Are Timeshares a Good Investment?

My previous job required me to spend time at various vacation ownership (aka timeshare) resorts located in Hawaii, California, Colorado, Arizona, South Carolina, Florida and the Bahamas. I have attended several sales tours and must admit, it is very easy to get wrapped up in the hype. The properties are beautifully decorated and equipped with high end appliances and finishes. The sales pitches are not even high pressured because the units sell themselves. 

Heavy hitters such as DisneyHilton, Starwood, and Marriott have made the concept more acceptable; however, I still scratch my head when I think about the maintenance fees involved. While maintenance fees are important for upkeep, they are still very expensive! A timeshare is not an investment property, as a matter of fact, CNN Money refers to them as a trap. If you are considering a timeshare, make sure you are purchasing it to use and not as an investment.

If you are going to pull the trigger, I highly recommend you consider a branded timeshare despite the higher price point. There are alternative places where timeshares can be purchased such as eBay or Sell My Timeshare Now, but make sure you completely understand the contract. Keep in mind, even if you purchase on eBay you are still responsible for the legal fees to transfer the deed as well as never ending maintenance fees. Also, be familiar with the exchange networks such as Interval International and RCI so you are aware of your trade-in options and costs involved for visiting alternative resorts and destinations.

My in-laws recently visited Orlando and stayed at Sheraton Vistana Villages. Their brand new unit had two bedrooms and was extremely comfortable for their family of four. The kitchen was fully equipped, had granite countertops and a full size washer and dryer. The bedrooms were spacious, bathrooms were luxurious and the balcony was screened-in and overlooked the pool. They received daily maid service as well as bliss spa toiletries. During their visit, I realized why families prefer to vacation in a timeshare unit, it’s like staying in an executive suite at a high-end hotel for a fraction of the rental price.

I still cannot fathom why people purchase a timeshare when they have the option of renting. There are many travel bargains on the internet, so make sure you do proper due diligence before committing to a timeshare purchase.

Do you own a timeshare or have you considered purchasing one? Have you ever stayed at a timeshare property? I’m curious to hear your thoughts and experience on the subject.

Thanks for stopping by The Unemployed Mom.

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6 Thoughts to “Are Timeshares a Good Investment?”

  1. When I was 18 years old I actually worked for a timeshare company in VaBeach, VA. Gold Key Resorts to be exact. I worked with them for several years and when I left, I left knowing what a real rip timeshares are!

    The sales pitches are designed to make everything seem ideal for the buyer.

    For what people pay for timeshares to only use one week a year, they will never pay off. It may seem like a deal of a lifetime but really can cost way more than vacationing in finer resorts for way less!

  2. There are good timeshares out there, as well as there are people who feel happy about their timeshare purchases, especially those who enjoy to vacation at the same place and are not spontaneous travelers. Unfortunately, due to the big number of timeshare scams being committed against many vacationers, the industry has gained a terrible reputation.

  3. I agree Kaya. There are definitely reputable timeshares out there still (I am a fan of Starwood due to history there).

  4. Many people purchase a timeshare expecting it to be a great acquisition and a good investment. But timeshares need to be looked up as a purchase, instead of an investment. By the time the maintenance fees and the assessment fees start to pour in, they become conscious they got their selves into what could be an exorbitant trouble, full of debts, headaches and unnecessary problems.

  5. Buying a timeshare under the impresion you will save money on the long run on travel expenses such as airfare or cruises equals to being a victim of timeshare fraud. Timeshares will barely provide you a small discount on accomodations and that´s it. Timeshares will not provide you, in most cases, any discounts on your vacation expenses.

  6. Timeshares need to be looked up as a purchase and not an investment. Regardless of how timeshares are presented, they don´t perform as well as a house or stock investment. If you look around the resale market for timeshares on websites like EBay, Redweek, or TUGBBS will find that you can buy a timeshare for far less money than what the first owner purchased it for.

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