Risks involved in buying Timeshares

Buying Timeshares can be rewarding for many people. It might a money wheel for some. Last but not the least; it can be a profitable investment for many. But the story doesn’t end here itself. While many people may reap the rich benefits of timeshares there are several others for whom the timeshare investment was nothing more than a mere fraud and dream resorts turned into nightmares. Thus investing in a timeshare should always be done with high alertness and caution. Before signing a contract or a check always weigh in both the benefits and the risks involved. If proper precautions are not taken these money spinners can turn into money losers. Always read the finely written statements before signing a contract.

The timeshares are basically classified into deeded and non-deeded plans. In a deeded plan, an individual buys an ownership in a piece of real estate property. The owner usually gets the title of the property and the property is also inheritable to the heirs of the owner. Where as, in a non-deeded plan or right to use plan, an individual buys a lease, a club membership or a license that lets you use the property for a specific amount of time each year and for stated number of years. But in both the cases the cost of the unit is directly proportional to the season of the year and length of time an individual wants to buy. The rights of the timeshare owner ceases after the lease expires in right to use timeshare.

Every individual takes adequate care while making a major investment. And this applies in the case of buying a timeshare also. You must read all the documents carefully and understand fully what you are getting for your investment before signing any agreements or paying any fees. A professional advice might also be critical involving big timeshare investments. So take expert advice from people who have bought timeshare before or your attorney. Here is a checklist of what all people should consider before buying a timeshare property.

If you are buying a timeshare from a timeshare resale company verify that they are licensed brokers. Easy way to verify this is by asking the license number of the broker. Then you can verify that with the State Department which deals with these kinds of transactions and know about the history of the broker. Be vigilant when you are buying a timeshare from a non-licensed firm, your money would be at stake as the non-licensed firms wouldn’t have much to lose, so greater chances of fraud exist.

Keep in mind that timeshares are for personal recreational use and do not expect profit or loss. A resale of timeshare may or may not reap good return.

If you are buying a right to use timeshare watch out, if the sponsor declares bankruptcy, you may lose your rights.

If you are buying a timeshare in a property where the facilities have not been fully installed take a written commitment from the seller that they will be finished in a specific amount of time.

Any claims made by the seller about the returns on the investment in timeshare should be questioned because the future value of a timeshare depends on many factors.

Do not get impulsive when buying a timeshare. Read each and every paper thoroughly. Take adequate time in researching, analyzing and making a decision to buy a timeshare.

Never believe in the word of mouth, neither on phone or face to face. Request everything in writing especially the promises that were made orally.

Try to find out whether the exchange program will be guaranteed or not. Sometimes it isn’t. So make sure to find it out before buying. Buying a timeshare without an exchange program is not worth the money because you will get bored going to the same property every year and also you will not have the flexibility of schedule if you don’t have exchange facility.

Checklist for buying Timeshares

Many prospective buyers are stuck when it comes to deciding what important factors that one should consider when buying a timeshare. The buyers today are much more informed than the buyers of few years back. They are more knowledgeable about what they are buying and have done their homework before taking a major step. But still many buyers get confused when asked if they have a checklist of things to consider before buying a timeshare. The following paragraphs provide you with a checklist to make sure that you are not missing the important criterions that should be weighed against the timeshare you are buying.

If you are buying timeshare through a broker make sure that he is licensed. Also find out his reputation in handling timeshares and the success rate. And do not hesitate to ask any questions related to your timeshare. Some of the good questions to ask are:

* What is the maintenance fee of the resort and do they keep raising it every year, if yes how much?
* What are the chances of getting a best timeshare like in a desired week?
* By what date you should make the reservation at the earliest?
* Are there any extra benefits accompanying your timeshare?
* Do the timeshare company has bonus week program?
* Can you exchange or trade your timeshare without joining an exchange company?

Also try to enquire from the broker about the point system. Some reputable firms sell the timeshares for more if they have points system. Ask him if this is reasonable or you are better of buying a resale. Also the factors that determine the cost of timeshare units are demand for a particular week may be high so the price may be high, also demand for a particular location may be high. The size of the unit also affects the price, the bigger units are easy to trade in and exchange hence they are in more demand. Also the reputation of the firm owning the timeshare resort is an important factor.

See the unit before you buy, in many cases the descriptions provided by the timeshare company or the re-seller turns out to be misleading like the location, size of the unit etc. If you cannot see it, if your family members or friends lives near the location tell them to go and see the unit. Also try to get references. When you go and see the unit ask the neighbors what they think of the amenities and the management. You can also enquire from them:

* What they think of the resort?
* Time since they have been vacationing in this resort?
* Are dates easy get without much problems?
* Is the management company good and are they satisfied?
* How about the maintenance fees and other fees? Do they have a good record or they raise it too frequently?
* Is it easy to make reservations and exchanges?
* Are developers planning on improving the property in near future?

