When the topic of timeshares comes up during a conversation, it can often lead in to an incredibly awkward debate. These debates of course naturally evolve when you mix timeshare lovers with timeshare haters together in the same room. Like any debate, there are always two sides to the story. If you have purchased a timeshare recently, it is often difficult to hear anybody say anything negative about timeshares because you have just invested your life savings into that ownership, and for those who think that timeshares are the most absurd concept, you probably cant help but laugh at those crazy enough to buy one. By looking at this debate objectively, listening to both sides of the story, prospective buyers, timeshare owners, and anyone who has an opinion about everything can decide for themselves.
Good or Bad Investment?
This seems to be one of the hottest debates when it comes to timeshares. Weve all been to a timeshare presentation (or at least heard of one from someone we know,) and the salespeople always claim that timeshares are a great investment. Often times they even encourage potential buyers to purchase multiple weeks/units, using one of them as a rental property to collect enough to cover both maintenance fees. The other form of investment that is presented is the personal side. It is presented that even if you decide not to sell it; you are still making a personal investment into yours and your families lives.
The word investment in the simplest terms means to use your money in the hopes of making more money. So the best way to analyze this debate is to see how timeshare owners are doing in the resale market. Unfortunately the truth to this debate is not too difficult to uncover, a quick peek at eBay will show that timeshare are practically impossible to resell for any amounts of money. Timeshares on eBay are not moving at the list prices of $1 to $200. Not to mention the fact, that most of the timeshare listed on eBay were once sold at the retail value of $15,000 or more. The discrepancy of $15,000 to $1 is enough to know that timeshares do not have a financial investment appeal. However, a personal investment is something that each individual has to determine. Will it be beneficial for you and your family to go on vacation every single year? Would you and your family actually make sure to go each and every year? How much are you spending to go on vacation now, and is it more than what the maintenance fees would be? The conclusion that is easy to come to is that if a personal investment like a timeshare requires $15,000 on average to obtain, then you are most likely going to want it to be a sound financial investment as well.
Those who love their timeshares will often be amazed at how little their vacations are costing them each year. Sometimes it can be as low as $250 for one week, and other times it can be $1,500, and whenever someone explains to them, Yea, but you had to pay thousands of dollars up front to get that deal, so are you really actually saving money? And heres where it all comes together. A timeshare lover will respond to a question like that with a, Sure, but my timeshare is real estate, so when I dont want it anymore, Ill be able to resell it and get that money back, and my vacations all these years have been incredibly cheap! We know now however, that timeshares dont have any resale value!
Maintenance fees also have a tendency to not stay fixed. More often than not, the fees increase every single year and there are also the risks of special assessments.