Do you want to enjoy regular vacations in a familiar location?
Are you thinking of buying a timeshare?
While timeshares were once looked upon with caution, positive changes to the industry mean that they’re now a popular choice with young families and older adults.
Timeshares operate on the basic concept that multiple people own a single property and divide up the time that they use it.
However, the details around different types of timeshares can get confusing, which is why we’re here with a simple guide.
Read on for seven things you need to know before investing in a timeshare.
1. Does It Have a Deeded or Non-Deeded Contract?
When it comes to timeshares, there are two different types of contract commonly offered.
Deeded contracts are similar to those used when buying a house, and mean that you’ll own part of the property. You can then use it, rent it out, resell it, or pass it on to your children.
A non-deeded contract is more like signing a lease. You’ll pay for the right to use the property for a set period of time, usually a few years.
At the end of the contract, ownership goes back to the original owner, as if you’d rented an apartment and then returned it to the landlord.
Most timeshare contracts are deeded, but you should always be clear before signing anything.
2. What Kind of Usage System Is in Place?
There are four main types of usage system when it comes to how time is allocated.
Fixed week systems give you access to the property during the same specific week each year. This is good if you like to vacation at the same time every year, but not so good if you want flexibility.
Floating week systems are similar, but allow you to choose a different week each year. This is great if you want more choice.
Right-to-use systems are the same as non-deeded contracts. In essence, you’re renting a share of the property for a number of years and have the right to stay there for certain blocks of time.
Points club systems let you buy points which you’ll trade for time in one of a number of timeshare properties. This often includes hotels and is ideal if you don’t want to go to the same place every year.
3. How Much Will It Cost?
Before you purchase a timeshare, you should be 100% clear on the cost.
That doesn’t just mean knowing the basic costs, as there can be hidden fees that are easy to gloss over.
To budget, you’ll want to look at the overall cost of the timeshare, then divide it by the number of years you expect to use the property in order to get a basic yearly cost.
If this seems high, remember that the longer you use the property, the more value you’ll get out of it.
4. Do You Have to Pay for Maintenance?
Most timeshares require you to pay a regular maintenance fee to keep the property in good shape. Be sure to factor this into your calculations.
You should also remember that maintenance fees rise with inflation and will need to be paid yearly, whether or not you use the property that year.
5. Are There Additional Fees?
As well as regular maintenance, other additional fees can come into play under certain circumstances.
For example, if your property is damaged by a natural disaster, like a flood or hurricane, you’ll have to contribute towards repairs. You’ll want to keep some money saved in case something like this happens.
You’ll also be required to pay for regular property assessments. If these show that there’s damage or that the property requires upgrades, you’ll have another fee to pay.
6. Where Is It Located?
If you’re choosing a timeshare property to visit for years to come, you need to be really certain that it’s in a location you love. It’s best to visit potential locations for a regular holiday before committing to a timeshare there.
First, look at practical things like walking distance to shops, accessibility, and distance from the airport.
Second, ask yourself if there’s enough to do locally that you and your family will still be excited to come here year after year. The more local attractions and amenities, the better.
This is especially important if you have young children. What might be a perfect holiday location with toddlers could be a nightmare once you have teenagers on your hands.
It’s definitely possible to find a timeshare in the perfect location, you just need to do your research.
7. Are You Using a Reputable Provider?
Not all timeshare providers are created equal so make sure you’re using a reputable company. You’ll have to deal with them for years to come, so a bad choice comes at a high price.
Look for timeshare companies that are open and transparent, happy to answer questions, and well-reviewed. Getting recommendations from family and friends is a great idea.
Make sure that your chosen company has all the appropriate local licenses and complies with local laws.
If you attend a timeshare sales event, don’t feel pressured to buy right away. It’s always best to do some research before rushing into a long-term financial decision.
Is Buying a Timeshare a Good Idea?
Regular vacations are good for your health, lots of fun, and a great way to bond with family.
Buying a timeshare gives you use of a high-end property at an affordable price, year after year. It’s a great way to plan a regular vacation without any of the stress of booking an unfamiliar place to stay.
If you choose a points club system, you’ll also benefit from being able to travel to different locations — ideal if you don’t like the idea of going to the same place again and again.
Overall, timeshares are a great option for anyone who wants to go on holiday every year without the hassle of booking individual holidays.
Ready to get involved? Visit our website to find out more about buying timeshares today.