Many of us have heard the spiel for purchasing a time-share. The “Sales People” show you around their Vacation Home Community only showing you the 3 units that are in the best of condition. Afterwards they take you through the Grand Clubhouse where they tout all the benefits of buying at their location. Later on you find yourself sitting with these trained closers as they promise you what seems like the deal of the century. Caught up in all the hype, you find yourself purchasing a week of time-share that seems to be the best opportunity that you have purchased in your life. You leave the office excited and proud that you were able to negotiate a price $1,000 below what they already told you was the deal of a lifetime.
Now, fast forward 10 years. You find that you only used the unit twice since you owned it. The yearly maintenance fees are double what you were originally told. You hate the location and because you bought in a slow time, no one will rent the unit when you don’t use it. And now for the real kicker, when you decide you have had enough and want to sell you can’t find a person on earth that would take it for free.
Im sure this all sounds too familiar for those people who bought into the time-share lifestyle expecting the world from their purchase. The reality is that time-share is not an investment per-say but an advance purchase on your vacation lodging. The time-share industry has used the “Real Estate” investment tactic for years and technically it is real estate but it is more like buying an automobile where throughout the years it depreciates in value. Now there are some time-share companies where the value does increase but those are rare.
For those who plan the annual family vacation at Walt Disney World in Orlando a time-share can make sense. It will guarantee that you always have a place to stay. But remember, owning a time-share is a lifestyle. It allows you the opportunity to always have a vacation location in place at a set time. For those who are well traveled, this is important especially if you want to be on the mountains of Vail over Christmas.
But there are the majority of people who bought into this dream only to find out the pitfalls of time-share. So before you sign on the dotted line in the fancy club house overlooking the pool and palm trees, ask yourself is it really worth the cost? Will I use this pre-paid vacation plan? Can I sell it if I don’t like it? If you can’t answer yes to at least 2 of these questions time-share may not be right for you.