escape to familiar surroundings and leave the stresses of everyday life behind for a while? It’s a common desire that, unfortunately, can be beyond the financial reach of many.
Since the late 1960s, timeshare developers have sought to fill the void by offering partial ownership in timeshare properties that give buyers the right to occupy nice vacation accommodations for specified lengths of time each year.
Also known as interval, vacation or shared-ownership properties, timeshares enjoyed popularity in their early years and then slumped as the market became over-saturated. The term “timeshare” took on a negative connotation because marketers were getting a bad rap for using high-pressure sales tactics and promising more than they delivered… but times have changed.
Timeshares enjoying a resurgence
Learning from mistakes of years past, marketers have done a good job of turning the attitudes toward interval ownership around and making timeshares popular once again. They’re extolling the advantages of vacation ownership and many have ratcheted down the intensity of the sales pitch, which has made prospective buyers more comfortable with the process. As a result, many people are responding favorably.
The American Resort Development Association reports that timeshare ownership increased seven consecutive years through 2016 and is now responsible for $146 billion in global economic impact annually. Interestingly, the average age of buyers now stands at 39, dispelling the myth that sales of interval ownership properties are disproportionally made to senior citizens.
Worldwide, timeshare properties number approximately 5,300 with more than 527,000 individual units in 121 countries. More than 90 new resort properties are expected to be added by the end of 2017.
Making an informed decision
If you have serious interest in moving forward with timeshare property ownership, understand that nearly everything a salesperson tells you focuses on the positives, of which there are many, but there are downsides too. Red Week has an informative list of timeshare pros and cons that can be helpful as you consider your options. It definitely helps to balance the rosy sales pitch against the negative stories you may have heard over the years. One family’s situation may make timeshare ownership a great idea, while for others it might not be feasible. Only you can effectively weigh the pros and cons.
What you might expect to pay
Before you take the plunge, know that timeshares can vary in price from as little as $1,000 for a resale to upward of $40,000 for certain weeks at resorts that enjoy high demand. Timeshares 101 has a nice overview of the expected costs of owning a timeshare, including mandatory maintenance fees and taxes that come with almost every timeshare and can set you back hundreds of dollars per year above and beyond the purchase price.
Timeshare owners also have the ability to trade their ownership weeks at one resort for a like timeframe at another in far-flung places around the globe. Some buyers never actually stay at the properties in which they take ownership, choosing instead to trade their weeks for accommodations at different destinations each year. Of course, swapping weeks isn’t free, but many find the extra expense worth incurring.
If you are interested in a timeshare property, LightStream can assist with financing!