Purchasing a timeshare has its benefits as well as it’s risks, here at ABC Lawyers we would like to educate future consumers in fully understanding both sides of the timeshare coin.
Not everyone’s lifestyle allows for timeshare ownership. We have collated together some points which we hope possible timeshare consumers will find useful.

Benefits:

• The accommodation is like home from home, allowing you to enjoy all your home comforts
• You have a shared ownership of an actual property
• Upgrades are available
• Anual holidays are guaranteed
• You can choose the weeks that suit you best
• The maintenance is considerably less than owing a sole holiday home

Risks:

• Companies mis-selling products
• Timeshares do not gain any value
• Selling on is difficult and never at a profit
• Ever increasing maintenance fees

The basics to owing a timeshare is simple, you pay a onetime purchase fee that entitles you to a week each year. Therefore, instead of booking a week’s holiday via an agent you now own a week which we can use every year.

Most families will know hotel accommodation is not always ideal, if you choose half board for example it’s unlikely you will have cooking facilities or even a fridge in your room. Your own timeshare will have all the facilities families need, such as a dining area, kitchen, washing machine, TV etc making it more than just the standard hotel accommodation.
Owning a timeshare is the equivalent of owning a real property. should the consumer wish they can give it away, leave it in a will, rent it out or sell it.
The option to exchange is the main reason people buy into timeshare. When owning a timeshare, people can exchange for another resort.

When purchasing a timeshare, consumers make a significant upfront investment which motivates families into taking valuable time out with their loved ones. Purchasing a fixed week, guarantees that same week each year at a resort, allowing consumers to familiarise themselves and it frees them of the hassle of planning a holiday each year.

Should for whatever reason they have to cancel their week, they can ‘bank’ the time with one of the timeshare exchange companies, each of which require consumers to be a member. Bear in mind there may be restrictions on how long you can ‘bank’ your week for before losing it altogether, and it is highly probable that there will be a fee for doing so.
Consumers also have the option to rent the week, enabling them to use the monies to holiday later on in the year.

Always be vigilant when attending timeshare presentations, the majority of the industry value their reputation more than the actual sale, and many resorts have committed to standards of ethics in recent years. However, timeshare has an unfortunate reputation of being associated with hard sales pitches and sneaky sales techniques. Thankfully the horror stories are becoming more infrequent, however, beware as there are still unethical sales representatives trying to do whatever it takes to bring home their commission. For this reason alone, we cannot stress enough the importance of doing research before attending any presentation. Educate yourself on timeshare and go into it with an understanding of the pros and cons and what makes financial sense to your personal situation.

Should consumers find themselves in a position where they can no longer afford the timeshare, it is important to remember that a timeshare should not be considered an investment and it will never sell for more OR the same purchase price. It was almost definitely sell for less, a lot less.

Every timeshare comes with maintenance fees, such fees cover the grounds and housekeeping services, utilities, insurance, on-site management, keeping facilities and appliances up and running, applicable taxes, replacing broken items, and reserves for major improvement projects such as reforming, updating, and so on. Fees vary greatly depending on the resort, the location, the size, and amenities. Fees are assessed and paid annually. Unfortunately, it is often difficult to factor them in, since they are not a constant. Maintenance fees have been known to increase up to 4 percent in a single year.

Timeshares are enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of consumers each year, they are becoming more luxurious too, huge hotel brands such as Disney, Starwood, Hyatt and the Marriott are also getting involved. If consumers do their research correctly they too can enjoy the benefits of timeshare, the more people do their research, less consumers will be conned out of their hard-earned cash.

See our recent post regarding why consumers are still purchasing timeshare.