Is There Ever A Right Time To Buy A Time Share?

Is There Ever A Right Time To Buy A Time Share?

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Have you ever considered purchasing a time share? I havent, but for the person who is looking for one, now could be the best time to buy. Just make sure that you familiarize yourself with the fine print first.

Have you ever considered purchasing a time share? I haven't, but for the person who is looking for one, now could be the best time to buy. Just make sure that you familiarize yourself with the fine print first.

Neighbors of ours recently returned from a trip to the shore where they stayed at a friend’s house. It turns out that these friends lent them the place as it was one of the weeks in their “time share” and was their turn to use it, but they couldn’t. Unlike some time shares, this arrangement was a ¼ share where the owners had 13 weeks scattered throughout the year when they could visit the place. Most of the summer months are enjoyed by the co-owners, with the off season rented out to vacationers or left unused.

Our friends aren’t interested in buying a share, even though one is available, but who can blame them? Time shares have gained and maintained an awful reputation over the years, a money pit for some owners or an inconvenient home for others.

Not every time share deal is a disaster, however, as I have learned that several reputable companies have jumped in and started offering time shares including Disney and Marriott. I can think of one Marriott destination at the shore that would make a wonderful time share, a beautiful retreat that could be worth the investment especially for frequent shore visitors and people who don’t like to maintain a beach cottage.

But, before you opt for a time share there are some things that you should know:

Prices can be grossly inflated. If you are buying a new time share, you’ll pay the full price which includes a hefty commission mark up. Instead, why not consider buying someone else’s time share? Likely, they’re looking to unload their share, especially in a soft market. I can’t recommend anyone off hand, but when I googled “time share resell” quite a few sites popped up in the results.

Not a good investment. I don’t know anyone who has made a profit off of a time share. Let me go one step further – I don’t know of anyone who invests in real estate who holds a time share. Given that they aren’t a good investment, why buy one? For the reason I mentioned previously: a time share could give you a minimal hassle place to stay when visiting your favorite resort.

Maintenance fees and taxes can be costly. Not only do you need to buy your portion of the residence, but you’ll be responsible for your portion of the taxes and upkeep. You’ll want to learn what your share of the expenses will be and how much you can expect to pay over the long haul which can include costs to replace a roof, provide insurance coverage, and more.

So, is there ever a right time to buy a time share? I would think that time would be now and for a price that is well below market rate. If you have the stomach for this type of purchase and the deal you get looks to be a solid one, then considering a time share might be worth your while.

Just don’t snag a good deal because it looks good on surface – read the contract and weigh your options.

Adv. — Are you looking for a home loan or considering refinancing your home? Interest rates continue to remain low and lenders are looking for new business. Now could be a good time to secure a home equity loan or equity line of credit, just what you need to help you expand your home or consolidate expenses.

Photo Credit: KLP

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Comments

  1. timeshare trap
    timeshare trap 5 December, 2008, 00:12

    You would be wrong to suggest this is a good time to get timeshares. While their prices may be low (actually they are always low on the secondary market) this is what is happening. The economic crisis has made the default rates on timeshares rise – when this happens, there are less people paying the maintenance fees which means that the timeshare resort must raise fees for owners. In addition, the current credit crisis has dried up loans and many timeshares have projects not complete. They are raising fees at their other timeshare units to try and keep their other projects afloat. It’s an no win situation either way — especially when you can rent a timeshare for less than owning one (or as your friends did, have someone let them use it for free)

  2. Matthew C. Keegan
    Matthew C. Keegan Author 5 December, 2008, 06:24

    TT — I think by the way I titled the article and by the points shared, I made a strong argument for avoiding this type of purchase. Your additional points are certainly noteworthy and should be taken into consideration by anyone considering this option.

    On the other hand, there could be a small group of timeshares out there that prove beneficial to the buyer. Not so much from an investment point of view, but for their convenience. For some folks, you cannot put a price on convenience.

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