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 Disney, Hilton, 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.