You’re on holiday, enjoying the fresh air and luxurious amenities, when you get an offer to attend a timeshare presentation. These offers usually come with promises of event tickets, free car rentals, or other enticing offers that make it difficult to say no. You might go along and discover that you’re actually interested in purchasing a timeshare property, particularly if you return to the same favourite holiday spot and have set time off each year.
If you are thinking of buying a timeshare, it’s important to be on the lookout for timeshare false promises. Timeshare salespeople are skilled in persuasion, and your defenses are weakened if you happen to be on holiday at the time the offer is presented. It’s important to consider all of the possible pitfalls of timeshare ownership if you are a serious buyer. Below we’ve listed some key promises to be on the lookout for.
Promise 1: A timeshare is a great investment
Unfortunately not. If you are buying a timeshare property, you should be buying it with the intent of using it as much as possible for personal enjoyment. Contrary to what the salesman might say, timeshares are not good investments.
Timeshares offer you a slice of a vacation property for a lower cost with specific limitations. You will only be able to use the timeshare for a set number of days each year, and the availability is even further restricted. Unlike vacation properties that you own, you can’t rent the timeshare out during the rest of the year or when you’re not using it. This means that there isn’t really a way to generate extra income from your timeshare property.
Furthermore, the resale value of timeshare properties isn’t great. The timeshare market is saturated with sellers, and there isn’t much demand for older properties. Timeshare owners can find themselves stuck with a property that they no longer use with high annual fees and no way to sell or get rid of their timeshare contract.
Bottom line – Don’t purchase a timeshare property if your main motivation is investment potential.
Promise 2: The annual fees are low
Timeshares are attractive because they require little commitment for maintenance and repairs. In reality, buyers must pay an annual fee for their timeshare unit in order to cover maintenance matters. The annual fee is constantly changing and increasing, and the owners have no control over the cost. In addition, the annual fee is a requirement even if you didn’t use the property that year, making it a costly component of owning a timeshare.
Promise 3: You will save money on vacation rentals and hotel stays
This promise often comes when you are being persuaded to buy a timeshare property in a place where you are currently vacationing. It can be exciting to think that the accommodation for your next trip could be covered by your timeshare ownership.
Unfortunately, the cost of timeshare ownership adds up quickly and could easily end up costing you more than several trips with hotel stays. Timeshares typically cost between $15,000 and $30,000, plus annual fees. For that amount, you only get to stay for a set number of days during a set timeslot during the year. It would actually be considerably cheaper to stay in a hotel during your vacation time and have more flexibility with where you go and when.
Do your own careful research before investing in a timeshare property. Be on the lookout for false promises and don’t commit to anything without listening to outside advice.