Doing The Math Before Buying A Timeshare
Timeshares are commonly purchased as a method of obtaining a vacation property without paying the full price of a second home or other residence. Vacation interval plans serve a similar purpose. Either one of these alternative to traditional vacation-home ownership could work for you, if you make your purchase decision carefully.
For a timeshare, you purchase the property either by paying the full price at the outset or a monthly mortgage fee, which buys you the right to make use of the timeshare at a given time each year.
With vacation interval plans, you essentially rent a single unit for a designated time each year, but do not actually own it. This property is often part of a resort owned by a developer.
Both of these properties require that certain maintenance and upkeep fees be paid each year in addition to the purchase cost. Property taxes may also be levied on timeshares and vacation interval options - this depends on the laws of the town or state where the property is located.
Weigh these options against the price of other vacation accommodations. If you feel they are right for you, you can start comparing and contrasting different timeshares or vacation resort properties.
When choosing a timeshare, do research on the property management company, the property itself, the area in which it is located and any fees that may be involved. For a resort unit, you'll want to visit the facilities and talk to people who live there if you can - get a sense of how they feel about it.
Finally, as with any other important purchase, be sure that whoever is brokering the deal on a timeshare with you provides you written proof of all costs, obligations, and other requirements. You may want to make sure that the contract includes a right of rescission - the ability to cancel the agreement if necessary.
What are your thoughts on timeshares?