This is one of the biggest questions for the consumers in the timeshare industry. Timeshare can cost into thousands for the average purchaser, without taking into account the fees that must be paid for maintenance year on year. The fees are always increasing and a timeshare contract can be virtually impossible to get out of. Yet none of this stops many people considering timeshare as a choice and often going on to purchase it.

Why is this you may ask when there seem to be so many pitfalls? Well timeshare holiday ownership offers perceived predictability to some consumers who like to plan in advance. Consumers believe that they will know where they are staying, when they are staying and how much it will cost them. There may also be added benefits of a timeshare holiday, which could include additional features that you may not find in a ‘normal’ hotel holiday i.e. a kitchen, separate living areas etc. These types of offerings can entice consumers as it may feel more like a home away from home.

So although there are potential positives for owning a timeshare that may be very tempting to a specific group of people, there are a number of potential negative points that can and often do impact and large number of the consumers. First and foremost the cost of purchasing and then keeping up with timeshare payments is often something that isn’t fully considered when a consumer buys their timeshare property. You are outlaying a large amount initially (with lots of interest), but then tied into yearly payments for maintenance of your timeshare that start quite higher and increase every year. You can’t necessarily change your timeshare for something different and can be tied into the same unit every year, this has the potential to become staid and boring. You may miss out on certain amenities that a hotel may offer, e.g. concierge services. Also if for any reason you are unable to use your timeshare week, you could potentially miss out for that year as you may not be able to change your dates.

The biggest pitfall is the virtual impossibility of selling your timeshare should you want to get out of your contract. It is notoriously difficult to get out of a timeshare contract and there are many swindlers out there who promise they can help you, take your money and then disappear, with the consumer being left with the timeshare! Timeshare can take years and years to get rid of and sometimes you simply will not be able to. ABC Lawyers have been successful in exiting over 5,500 timeshare contracts, of clients who have contacted us. Our team of legal contract specialists look through your contract very thoroughly to make sure we can exit you as quickly as possible.

Whilst I consider the majority of timeshares aren’t a wise investment, that doesn’t mean there aren’t deals out there to be had. However, if you want to find one, you need to move away from the idea of buying into a new timeshare, look into the timeshare resale market it can hold some real bargains. This is because if the timeshare owners are desperately trying to get out of their timeshare there is a very real possibility that they will be willing to sell you theirs for a cheap, more affordable price. Usually, this happens when the owner simply wants to get out of paying for the annual maintenance fees and is willing to let the property go for nearly nothing.

Another consideration is that when you buy a timeshare, you’re locked in for the long-term. Even if you don’t use the property every year, you have to pay the annual maintenance fees. Over time, maintenance fees are practically guaranteed to rise, so it is going to cost you more in the long run than it does now, you have to be able to budget for this in the coming years. Life is not predictable and anything can happen that could mean that your circumstances change, redundancy, loss of a family member or increasing the size of your family can have a significant effect on your personal finances and disposable income, however the timeshare companies do not care about this and will expect you to pay every year without fail and if you don’t, they will take legal action against you.

Purchasing a timeshare may be the perfect option for you, or it may be a disastrous decision, you are the only one who can decide that so make sure you think long and hard about the pro’s and con’s before you sign on the dotted line.

See a recent blog post regarding why timeshares may be bad for you.