How to Buy a Timeshare

How to Buy a Timeshare

Buying a timeshare is a big decision. You’ll want to shop around for the best possible deal, but without sacrificing what you really want in timeshare ownership. It’s wise to evaluate various timeshare offers and the different types of ownership before making a decision.

Fixed or Floating Weeks

Fixed weeks are great if you generally know what week you’ll be vacationing in advance every year. With a fixed week timeshare, your timeshare will be available to you on the same week each year at the same location. On the other hand, if your vacation times change each year, you might consider a floating week or a vacation club with membership points.

Consider the exchange value of your week. Timeshare weeks are valued according to the time of the year – busy times being the highest value as well as holidays. If your week usually falls during slow times and you purchase it accordingly, the exchange value will be low each time you need to exchange the week. Timeshare weeks are typically exchanged with weeks of comparable value. If you feel you will be exchanging your week quite a bit, it might be wise to purchase a week of higher value to be on the safe side.

Also consider your ability to split a week if you desire to do this and the frequency of your timeshare use. You might only need a timeshare every other year. In this case, you might want to opt for an EOY (every other year) timeshare program. This program enables you to buy timeshares for less according to usage so that the unused weeks in between aren’t lost.

Right-to-Use versus Deeded Units

With a right-to-use timeshare, you don’t actually own part of the property. You only own a right to use the timeshare during your allotted time. You do not have rights of ownership if the property manager decides to quit or transfer. With deeded units, however, you are actually part owner of the property. You will own your timeshare even if the manager becomes defunct.

Benefits of Lockout Units

Some resorts offer lockout units, which are basically timeshare rooms that are divided into two subunits. The subunits may be occupied separately, which gives you more flexibility as to how you use the unit. You can occupy both subunits, or occupy only one while exchanging the other.

Timeshare Locations

If you plan to vacation at the same spot year after year, a timeshare can provide you with wonderful, luxurious accommodations each year. It guarantees you’ll be able to have an enjoyable vacation without paying exchange fees. If you plan to trade your timeshare location regularly, consider the purchase price and annual fees for doing so, and choose locations, weeks, and seasons that will provide the best possible exchange value.

When purchasing a timeshare, always consider the purchase price, annual fees, maintenance fees, and taxes for a unit. Also consider the estimated exchange fee if you plan to trade the unit often. Timeshare rentals can be taken into consideration if you don’t plan to use your week every year. Compare the costs of timeshare ownership with normal hotel rental rates for your family for similar condo accommodations. Weigh the pros and cons of each, and decide which will work best for your family and budget.

Timeshare ownership shouldn’t be taken lightly. You’ll want to take your time and study all your options carefully. Don’t be swayed by elaborate presentations as you view timeshare opportunities. Keep in mind that the representative’s goal is ultimately to sell timeshares. So naturally, the salesperson will be very persuasive. Look beyond the condo’s beauty and consider the bottom-line figures of how much it will cost and the benefits you will receive as a timeshare owner.

When shopping for timeshares, the Internet can be your best tool. Browse an online timeshare listing service to see what’s available in your favorite vacation area. A listing service usually helps people buy timeshares or sell timeshares objectively, and you can use the service to research properties and compare timeshare resale prices. Keep an open mind and consider all the opportunities before leaping into a timeshare commitment.

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