Do your homework to find out the prices in the area you are buying. Internet can come handy for checking the prices for example auction sites such as eBay and bidshare.com.
Keep in mid that if you are buying a resale timeshare unit it should be as cheap as half the price of the new timeshare unit that developers sell. If you are buying a new timeshare through a timeshare company read everything carefully in fine print before signing any contracts. While buying a resale timeshare ask the seller why they are selling it because there can be an underlying problem in their reason to sell like problems with management company or inconvenience. You can get a feel of the potential problems that you may also have to face and can decide whether you may be able to handle it or not. Also make sure that there are no past dues on maintenance fees and property taxes, it will add up to your cost. If you take care of all these important factors you should be able to make a smarter decision in buying a timeshare.

Does it make sense to buy a vacation timeshare?

Many people have a question when thinking of buying a timeshare. Does it make financial sense or does it make sense at all to buy a timeshare? Well the answer can be both yes or no depending on who is buying and for what purpose it is being bought. In this article we will discuss why it makes sense to buy a timeshare. One of the most traditional answers could be that you own it, but when you rent something you don’t own it. Timeshare industry has grown by leaps and bounds since its inception in this country and many notions that people had earlier have been clarified. Timeshare is no more a small business. Big hotels and resorts are into timeshare business now. It is estimated to be a Five billion dollar a year industry worldwide and approximately two million Americans have timeshares. You might be wondering what lured so many people in America alone to timeshares. Here are some reasons.

Consider this fact you pay rent to stay in a hotel. You pay the rent for staying in a hotel for a week. Suppose it is $900. If you consider a period of 30 years, multiply the cost of living in a hotel for 30 years with $900. It will be $27,000. You spend that much amount and only get a suite with only a bathroom. Now consider this, if you buy a timeshare for $10,000 which has a maintenance fee of $450 annually. The cost for 30 years will be $10,000 plus 450 multiplied by 30. The answer will be $23,500 which is $3,500 less than renting a hotel suite. But here is the interesting fact. You still get to own your timeshare property which will earn some money if not the original price. So your actual expenditure on your vacation will be way less than renting a hotel suite. Then who can ignore the comfort of a home in a timeshare property. A typical timeshare unit has two or three bedrooms, more than one bathroom, a kitchen, a laundry room and a pool plus not to forget all the resort facilities.

Does it make sense now? It does because it also saves you from the hassle of planning your vacation each year because you know when you have to go in turn offering you a guaranteed vacation every year.

How many hotel rooms can accommodate large families and friends? With a timeshare vacation you can invite who ever you want and can host reasonable size gatherings.

A timeshare is like money lying safely in your bank. You can sell it whenever you want. Not only that if you buy a deeded plan, the timeshare gets inherited to your heirs also.

Compare the timeshare with buying a vacation home. You don’t have to worry about upkeep and maintenance also. The management company will take care of everything. You just have to pay the maintenance fee for that. But what a pleasure you can live like you are living in a hotel and still get a feel of your home and have to do nothing.

Apart from these benefits, timeshare companies offer you so many discounts like bonus weeks, discounts on airfare, car rentals, attraction tickets, restaurants and much more.

How to Handle Timeshare Presentations & Sales people

Have you ever attended a timeshare presentation? I wish you would never attend one. It is traumatic experience sitting through a timeshare presentation. Compare it to buying a used car from a dealer; this is even more frustrating experience as more money is at stake here. What is a timeshare presentation? It is nothing but a sales pitch by the timeshare companies to force people into buying their timeshares. It begins with an invitation offering you an expensive free gift in return of attending the presentation. Now you go to the presentation thinking that there is no harm in attending and you get a free gift also in return, but you realize that you have made the biggest mistake of life only when you sit through the painful presentation.

The expensive gift turns out to be a gimmick and you are subjected to sheer pressure tactics of selling. The presentation usually last for ninety minutes and may go on and on in some cases. After the presentation, the salesperson will encircle you and will ask you if you have any questions. They go to the extent of literally pressurizing you. They want you to either make a commitment or sign a paper before leaving the presentation. When you say constant no to him, the manager will approach and offer you a good deal. Sometimes it becomes very hard to resist the temptation after being offered such great deals. But you have to go mentally prepared to say no to them at any cost. Tell them clearly that you have already spent your precious time and can’t spare your time further. Say that you have an appointment with somebody and you have to leave immediately. And do not forget to take your gift before leaving the presentation after all that was the reason why you attended the presentation.

The salesperson and the managers would do their best to convince you to sign some papers by offering many offers, but you should stick to your resolution to not to fall into the trap by constantly saying into your mind that “no, I can’t afford to buy a timeshare” and “will I be able to make payments every month”. Politely say “no” to any offers however attractive it may look. Also say them that you need time to decide, take their contact number or fax number and tell that you will notify them about your decision. Also tell them that you would not tolerate any courtesy calls or emails.

You can also tell them that you already have a friends or family members in that timeshare location and you don’t need to buy a timeshare. Also another reason you can give them to escape is that you just came to the presentation for the free gift or you can also say that you just wanted to educate yourself about timeshares and it is too early to make a decision about buying a timeshare. You can also say that you are not one of the frequent vacationers and would be able to vacation year after year and even if you go for a vacation you don’t like to go to the same location every year. Also say that you are not in the financial position to invest in anything now or in near future. Thus we have seen it all depends on our mental setup to sit through a presentation and still survive it.