Deciding if Timeshares are for You

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Timeshares create a unique opportunity to invest in property by teaming with others into the investment, giving you the opportunity to explore beautiful locations, which may not have been obtainable with current finances.

Here is an overview and explanation to help if you have been deciding that timeshares are right for you.

What are Timeshares?

A timeshare is, by definition, an arrangement of joint owners to use a property as a vacation.

Buying a timeshare is similar to making a joint investment into a location and then deciding how to split the time and usage between investors. There are additional costs with the purchase of a timeshare (property tax and upkeep) but this is managed by the owning company.

Timeshare companies come in all sizes. The most common that you’ll find may own a few different locations while larger companies may own and operate entire villas in dozens of countries around the World thus giving investors greater options.

Timeshares are often divided into four types:

·  Fixed week

·  Floating

·  Right-to-use

·  Points club

The benefits of the timeshare depend on the investment, location, and agreement.

Differences between Vacations and Timeshares

Vacation packages are generally all-inclusive (lodging, transportation, food, and entertainment); these packages are often paired with access to theme parks and other events if they are operated by a parent company (such as Disney). Vacation packages are very flexible in contrast to timeshares since they can be set to the individuals chosen schedule though depending on popularity of these packages/locations may not be available at all times.

Timeshares present options to either own or “swap” with other owners thus allowing an individual to use their ‘time’ toward multiple locations owned and operated by a timeshare company and those that have made an investment. A person may have access to places around the world depending on the timeshare company they have chosen. Maintenance fees are also present when using timeshares for common up-keep though having ownership does translate to equity for the owner.

Standard vs Flexible Timeshare Options

Timeshares have a general reputation in which a person is “locked” into their usage time. If a person is unable to use their time for that year then they would need to wait until the following year to gain access. However, many timeshare companies have made a shift toward flexible timeshare options due to the increased competition from vacation packages and resorts.

Flexible timeshare options often work on a points-based system. A person buying into the timeshare is buying into the company itself which may operate many different destinations. A person would then contact the company or use online systems to schedule their stay at these locations. These points may also allow the person to use additional points to upgrade their rooms.

The choice in a few days or an extended period is why the industry has made a larger push toward these flexible options compared to the traditional, set-in-stone schedule from the past.

Choosing the Best Option (and Negotiation)

Timeshares have different reputations depending on who one would talk to; the industry has often been labeled as ‘aggressive’ or ‘pushy’ though this has begun to change because many timeshare packages are sold through online platforms (removing the “trapped” feeling many would get when interacting with a salesperson at a timeshare location).

The best options and methods to negotiation is as follows:

1.  Define what you want and set your expectations

2.  Research and do your due diligence (online and over-the-phone)

3.  Ask for recommendations, listen to experiences, and read reviews

4.  Learn to say no (especially if they are too aggressive)

5.  Fully understand the terms and conditions

6.  Know an exit strategy (for the negotiation or when leaving the program)

Timeshares present many great experiences and options when fully understanding what’s to be expected when entering an agreement. The choices are seemingly endless.

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